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Memories of my travels between 1972 and 1982

Monday, 28 March 2011

March 28th: Iguassu Falls

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

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