From Rio Grande do Sul we took off towards one of the most beautiful places on Earth. About 560 miles separated us from the stunning Foz do Iguaçu waterfalls. Those 560 miles took us just under 17 hours! We left the hotel bright and early at 7AM, and didn’t reach the hotel until midnight!
We got off-track a few times, heading in the wrong direction, but also had to face incredibly bad weather, dirt roads, and heavy traffic. At one point, we were stuck for more than an hour without moving an Inch.
While this was exhausting for us, it was no sweat for the bearings in the car. They are resistant against dirt and water, and have done us well over the past 17,400 miles! The 560 miles we drove today is no problem at all.
The road to the waterfalls was very curvy, leading mainly through mountains and forest. While driving on roads like these, some of which were unpaved, it is important to have a good steering system, one that is reliable, and easy to maneuver. Self-lubricating igus bearings are used to improve the performance of thousands of vehicles manufactured each year all over the world. They ensure a smooth turning motion of the car, as well as stand up to continuous impact loads and changing temperatures.
As soon as we caught our first glimpse of the Foz do Iguaçu waterfalls, we forgot all about the horrendous drive it took to get here. They were absolutely breathtaking – demonstrating just how powerful nature can be, as well as beautiful. It is incredible how much water flows over these falls, about three times as much as Niagra Falls!
It is impossible to get one shot of the entire falls – they are incredibly massive – about 1.7 miles long, with 275 falls.
These waterfalls have drawing people to the area for centuries. According to legend, A God created these falls when he saw the woman he was about to marry fleeing with her lover in a canoe. The God, in a rage, sliced the Iguaçu river, creating the falls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. Less dramatically, the falls also stand as a natural boundary line between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.
There are many pedestrian areas that allow you to get surprisingly close to the waterfalls. The National Park that surrounds the falls is also home to a wide variety of animals, including raccoons which were everywhere during our visit!
We were not able to drive the car into the park, but were invited to jump on any of the public buses running through, many of which are using iglide bearings in their sliding door mechanism!
Nearby this natural wonder, is a wonder of engineering – the Itaipu Dam, located on common ground between Brazil and Paraguay. The dam is the largest hydroelectric facility in terms of energy generation. In fact, the dam produces about 70% of the power consumed by the entire nation of Paraguay!
The structure is incredibly massive – 643 feet tall and over 25,000 feet long. In 1994, it was names one of the seven modern wonders of the world by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
We are now heading back to São Paulo to end the Brazilian tour. The car will then be shipped off to the United States, where it will begin its travels in Anchorage, Alaska!