After 2.5 months in Brazil, our last highlight is in the very south of the country: the Iguaçu waterfalls located in the three-country corner of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
However, we first visit the Itaipú dam, where the Rio Paraná is dammed for countless miles. According to the energy produced so far, this is the world’s largest dam, but has now been overtaken by the Three Gorges Dam in China w/r to production capacity. Brazilians and Paraguayans are very proud of their joint project and do not really mention the Chinese adm in their glory story telling.
The Brazilian side of Iguaçu Falls is quite manageable w/r to the dimensions. We are lucky and are the first visitors in the morning. Because of our individual type of overlanding traveling, many tourists now stress us. The view of the 2 km wide waterfalls is spectacular. It is not one waterfall, but hundreds that fall wildly everywhere into the depths. The weather is fantastic and everywhere we see rainbow spray. Since we are relatively quick with our visit we make a short trip to Ciudad del Este, the second largest city in Paraguay, the same day.
We walk over the Friendship Bridge (without officially leaving and reentering Brazil) and plunge into the local shopping paradise. Many Brazilians come here to shop. However, we do not find the prices as cheap as everyone says, but the selection of international luxury brands is quite impressive, especially for South American standards.
The Argentine visit of the Iguaçu falls is even more impressive than the Brazilian one: we are much closer to the falls and there are several hiking trails in the more extensive terrain – in total we walk about 10 km. Karin is totally thrilled with the thunderous waters, and barely wants to leave.
The border crossing to Argentina is the fastest on our entire trip to South America so far … and meanwhile we also have a good routine.
Following our tradition, we are visited on the first night in a new country again by the police. As in Bolivia and Ecuador, an Estancia owner from nearby has probably alarmed the police – even though we are pretty well hidden on a forest road in the middle of the forest. However, the four heavily armed police are very relaxed and, once it is clear that we are not drug smugglers from nearby Paraguay hiding in the woods, they wish us a good night.