I stood on the edge of the waterfall. I looked out over this stream of rushing water pouring over the edge of the cliff and cascading down. All I could hear was the call of the birds and throbbing gurgle of the water. I guess that’s why they call this La Garganta, the throat.
I stared into the space and felt a rush of appreciation for the moment. It felt profound. In that moment I understood what the phrase awe-inspiring meant. I was in absolute awe of this natural wonder. This water. The beauty of this place. The animals. This tropical paradise that we were blessed to discover.
And I cried. I was teary eyed, and it wasn’t the mist from the falls. It was so beautiful.
I thought: I’m here right now. I’m standing here seeing this and experiencing it with my own two eyes. I had been around the world and now I stood on the precipice of these falls admiring this miracle.
Iguazu Falls: a special spot, right in the crux of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The falls are enormous, with viewing points located in each country. I chose the ones on the Argentina side because it allows you to get the closest. From here you not only hear and see the falls, you feel “las cascadas.”
The waterfalls were gorgeous from every angle. When I looked at them from afar through the trees, it was like something out of a painting. Later, standing next to them was a powerful rush. It made me recognize my and my umbrella’s insignificance next to this behemoth creation.
When I was first approaching the falls I was in a rush to get across the bridges to the viewpoint. I was about to run past a group blocking my way on the bridge when I noticed they were looking at something in the trees. I looked up but I didn’t see anything. So I asked them what they were looking at and I heard one of them say “toucán.” I turned back around and stared hard into the trees.
There it was. A real, live toucán up in the tree looking back at me. I felt star struck, like the same feeling that I got when I met Jaime Foxx in person. I’m not sure why, but when you see something or someone you never thought you’d meet in person the feeling is the same. Surprise, awe, butterflies, joy.
That brief moment taught me a lesson. You can’t rush the experience. If you do, you may miss the things that truly make a day memorable. Seeing the waterfalls was an important part of going there. But, that day and every moment of my trip had something to offer.
So I took it slow.
I watched the coati wrestle each other in the grass… (but I kept my distance, there are signs everywhere telling you those coati do not play nice with humans). I stood for 10 minutes watching dozens of Technicolor butterflies flutter on the ground. And when I had the choice, I skipped the train and took the scenic route.
I stood on the edge of the falls and drank it all in so that I would always remember this experience. And taking it slow was worth it, because I do.
From Iguazu Falls: Natural Wonder Devil’s Throat
Let your soul be sated
with the odd beauty of this landscape
that although the world scrolling through on your travels
you can never find anything like this
good and bad dynamic and changing
find here since your name
takes in your humble heart of man
truthful and consistent message
meditate and feel the deep emotion
watching the vibrant paroxysm
eternal mists that is circled
and do not try to describe it with your voice
just lean your forehead against this abyss
which is the mirror of the word God.
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I'm Natasha Ho, a trained chef and avid traveler. I've studied culinary traditions from cuisines around the world, and I help food lovers learn how to cook a wide variety of meals that are consistently delicious so they can have more fun, ease and joy in their kitchen.