I just got back from an amazing trip to northern Argentina! The entire Holy Cross group (the first semester group and our group) left Friday night for an 18 hour bus ride to a region called Missiones, which is a part of Argentina that borders both Paraguay and Brazil. We got to our hostel in Iguzú around 2pm after a long night on the bus. I was pleasantly surprised at the bus experience. The seats were way more comfortable than those of any airline I’ve ever been on! They were more like beds than seats so we all basically slept the entire bus ride. On Saturday we took a bus into town and walked out to a place called Hito de Las Tres Fronteras, which is a viewing place where you can stand in Argentina and look out and see parts of both Paraguay and Brazil right across the river. Even though it was such a tease to be so close to those two other countries and not be able to visit, it was still cool to say that I saw them. After a freezing night in out little hostel we got up early on Sunday to head to Iguazú National Park. We spent from about 9am—3pm on a guided tour exploring the massive park. Our first stop was a waterfall called “La Garganta del Diablo” or the devil’s throat. It was more like a canyon of water or a giant pit than a waterfall. It was not graceful or pretty like other falls, but more impressive and slightly scary. After that massive water hole we moved on to see some more traditional-looking waterfalls. My favorite view (a tough pick considering the day was filled with multiple breath-taking and magnificent views) was a spot where you looked out between the trees to see what looked like a wall of falls, a wall that extended as far as the eye can see. To top it off, there was a rainbow rising high above the falls. I have never seen anything like it in my life—it’s no wonder Iguazú Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The next day we were scheduled to leave Iguazú around 6pm for another long bus ride, but before we left, we had one last adventure—a jungle excursion! We all signed up for this optional excursion not really knowing what it had in store for us. We hopped on an open air, safari-like vehicle early in the morning and drove out to the jungle location. Once we got there we finally got the details of what we would be doing: a jungle hike, zip lining, and cliff rappelling. I was so excited because even though I am terrified of heights, I’ve always wanted to go zip lining. After a quick walk on a dirt path (aka the “jungle hike’) we arrived at the first platform for the zip lining and we all got suited up in our harnesses, helmets and gloves and then climbed the ladder up to the starting point. I thought for a second that I might not be able to do it, but I surprised myself by pushing off and heading out into the treetops on the zip line. It was such an adrenaline rush! It was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done and now that I know I can do it, I have to do it again! It was so much fun. What wasn’t fun, however, was the cliff rappelling. I watched all of the other HC kids use the rope and hop backwards down the rock face and so I thought that even though I was terrified, I should at least give it a try…Bad idea. I ended up half falling, half slamming into the rock all the way down. I’m usually pretty coordinated, but I think all my coordination shut off in those few minutes and I landed with two bloody, bruised knees. I’m proud I did it, but I’m not too happy that I injured myself in the process. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience because I don’t think I will be doing that ever again.
We all hopped on the bus a few hours later and made our way back to the city. Back to school and reality!
Katie Riley '14