On March 28th 1976 I was at the Iguassu Falls in northern Argentina.
I decided to stay at the Iguassu Falls to see out the time after the recent army coup in peace and quiet. To a large extent life seemed to be carrying on as normal, though I had not heard whether the frontiers had reopened. I had visited the ruined mission at San Ignacio Mini and the only problem had been a hands up search on the way back to Posadas.
Iguassu was quiet and idyllic with just a few tourists at the main falls on the Argentine side and some activity around the luxury hotel on the Brazilian side. There was a cheap hostel, Hosteria Don Hippo, a ramshackle affair run by a large Pole with an Indian wife and an extensive family. He did some food, but you could get beer and sandwiches at the midrange Argentine Hotel. I took turns with others to get wine and picnic provisions from Puerto Iguassu.
On this day I walked down to the bottom part of the falls under San Martin where you could actually swim. There was a little island for utter peace amongst the great roar of the falls. On the trails there was wildlife, a snake with blue spots on the path, a party of 30 so coatis with long snouts and barred tails held out straight, a yellow-crested woodpecker and a lizard with a yellow collar. The sun was pleasantly hot in the middle of the day, although the nights were cooler and sleeping was easy.
After a few days I met a friend who had crossed over from Brazil so I knew the border was open. But still I lingered on enjoying this grand spectacle and simple living, an oasis in all the political trouble in the country.
|The Iguassu Falls, 2005: Picture by Sakke Wiik, CC|
|At The Iguassu Falls, 2005: Picture by Sakke Wiik, CC|