Guided Brazil Roundtrip – November 2018

Guest Article: Gerd Schneider
A travelogue from one of our travel participants

After four days in Rio we flew to our next stop Foz do Iguaçu to admire the world famous Iguaçu waterfalls. After the arrival we drove to a first tour of the waterfalls on the Brazilian side. Here, you have a view to the panorama of the waterfalls. Iguaçu means “big water” in the native language. On a width of 2,7 km 20 big and over 250 small waterfalls fall up to 80 m into the depth. Thus, the Iguaçu Falls are wider than the Victoria Falls and higher than the Niagara Falls – some describe them as the most beautiful waterfalls of the world. The impressions were simply gigantic. In the evening we were guests at the restaurant Rafain, where an oversized buffet left no wishes unfulfilled. From the front row we could experience a folklore show with performances from eight South American countries after our sumptuous dinner. After a restful night, the following day the Itaipu Technique Tour was on the program. Itaipu is the largest hydroelectric power station in the world, with a dam of almost 8 km in length and 196 m in height. The dammed lake is 170 km long and up to 12 km wide. The power plant is located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay. It was built jointly by the two countries and is still operated jointly today. The 20 turbines generate electricity for about 50 million people. The control center is located exactly on the border of the two countries and is occupied accordingly. Today, 3,000 people are employed in the power plant. The size of the power plant is almost indescribable, so here are a few figures: The construction time was 10 years, there were 40,000 workers on the construction site every day and over 10 tons of meat were consumed daily by the workers. With the concrete used, one could build 210 times the Maracana Stadium in Rio or 190 times the Eiffel Tower with the steel. Our sightseeing with bus and guided tour lasted about four hours. In the afternoon a part of our group visited a bird park. Here one could marvel at many native bird species like cockatoos, parrots and hummingbirds as well as butterflies and monkeys and thus get a good impression of the biodiversity in the Iguaçu National Park. On the third day in Iguaçu we visited the Argentine side of the waterfalls. The “Devil’s Throat”, a 150 m wide and 700 m long gorge, was especially impressive. Here up to 7000 m³ of water per second fall down to the valley. On the Argentinean side we explored some of the many hiking trails that lead directly to the waterfalls and thus provided a welcome cool down in the summer temperatures. It is simply indescribable to experience the waterfalls on three different levels.

After three days in Iguaçu our last domestic flight led us from Iguaçu over Rio de Janeiro to Natal. In Natal we were picked up by Florian, our host, and taken to his “Pousada Thalassa” in Pipa. (continue reading the article on the next post Pipa)