jonasgoat

Catarata’s

In Argentina, Sud America, travelling on August 17, 2010 at 3:24 am

The falls at Iguazu are just immense, stretching across the horizon, walking through the rainforest to get to them, you hear a dull rumble, as you get closer it becomes a roar as the inconceivable torrents of water, crash themselves against rocks, flood down slopes and hurls itself out into nothingness. But when you stand at the lip of the waterfalls you hear nothing but a quiet burble as they eject themselves from their river’s course out into the blue of sky.

Mist is formed, the spray drenching you as you stand in the whooshing roar at the base as the doomed arc of liquid reaches the bottom. The sound of water pounding itself onto rocks is deafening, the spray hits you from all sides, drenching you, hard to hear, hard to speak, hard to see, I revel in this moment, unaware of how soaked I am becoming, letting the aqua surround me.

Iguazu on the Argentine side is full of tourists, clumps of them lining the walkways, the burble and chatter of voices as loud as the waterfalls, lining up posed in front of the catarata’s, cameras handed to each other keen to show they have been to this marvelous place.

I sit and write this and wait for the moments when the tour group passes and I can sit and listen to the waterfalls speak to me. Hear nothing but the rumbleroar, unceasing crash of water flooding ever downward. What bliss it would be to have the walkway and waterfalls to yourself to walk unhindered, to see unbroken vistas, to sit for hours on end, listening to the migration story of so much water.

The catarata’s stretch out, a huge horseshoe of falling water, dirty brown at the top, streaks of it spilling over before it cleanses itself in its fall, a pure brilliant white wall of water.

And suddenly it is still on the viewing platform, the lush green vegetation, sentries, guarding this place, silent in their vigil.

I walk through the verdant forest that covers the ground between the falls, up metal and rock steps, the grated pathways segmenting the water that flows beneath my feet. Rainbows abound, curving out of the mist showing you where the pot of gold is, hovering tantalizingly just out of reach in a churning boil of water. As I stand over the spill and toil of a smaller waterfall, a rainbow appears in front of me and I get the chance to step through it, seeming it right there in front of me then it disappearing as i walk towards and through it. This could be the birthplace of all rainbows, there are so many, over every waterfall, arching over the mist they create is a multicolored crescent.

The devils throat, the crescent where several waterfalls merge is a miasma of mist and water vapour, leaving me sometimes dry but mostly damp as the wind changes direction and I am standing in a spitting splash of water. The mist rises so high and the water drops so violently that you can’t see the bottom, so shrouded in mist is it. The mist reaches up high enough to be mistaken for a cloud. The roar at the top is loud enough to stop you from speaking but step away and stride back along the walkways and the roar subsides to a low grumble, blocked out by the green growth that somehow seems to find a foothold despite the weight of water around it.

Oh I shouldn’t forget to mention the butterflies that flutter constantly across my path, yellow and cream and purple and violently orange. They congregate in little bundles of colour and energy, darting hither and yon, unceasing movement until they alight on a leaf or a branch or a railing or your hand, then they stop wings no longer beating just every so often opening and closing, antennae moving. Then they are gone.

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