Friday, March 16, 2012

DANCING WITH THE WATERS – CARNIVAL IN IGUAZU FALLS

No crowds, no crossing a huge amount of people to get the Metro...no long nights at Sambódromo watching the floats go by and so many colors, so many energy and happiness. This year thanks to my friend Karen, from Imagine Travel in Canada, I decided to do something different...

After 10 years touring in Rio for our famous Carnaval (that is how I like writing the word) I went to Iguazu Falls to welcome a canadian group, my new friends for a great adventure in the Nature. The tour to the Falls with the Imagine Travel Agency from Toronto. Well, I had to “imagine” a different tour



So I got back to one of my favorite places on Earth and now to one of the 7th Wonders of the World. The last time I came here, me and Marcone decided to spend some days looking for new activities for our tours in the Falls and also looking for some adventures in the jungle that we are happy to share with our guests, and it was october, last year. I always like to find more new things to do!


The town has a name, Puerto Iguazu. It is more like a village than a town. Always lazy and shady with its red brick stylish houses on the edge of lower Iguazu River...Simply charming, each house seems to have a private Botanical Garden in the yard; maybe this is why there is no Botanical Garden there...Welll the region is all surrounded by a flat and thick jungle everywhere.





Every tour that I have to travel gives me a lot of studying, preparation and research. I read alot about the place and fortunately I have important friends there like Mike, Miryam, Fernando, Pilar and all the years of wisdon and experience of Ricardo, owner of the Bed&Breakfast that I always stay called LA CABAÑA, they always tell me about new and unique places in the jungle that they know that I would love, so I had some great fun exploring the location so deep that I had the impression that I would come accross with a Jesuit just like in the time of the Missions.





I went to the National Park twice before meeting my group with the pleasant company of my friend Mike, a german bloke who lives in the region for more than 15 years. He dedicates her life into the study of the local SELVA MISIONERA fauna and flora, also deeply involved in the preservation of Iguazu super unique ecosystem and he is very specialized in river fish life, so much that Mike is the responsable of the Acquarium construction of one of the cities of Misiones Province called Montecarlo which I fondly call as “INDIANA JONES MONACO”, hahahaaha : ))))))

And of course I had the pleasure to meet another guide quite experienced in jungle hiking, Naomi, great character and enormous sense of humour. She tortured me with the motorbikes!!! :)


So in one of these free days we went to the jungle in a old 1942 Dodge Jeep through many red dirt roads until reaching a small farm where we took some 4 wheels motorcicles to get a profound and large idea of the jungle. We went to a Guarani Indigenous Reserve called Puerto Península...after my tough and fearful attempt to reach the walking trail where we found a TAPIR SKULL very well eaten by some hungry JAGUAR; we found a creek deep in the jungle with very clean waters where I could get rid of the humid heat. We had a local guide, her name is Noemi and together with Mike’s knowledge about the species and Nature Preservation made my day and he gave me one more place in the jungle that I am very honored to visit. However, to take my guests there, I will need people with courage, energy and with a soul of Explorer because the hike is quite tough!!!



Also, many thanks to my driver who took me and my canadian heroes every where in the fields of Misiones. Aldo Paraná, great advisor of local costuns and places that I would never imagine to visit. Great companior of EMPANADAS afternoons. La Misionera is one of the best places if you really want to have such a yummy empanada, all the flavors!!! Muchas Gracias Hermano!!! :)

I am always happy to return to Puerto Iguazu, one of the fewest places that I really feel at home. I am pretty sure it is one of my favorite places in Argentina!

Rafael Torres Lopes

Tour Guide and Travel Planner

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