Day 242 – Iguacu Falls and Itaipu Dam, Brazil

Day 242 – Iguacu Falls and Itaipu Dam, Brazil      04/20/11      Mileage: 191

Nice breakfast, packed the bike, blah, blah… I’ll skip right to the good stuff. The Parque Nacional Do Iguacu Falls was one of the first pins I put in my map of must see places when I began planning this trip, and I was going to pick that one off today.  The park is a little touristy, but they did a nice job with it and it doesn’t seem cheesy at all. You can’t ride or take your car into the park……the only way to get to the falls is to take the shuttle buses.

There are over 275 individual waterfalls spanning several kilometers along a horseshoe shaped gorge and rang in size from a small stream to the size of Niagara Falls! It is simply impossible to wrap your head or camera lens around the scale of the scene. Here are the pics…

The trail along the gorge to view the falls is over a kilometer long and it’s impossible to get all of the falls in one picture…can’t be done!

Views up and down the gorge….

These cute little guys were roaming around everywhere…

Lost in translation….

The falls also divide Brazil and Argentina….and you can see the flag of Argentina at above the observation platform across the gorge.

So with that checked off my life list, I had just enough time to also tour the enormous Itaipu Dam which is about 15 miles away. The dam was a joint project with neighboring Paraguay on the Parana. River which divides the two countries and is the largest operating hydroelectric plant on earth. Even though Brazil is 20 times the size of Paraguay in every way, they share everything 50/50 right down the middle…from the power it generates to the workforce which is half Brazilian and half Paraguayan…1500 workers each. The size of the dam is almost as hard to imagine as Iguacu Falls. It’s almost 8 kilometers long (5 miles) and provides 90% of the power used in all of Uruguay and 19% in Brazil.

This is the giant spillway…..and of course the pictures just do not do it justice…..it is enormous!

The size just doesn’t come across in the pictures, but it’s as tall as a 68 story building…and 5 miles long end to end!

Those big pipes are 10 meters (33 feet) across, and just 2 of them (there are 20 all together!) can carry the entire flow of Iguacu Falls!

A view of the giant spillway from above…

After finishing the tour I made my way back to Santa Tereza Do Oeste to the same hotel I stayed at last night. Tomorrow will be all business laying down miles to get to Sao Paulo by Friday afternoon where I have a hot Brazilian chick waiting for me. My friend Sabine is flying down from the US to spend time with me and her family over Easter…it will be great to see a familiar face! It’s too bad her husband and also one of my best friends, Johnny O (a wild man on his KTM 625 SXC) couldn’t make it down.

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15 Responses to Day 242 – Iguacu Falls and Itaipu Dam, Brazil

  1. Kurt says:

    Wow! Those falls make Niagara look like a dripping faucet. What an awesome Creator we have!
    I noticed that your Blessing sticker is gone. Would you like a new one for 2011? Just let me know where I can send it.

    • Lenny says:

      Hey Kurt! Yeah, I noticed the sticker was gone a couple of weeks ago…and I would like a new one for sure!! I’m donโ€™t know where to send it at the moment, but as soon as I figure that out I will let you know…I appreciate it!

  2. Arlene says:

    OMG what great explanations and pictures. The roar of the water must really be as exciting as the Falls and the Dam. Absolutely unbelievable beauty and power.
    I am sure you are really looking forward to spending some time with Sabine and family and maybe get to learn a few important words in Porteguese.
    Give Sabine a hug from me and Dad. They are great people. Sorry that John couldn’t be there also.
    Love ya, Mom

  3. Carla says:

    Amazin g pictures. I especially love the one with the rainbow. Makes me wish I was teaching so I could have mapped out your t\rip with my class and shared the pictures with them too. What a wonderful LEsson. Enjoy…Happy Passover and Happy Easter day.

  4. Jenn Durrua says:

    So I’m feeling pretty cool cause I’m in Annapolis sailing j/80’s all weekend and then I see your pictures! Holy Water batman!!! wow! so Amazing…I’m sure there are many other hot Brazilian chicks that would be happy to share a cerveza or too with you ๐Ÿ˜‰ Safe travels!
    Jenn

  5. Attila Molnar says:

    “The lost in translation.” sign at your photo is correct: DRINK BEER!

  6. Guillaume says:

    Hello,

    I’ve been following your adventure with great interest since I’m planning a very similar trip. Great information and very pleasant reading. Thank you for this great Blog.

    by the way I don’t think there’s a translation problem with the “water naturally innapropriate for drinking” sign. I think they are just trying to say that the water is not drinkable and the reason is natural not because of some pollution from man.

  7. Melinda says:

    Lenny,

    You are an amazing guy and I admire you!
    I Hope i’m lucky enough to meet you someday.

    Our computer connection is on and off but I’m doing my best to keep up with your journey.

    Be safe and healthy.

    Hugs from Boquete,
    Melinda

  8. Arlene says:

    Hi Lenny, I am trying to figure out where you rode for 20 minutes??? So nice to see your note from Melinda. Hope you had a great day. Love ya, Mom

  9. Erik says:

    Hey Lenny, Great Pics! It has been very wet here for the past few weeks. I rode a DR 650 in the Pinelands around FT Dix one day last week. I just did a valve adjustment on my KTM 640 ADV. Next is oil and filter change and new tires, crashbar, aux lights, grip heaters. etc. Too Bad Johnny O can’t make it. He could of taught you how to wheelie the KLR fully loaded!

    When will you be back in NJ?

    Erik

    • Lenny says:

      Hey Erik!

      Sounds like that 640 A is almost ready…can’t wait to see it when I get back! I’ve got the KLR in the Kawi dealer here in Sao Paulo to have the valves checked now too. Is that ride to Nova Scotia still in the works?

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