We were supposed to do it separately – one of us at 10 am, another at 1 pm. We asked on Monday if it’s OK if we come back for the tickets in a few days. ‘No, problem, don’t worry’ said a bearded guy in a sweaty t-shirt with ‘Jungle’ written on it. As it turned out, it’s not that easy. No more tickets for the morning hours, supposedly there’s one place for the last group at 4.30 pm. We start to get a bit angry when they suddenly find one spot for 1.15 pm. Quick decision, Ania goes first and I’ll wait until 4.30 pm. We had to wait for the biggest fun of our trip for a few hours anyway. Sailing a boat into the Iguazu waterfall.
And that’s how instead of a couple more hours in the park, we have extra 8. I can’t complain, we kind of feel like at home here. We look at the map and see that you can go rafting on Superior Rio Iguazu from Garganta del Diablo station which is now closed due to high water level. Let’s go then. An hour later all I can say that it was horribly boring and the heat was barely acceptable. The only advantage – we’re closer to 1.15 pm, Ania’s starting time.
Let her speak, then.
Ania: It’s a pity that I couldn’t sail with Kuba, but you have to be 12 to get on board and Amelka is nowhere near it. So I say goodbye to Kuba and Amelka and position myself in a long queue. In order to get to the boat that will take me to the middle of the waterfall, I have to drive for 6 kilometres first. A car comes with a trailer with 30 seats on it. I sit down and wait for the rest of the seats to fill up. It goes quite quickly and after a moment I hear the voice of the guide who says what’s it all about in English and Spanish. It’s super hot as it is the middle of the day and the temperature is 38 degrees. The lady is very nice and speaks quite interestingly but I cannot concentrate on stories about forest creatures in this heat. At some point, we stop to listen to the sounds of the forest. That’s too much. Less than 6 kilometres takes us … 35 minutes. A complete distaster. We drive so slow and it’s so hot… damn. But I stick to one thing the guide says: ‘I wish you a pleasant cold shower’.
I start to like this idea. All I think about is cooling in the waterfall. Not so fast, though. We have to wait for the previous group to get out of the boat. We get waterproof bags for our stuff and life vests. It must be the longest10 minutes of waiting in my life with the mosquitoes and other bugs biting me despite the lotion I used. Sweat runs down my legs, the mosquitoes do not stop feasting on me. I try to kill them, but I feel like I already lost the fight. Will it ever end?
Finally, I get on board and feel a gentle breeze. We leave and I have to say that the captain keeps the speed steady. After 10 minutes, the waterfalls emerge. First, we approach one of them, check it out, take some pictures and record video. During the second attempt, we sail right into the eye of the cyclone. Suddenly I go blind and the water hits me from all directions. People scream around me, I scream a bit too, but it’s just a way to let your adrenaline go. Generally everybody’s happy, we all want more and the captain gets a round of applause.
We sail to the next waterfall, and it goes pretty much the same way. But we sail even closer to it. I’m soaking wet. It’s absolutely cool. It’s one of these experiences you just can’t describe. Not overhyped at all. I didn’t expect anything can impress me so much. You can see it in the video.
Kuba: While Ania’s on the boat, I get 2 hours with our daughter. The heat takes it out on us, but I already thought what we’re going to do. There’s one place on the upper track that I remember particularly since the view of the waterfalls from there was phenomenal, the wind was blowing drops of water in our direction and there weren’t too many people there. We get there again and it’s all as I remembered it apart from the lack of people. Some kind of an organised trip is here – 50 girls we’ve seen before. The name Amelia fills the air and the girls take a whole lot of selfies with our little one – to her absolute joy. As a single father with a child I’m quite an attraction and for the first time, it’s not only Amelka but also me who gets friendly smiles. Unfortunately an all-time parents’ favourite comes half an hour later – a huge poo with a leaking-out-of-the-diaper tendency. With no mom around. So I pack her to the pram and hurry to the cafe (air con) to change her. But that’s not what I was supposed to write about. After 20 minutes or so, we leave to meet Ania and synchronise with her quite well.
A few stills from the video
I walk the girls back to the air con and start my way towards the boats. I find a ‘Jungle’ booth and go down. Usually, you can get to San Martin island from here, but right now, the water level prevents regular cruises. I get a large bag and put my own bag in it. Around me, people undress to shorts or panties. I keep it as it is since I’m not wearing much. I stick the camera for video and a smaller one for pics in my pockets while the DSLR is in the waterproof bag, ready for action. That would have been too much to lose. After a moment we’re already sailing towards Diablo. We stop, I start counting moments to the departure but the captain turns back. What a disappointment. I start thinking that maybe they cannot go into this one. We sail on to the Argentinean side and I already know that it’s all alright. They check if we’re securely fastened and if our bags are in order and off we go, 20 seconds later I’m completely soaked, blind and I feel fantastic. We stop like 2 metres before the wall of water but the currently safely pushes us away from the waterfall. Everybody’s shaking off the water while the pilot turns back and gains speed again. This time he hits the water from the other side. There’s even more of it and some gets into my bag. (I have been drying one of the cameras for 2 days now).
It’s really cool. I got confused and thought that we’re hitting the water twice, while we were crossing two different falls, then the pilot speeded up again and turned into Garganta. We hit at full speed, no mercy here.
I really don’t know how to describe it all to you. I guess that it’s cool to see Iguazu from the Brazilian side, but the best way is to get close to this might. And here, we did it at full speed. I feel complete.
It takes me an hour to get back – first a quarter on the river, then the rest through the jungle with a jeep. Reportedly there are jaguars around, but we don’t see them. There’s no toucans either but it doesn’t matter since I’m still completely soaked and occupied with the emotions.
Ania: I guess that my trip – despite the too long part in the forest – was better since it built up the pressure steadily. When we got to the boat everybody was focused on getting to the waterfall. You could feel some cool emotions in the air.
Kuba: I agree.