Thoughts for Today 2nd June 2020
From the real world, sublime and challenging
South American music, rhythm and the Falls….
We were looking forward to the Iquazu Falls as we headed to Argentina via Ilhabela’s remote rain forest, and Uraguay’s Montivideo.
Walking was with a different rhythm as we had an extraordinary dance troupe from Rio performing for us on the ship with their distinctive throbbing music. We boat transferred enroute to Ilhabela and the Mata Atlantica rainforest with a guide and biologist . Ilhabela has a population of 4,000 people and 360 waterfalls. It was a delicate place to visit in the humidity and precarious walking conditions underfoot. Citronella and Deet were worn to protect us. We came across funghi of many sorts and the most fascinating was the one in the photo. I asked the question: ‘What is this one called?’ and the reply from our biologist Marcello was ‘Composer’s Ear’!
Three days later, the 28th January, we visited Montevideo with its large busy port and made friends with the men and women of the heavily armed city police. Two ladies in white coats were scientifically ridding the tourist route of graffiti near to the Romanesque Cathedral with its huge cupola. An amazing sunset and crescent moon that night heralded another special day ahead.
We had an early start with a two hour flight from Beunos Aires to Iguazu for the Aguazu Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. On arrival at the National Park we walked to the Narrow gauge, propane driven railway (made in Ross on Wye in 1995) for the 7 kilometre, 20 minute ride. The racoons escorted us towards the extraordinary wetlands covering 1,300 kilometres. We walked the long way across the bridges of the board-walk to the wetlands spotting a plush-crested jay on the way. We finally heard the musical thunder of the Devil’s Throat’ the first falls of the one and a half miles wide of falls. In no time we were soaked from head to foot making it hard to take camera proof photographs. With the gallery of visitors from all over the world we wondered sight and the sound of such a force of water from a height of 269 feet (Niagara 165 feet).
Walking again, and with a second train ride, we came to another part of the Falls in an area of wetland called St Martin’s. This photo was taken across the great expanse of the glorious protected Unesco Heritage site. We never knew whether this trip would be possible, but we still reflect upon the music of the water and the gift it is. It was hard to leave that place.
Meanwhile, back at the airport I was escorting our party of eight for the last flight back to Buenos Aires. The guide stayed with us until our flight was called. Duty Free Kit Kats were shared with the Balmoral 8 and with a gentleman who sat by us, Fr.Tim, a Roman Catholic Priest from Toronto. He was Chaplain for another cruise ship going to Antarctica from Buenos Aries. We compared notes and shared a farewell liturgical gift of chocolates, a precious chord of unity was struck.
The diamond jewels of the lights of Buenos Aries heralded our late return back to the city…looking forward to our second day there.
Edward and Jane