Argentina - May 7

The whole gang in front of one of the 275 waterfalls at the Iguaza Falls National Park.

May 7 by Brooke Taualii

Editor's Note -- Today the team visited the Iguazu Falls National Park, the first national park created in Argentina. One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Falls are the widest in the world, even wider than Niagara Falls in the United States. There are 275 different waterfalls that make up the expanse, dumping one million liters of water every second. The largest of the Falls, the Devil's Throat, dumps five times the amount of water as Niagara Falls. The Falls are shared by Argentina and Brazil with the Iguazu River forming the border between the two countries.

I cannot even begin to explain the amazing day that we had today. This is a bird's eye view of the BYU women's volleyball team's trek through Iguazu National Park. Hopefully those of you at home will be able to live vicariously through our adventures by reading this blog entry and looking at the beautiful pictures we have been able to capture today.

Our day started off with an early morning breakfast in our hotel, which provided the usual Argentinean croissants and yogurt but also came with a little treat that we have not seen much of here: fresh fruit. The fruit was wonderful but in particular, the papaya! After breakfast we took a bus to Iguazu National Park where our safari adventure began.

We walked through the forest where our tour guide, Margarita, described a brief history of the park and the different plants, trees and species we would be seeing throughout the day. Then, we started on the "Upper Trail" leading to the waterfalls. We stopped along the way to take pictures, but nobody truly realized the treat we were in for. After the "Upper Trail", we went on the "Lower Trail" which led us straight to the bottom of the falls where the view was beautiful. The mist embodied us, and we were so happy to be there. Finally, we got to the part of the day that everyone was anxious for, motor boating right up next to and under the waterfalls. Some had purchased panchos and others of us took Margarita's advice and didn't waste our pesos because no matter what, we were gonna get soaked! This was definitely the highlight of the day because we were all together and everybody was yelling, "Again, again!!!" to the driver who was taking us under the water. Everyone was completely soaked, but we were having so much fun that we didn't care! We dried off a bit by driving down the river.

We had a little cool down by driving through the forest on a tourist truck just in time for lunch. Lunch consisted of a delicious buffet and was followed by us taking naps on the grass in the warm sun to dry off. When everyone had reenergized at least a little bit, we hopped on a train to what Margarita described would be, "the best view of the waterfalls" in her opinion (aka Devil's Throat). It was a pleasant walk to the view over many rivers, and we finally made it. It was stupendous! There is no other way to describe it because the view was just so marvelous. We hung out there and enjoyed the view while taking pictures and then walked back and took the train back to the entrance of the park where we finally saw what we had been waiting to see all day, a toucan!

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped to look at "The Mark of the Three Borders" which consisted of a view of Paraguay and Brazil from Argentina. The river Iguazu meets up with another river at this point and forms the border to all three countries. It was awesome to see the other two countries so close.

Now, we are back at the hotel getting ready for dinner and packing for our long bus ride tomorrow. Ciao for now!

Special Message From the Team

Happy Birthday Amy!!!

Our wonderful tour guide, Margarita.

A panaromic view of the Argentinian Falls.

The Falls pretty much speak for themselves.

Casey Speredon (left), Brooke Taualii and Christina Measom.

Christy Payne, Stephanie Lau, Rachel Dyer, Bryn Porter and Sammi Stuart.

Marisa Vandersteen helps Kiana Rogers navigate the terrain.

Stephanie Lau gets up close and personal with the coatils, which are similar to raccoons.

Bryn Porter and Stephanie Lau are ready for our journey under the waterfall with their ponchos.

Our group took a boat like the one pictured underneath the San Martin waterfall, shown underneath the rainbow.

The mist rising in the distance is from the Devil's Throat, the largest of the Falls.

Devil's Throat.

The Mark of the Three Borders. The land pictured in the foreground is Argentina while the land to the left is Paraguay and the land to the right is Brazil.

One last picture after our amazing day!