On the first day we went over to the argentine side of the falls and spent the day walking round the paths over, under, along and virtually through the falls. We got very wet of course since the amount of spray generated by the falling mass of water is phenomenal and the slightest piece of wind (there was plenty) set it all flying through the air around us! We also went rafting up to the falls and 4x4ing thought the subtropical jungle. It was great fun and really impressive. The rumble of the falls can be heard for miles around and the power of the water falling is spectacular. The guys in the boat had great fun taking us up to virtually under the falls and trying to scare the hell out of us by turning really fast!! As we walked around the park, we saw thousands of amazing butterflies, of all shapes and sizes, and some were at least twice the size of my hand!! We also saw some toucans and some Coatis and a variety of unknown birds, and I was even clever enough to put my hand down of a hairy black and white caterpillar walking along a branch… boy did that sting!!! Needless to say I was absolutely knackered at the end of the day.
On the second day we went to see the falls from the Brazilian side. It was also spectacularly gorgeous and was absolutely full of coatis. We had a long walk in the jungle in the morning, walking right up below the falls from the opposite angle than the previous day. The spray from the falls was incredible and the sun was creating a thousand rainbows around us. Truly magical. In the afternoon we went to see a bird park, where I met loads of Toucans and a wide variety of parrots. Toucans have now become the new love of my life; they are so beautiful, so delicate and so amazing. The colours of their feathers seem unreal, their patterns so perfect, and the colours around their eyes are mesmerizing. The bird park is made of several large cages full of trees and ponds that you can walk around in and allows people to get up close to the animals that live in the wild around the falls area. In one of these giant cages I befriended one very cheeky toucan who started hopping round me, chatting to me and trying to eat my shoe... he also found it very amusing to fly really fast and really close to me to catch my attention (as in a near collision with my face on a couple of occasions).
My last trip to Iguazu was in September 2003, on my way back to Asuncion from Brazil. This time I visited the falls with Marcel and Carolien, my two Dutch friends with whom I had been travelling with in Brazil for the previous 3 weeks. We made the most of our few days in the area to visit a number of other things as well as the falls, including the Itaipu dam, currently the largest dam in the world, which stretches between Paraguay and Brazil. This US$18 billion project can produce a mighty 18 million kilowatts, enough electricity to supply the whole of Paraguay and 25% of Brazil’s total energy. The dam was very impressive but the tour that took us round it was fairly disappointing, although it was better than nothing.