As I stood at the front of the line waiting to enter Iguazu Falls I was feeling a sense of sheer exuberance. The day before I had set foot in this wonderful treasure of a National Park around noon. It was literally packed and I found myself fighting for elbow space at many of the most popular lookout vantage points. Today my efforts to enter the park early were about to be rewarded. As the gate opened only a few others entered the friendly confines before me.
Most make a beeline for the Devil’s Throat for a spectacular and intimate panorama of the falls mightily crashing down. I on the other hand, chose to head in the opposite direction. I noticed as I was wandering about that I did not have any company with me. It was like I was on my own private tour. It was simply brilliant. I marvelled as I took in the spectacular scenery uniterupted with all of my senses dazzled in an unfamiliar manner.
I noticed a particular vantage point that was truly breathtaking and I pulled out my tripod from my case. I meticulously tinkered with my camera settings to boost the saturation levels, sharpness and exposure to hopefully obtain the ‘perfect’ shot’; however, I soon realized I was no longer alone. My camera bag that was placed haphazardly on a nearby park bench was now the object of affection from a pack of strange looking animals that vaguely resembled raccoons.
My heart began to race as I felt a sense of potential danger being surrounded by a pack of wild animals. It would have made sense for me to retreat but my instincts thrust me towards the animals in an attempt to rescue my bag. My attempt to secure my bag was ‘oddly’ successful but the curious and inquisitive creatures stuck around to observe me a little longer. I marvelled at their distinct faces and long stripy tails. Finally they sauntered off together walking along a pedestrian railing in a sequenced orderly fashion.
It was an encounter I’ll never forget. I was half terrified and half mesmerized. To encounter wildlife I had never seen before in such an intimate manner was truly a momentous and unique moment; however, I also realized it could have potentially been dangerous.
National Geographic is launching a brand new mini series “Untamed Americas” debuting June 10th and 11th at 9PM et/pt on Nat Geo channel. The series showcases the rugged beauty found in the Americas emphasizing wildlife spectacles amidst stunning scenery. Narrated by Academy Award nominated actor Josh Brolin, the high definition footage celebrates the incredible landscape and wildlife in the Americas while encouraging others explore their own backyard.
For more information be sure to check out the following links where you can learn more information regarding the series and potentially win some amazing prizes:
What other Travel Bloggers are saying about untamed experiences in the Americas