Archive for August, 2011

“scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight” ~David Livingstone

The Breathtaking Iguazú Falls: Connecting Argentina and Brazil

Situated in the Iguazú National Park, between Argentina and Brazil, is one of the most visited and truly stunning places in nature, maybe even the world: Iguazú Falls.  Iguazú Falls is the kind of place you can go to if you are looking to truly escape from reality.  It’s a place where you can visually see the miracle of Mother Nature.

As the legend goes, there was once a great, ferocious snake that lived in the river. In order to calm the snake, the aborigines would sacrifice a woman every year. One year when a brave man rescued the woman and escaped with her down the river, the great snake became so enraged that he split the river thus forming the waterfalls and separating the man and woman.

It is those waterfalls that you see today. In the guarani language Iguazú means “great waters” but you’ll probably agree “great” doesn’t do this area justice.

There is a visitors’ center, walking trails, a train and more. There are two basic paths: one that leads down a footbridge to overlook the falls and the other that leads to the base of the falls. With over 270 falls forming a half moon there is no shortage of stunning beauty. But one of the most amazing sights is up the river further to the largest of the falls, the Devil’s throat.

Iguazú Falls is a must see for any traveler.

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The Devil’s Pool

Local legend: The cool waters of the Babinda Boulders habour many local aboriginal legends and stories.

On first glance the small town of Babinda, south of Cairns, may to be nothing more than a sugar mill, pub and a few houses. If you look a bit deeper into the area, you will discover it contains some of the region’s most special treasures.

While naturally traquil and beautiful, local aboriginal legend paints a more tragic picture of this special place.

The story goes like this: A long time ago, the Yidinji tribe were the sole occupants of the Babinda Valley.  The isolation created by the surrounding hills and jungle made visitors rare.  However, there came a time when a wandering tribe entered the lush green valley and was made welcome by the Yidinji people, who were in a state of celebration.  It seems an elder of the Yidinji tribe named Waroonoo was about to marry the beautiful Oolana.  The marriage had been arranged to combine the knowledge and wisdom of Waroonoo with the youth and beauty of Oolana.

The wedding went ahead as planned, but the following day it became obvious that something was wrong.  Oolana had disappeared, as had Dyga, a handsome young member of the visiting tribe.  A search party comprising both tribes searched the area for the missing lovers.  It was not long before they were found camping by a stream running through Churichillam, now known as Mount Bartle Frere.

After a furious struggle Dyga was captured, but not Oolana. 

Overcome with emotion, she threw herself into the stream.  From then on, the previously peaceful waters erupted into swirling torrents of white water as the ground burst open, spewing forth huge boulders to mark the place of the terrible happenings.  Aboriginal legend says the spirit of Oolana remains in Devil’s Pool to this very day, calling to any young single male visitors to the area who may go to the mysterious waters.