Monday, June 22, 2009

Iguasu Falls - Making Niagara Look Like a Leaky Faucet ! - June 22

Sunday 6/21 – Puerto Iguasu, Argentina

The weather today was spectacular: Sunny and 70 degrees. A good day for Iguasu falls. It's about a 15 km ride from Puerto Iguasu to the national park, and a $15 admission fee for foreigners, but worth it. I met a young Finnish woman while at the information booth, which gave me someone to hike with.

The falls themselves are spectacular. They are right on the border between Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. While I hear that you get a better overall view from the Brazil side, on the Argentina side you get right up close and personal with the falls. Unlike Niagara falls, there is not a whole city of tacky shops surrounding the falls, just a national park and very nice hiking trails.

One of the most spectacular areas is called Garganta del Diablo, or Devil's throat. It has been calculated that to create this much water force artificially you would have to flush all the toilets in China, Russia, and Kazakstan twenty-seven times per minute. That, of course isn't counting the squat toilets, which don't use as much water.

During the morning the wasp that had flown up my sleeve yesterday decided that he wasn't done with me yet (his death not withstanding). As the morning progressed my arm was turning increasingly red, hot, and swollen. By noon I looked like Popeye, at least on the right side. So, discretion being the better part of health, I decided that a visit to the local emergency room was in order. Fortunately it was right across the street from my hotel.

After a five minute wait the doctor saw me and prescribed an anti-inflamatory injection. The nurse prepared a needle that had to be 8 inches long, attached to a syringe with about 2 liters of medicine in it, and told me to drop my pants and bend over. At this point I decided that maybe my arm really wasn't that bad and I didn't need any damn medicine! Oh well, I figured better to bare my cheeks and take it. By the next morning the arm was considerably better, although my butt was still in a world of hurt.

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