São Miguel to Foz do Iguaçu

The next morning I wandered the grounds of the old church taking photographs before moving on and logging about 250 miles to São Miguel D’Oeste in Santa Catarina state, arriving just before nightfall. A tiny enclave and barely a dot on my map, I rode around town twice without spotting a hotel. A guy on a scooter at a corner gas station escorted me to the Solaris Hotel, secure parking, food, internet and a comfortable bed.

Sao Mighuel Church

UNESCO World Heritage Site, the São Miguel Mission in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Sao Miguel Figure

Religious ceramic figurine from 17th Century.

Sao Miguel Mission Bell

Close up of the original bell that hung from the mission.

Sao Mighuel Arch Feature

Sao Mighuel Inside-1

Inside the old mission. If Tim Amos were with me, he’d explain the architectural features that the Italian-Jesuit employed in the church’s design.

Sao Mighuel Tower

According to my map there was a dirt road that cut through the southeastern part of the Parque Nacional Iguaçu from Cascavel. In Capanema it takes three stops before finding someone who knew the road existed. The road is closed and he gave me no information as to why. I arrived in Iguaçu in the late afternoon but decide to wait until the next day to take in the falls.

Road 2 Iguaçu

The road to Iguaçu.

To say the falls are incredible, gargantuan or heartbreaking would be to fall to the writers curse of excessive adjectives as a substitute to convincing prose. However, it was the thundering sound of the falls that I felt long before seeing a bit of water. According to the guide, due to the unexpectedly recent and rapid rise, the falls were even more volumous than usual. In fact, the raging river took its toll on Brazil’s most longest jutting walkway to the far side of the Garganta do Diablo. It was closed for repairs. But I did go out to the top of this massive drop where I was soaked and deafened after the seeminlgy forever five minute walk to the end.

A group of three girls and a guy adopted me as I we walked down the path gazing at the falls. He was a Brazillian, his wife was from Paraguay, the other two girls were from England. The couple lived in Uruguay and he managed a churrascaria outside of Cuidade del Este. I left the park with an open invitation to come and enjoy the best carne in Paraguay — so he claimed.

Generous sunshine refracted a dizzying array of rainbows at every turn. And fast, foamy and frothing water abounded at the top and bottom of dozens of individual waterfalls which all added up to the most moving water show I’ve ever seen. On the Brazillian side of the falls one gets a better idea and view of the massive expansiveness of the falls, where on the Argentina side one gets close to and virtually on top of the falls. There’s no better side from which to view the falls. You must spend a day or two at both sides.

Photos of Foz do Iguaçu from the Brazilian Vantage Point. The next post will have photos from the Argentinean side.

Iguaçu Brazil Overview

Iguazu21 - Version 2

There’s no way a photograph, video, painting or drawing can capture the powerful force and the alluring beauty of these falls.

Afk Wr At Falls

Iquazu Falls140 - Version 2

Check out the little boats in center left of the picture near the rainbow. This should give you some sort of scale. You can ride these from either side and get practically under the falls. I did a tour from the Argentina side — well worth it.

Iquazu Falls3 - Version 2

Iquazu Falls35 - Version 2

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