Wabi Sabi - a way of looking at the world with a kind of quiet insight, to find beauty, even in imperfection.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Iguazu Falls

Though we took hundreds of pictures, practically ravenous to capture the beauty of Iguazu Falls, they do not do justice. Of all the places I've visited in the world, I have to say the falls are in the top five of those that took my breath away. (The others? Machu Picchu, Great Wall, Venice, Santorini)

Iguazu Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on the border of Brazil and Argentina. The Argentina side contains 2/3 of the 275 waterfalls and is considered to be the "intimate" side, allowing visitors a close look, even the ability to walk over the crest of some of the falls.

The most spectacular is The Devil's Throat, a U-shaped waterfall which is 490 ft. x 2300 ft. It was the first waterfall we visited, and I still remember the thrill and anticipation of seeing it as we approached on a long, wooden walkway and heard the water thundering in the distance.

Brazil is considered the "panoramic" side. Where the awe of the Argentina side came from the rumbling feeling and sound of so much water, the Brazilian side was spectacular because of the views.

Before we visited the Brazilian side, our guide told us of a legend surrounding Iguazu Falls. The serpent god, M'Boi fell in love with the Guarani Indian girl, Naipi. However, Naipi loved a great warrior, Taroba, and they were to be married. Together, they tried to escape from M'Boi in a canoe. This so infuriated M'Boi, he turned Naipi into a rock in the river on the Argentina side, and turned Taroba into a palm tree on the Brazilian side. He created the waterfalls to keep the two apart, cruelly assuring the lovers could see each other, but never touch. However, he couldn't keep Naipi and Taroba from expressing their love, and sometimes that love appears as a rainbow.

We were lucky the day we visited the Brazilian side. The sun shone brightly, and the waterfalls were filled with countless expressions of Naipi's and Taroba's love. Rainbows never looked so beautiful.