Iguazu falls – Argentinian and Brazilian sides.

Saying farewell to Buenos Aires, it was time to rejoin the Tucan tour group moving onto the Iguazu falls.

Iguazu (meaning Big Water) Falls consists of 275 waterfalls along the Iguazu river that connects Argentina and Brazil.

On the Argentinian side you are able to walk over the falls along walkways that provide up-close views of these thunderous curtains of water, and as I watched this flowing mixture of river browns and misty whites I knew I had the answer – This is where dulce de leche (caramel) comes from!

Ok, maybe not. But the colour and texture of the falls did look incredibly similar to perhaps what a caramel version of the waterfall in Charlie and the chocolate factory would be. And Argentina is the home of Dulce de leche..

The Brazilian side of the falls provide spectacular panoramic views that offer the full scope of how mammoth and powerfully raw these falls are. Up to 82 metres in height and 3kms in length of magnificent and majestic pounding water, with the novelty of beautiful rainbows and heavily sprayed mist that will have you drenched and exhilarated.

As with Jiuzhaigou national park and the panda’s in China, I felt a moment of privilege and gratitude to have been able to stand there with this awesome wonder of nature.

It made me so happy that if I had found a puddle of mud I would have rolled in it.

Ashram life – What not to do’s

Do not publicly announce that you are a meat eater and that you love to eat meat. This will NOT win you friends in an Ashram.

While anyone’s looking, do not flick ants and insects off your yoga matt, injuring or killing them in the process.

Do not recommend chemical industrial strength insect repellant and joke that nothing survives in your room.

I wont lie, my first day in the ashram was very difficult. It wasn’t the chanting in Sanskrit for an hour every morning and evening that I didn’t understand, or that my yoga teacher seemed to pick on me fixing basic positions that I thought I had excelled in years ago, or the fact that whenever I tried to meditate I thought of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because the universal mantra ‘Om’ reminded me of Umpa Lumpa’s (pronounced ‘Oompa loompa’s’). In fact, I would visualise the Umpa Lumpa’s chanting ‘Om namah Shivaya’ the same way they would rhyme and dance the lessons in the original movie every time competing children were sent home.

I asked my teacher, an Israeli devotee what the last part meant.

T – ‘When I try to meditate, I end up thinking strange, weird thoughts and images that I would never normally think off, ever. It’s really messed up.’

Israeli teacher, probably thinking that I was having thoughts of murder and mayhem, started with –‘Sometimes we have bad thoughts and it doesn’t mean we’re bad people..’

T, cutting him off – ‘..But what does it mean if thoughts of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory keep appearing in my meditation?’

Israeli teacher –‘ That’s a children’s movie?(smiling) Sometimes we have irrelevant thoughts and we shouldn’t be forceful with them, or think that they represent us. They are just thoughts to be observed and then let go’

T – ‘Oh good.. I was worried it meant something.’ (like I was stupid?)

That first night I went to bed exhausted, with an early exit strategy, confident that I wasn’t going to last the 14 days.