Friday, December 10, 2010

Soil Erosion on a truely MASSIVE scale

Today was a day off farm touring as we head from Arable Argentina to Paraguay - we were under strict instructions from Dan Simms to go to the Iguazu falls. The largest falls in the world - they create the border from Brazil to Argentina. You can view them from either side but the Argentinian one is supposed to be the most spectacular - and it certainly lived up to it. 100% humidity and 45 degrees but well worth it -we were both after the lastest new diet craze and this is sure to do it having walked about 5km's in these 'juicy' conditions - in long clothes and swamped in mozzi repellant and sun cream - painting a nice picture eh?
This was all topped off on our way home by our first tropical storm which cleared the air nicely. -Got a little bit exciting though when the bus drivers windscreen wipers stopped working - he wasn't worried, just went a bit faster.
The water at the falls was once clear -now it is reddy brown like all the water we have seen in South America - why? since they have been clearing the rainforest in Brazil all the water flowing from their has picked up soil along the way -soil which used to be held by the forest cover and is now washed away every time there is rainfall, washing it's way through the continent, silting and clouding up every water way it passes through. -Soil erosion on a truly MASSIVE scale.

There was plenty of wildlife to see at the falls, from the swallows flying through the sheets of water to the spectacular aray of butterflies and lizards, even two inch long ants - fancy those in your pants?
The north of Argentina (where we are now) is very tropical, growing all sorts of fruits -mangoes, limes, pineapples, olives, tomatoes etc. It has a very warm and humid climate and makes booking a hostel with a swimming pool a necessity! We head for Paraquay tommorrow, another long bus journey to the capital - Asuncion and from there out to the Mennonite farming colonies - a group of farmers who have successfully tammed some of the harshest farmland on earth.

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