plunge down a sheer 90-m drop. As we gingerly progress along the concrete look-out path, the spray from
the waterfall drenches us thoroughly. It is a thrilling experience, enhanced by the view of the Argentinian
rainforest across the river, the flirtatious company of an amazing variety of butterflies that court us all the
way and the friendly overtures of a quati, a kind of tropical raccoon. The trail leads to a community centre
equipped with a souvenir shop and a dining plaza, where visitors can pause for refreshment and a breather.
Here, work is in progress for setting up a panoramic elevator and an environment building which will, when
complete, offer a breathtaking view of a semi-circle of 275 falls spanning a stretch of 2,700 m. In fact, the
first European to be blessed with the beautiful sight was the 16th-century Spanish adventurer, Alvar Nunez
Cabeza de Vaca, who named it after the Virgin Mary. But the local guarani name, I-Guacu (grand water),
seems to have survived. An option for the intrepid is the Macuco Safari, a thrilling boat tour that takes you
all the way to the point where the falls hit the water below. And if you can afford the expense, a 10-minute
helicopter tour that costs $ 60 per head offers you a stunning aerial view of the entire area. During our visit
to the Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Plant, a joint venture on the Parana river between Brazil and Paraguay
that is regarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern
world, we stop by at the eco-museum and take in a documentary film on the genesis and completion of the
whole project. It demonstrates how cooperation between neighbouring countries can be mutually beneficial
for both. As does a visit to the site itself, where the reservoir has been converted into a lake and offers
ample scope and facilities for all kinds of aquatic sports. It is time for us to head back to Sao Paulo from
where we will be making our way home. Entering the airport at Foz do Iguacu, we notice that it is named
after an Indian guru - Sri Chinmoy! It certainly dispels the habitual gloom that surrounds most departures.
How to get there: Air India operates daily flights to London and New York from where connections are
available on Varig to Sao Paulo. Flights are available from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to Iguacu. The
alternative is to avail of the super express bus service to Iguacu via Curitiba. Climate: It's a topsy-turvy
world, where people enjoy spring and summer between October and January. Light summer clothes ensure
maximum comfort. The Indian summer months become winter in South America when light woollens are
required. Language: Unlike in other South American countries, Portuguese is the lingua franca. Visitors
unfamiliar with the language are advised to hire for the duration of the trip a certified Embratur guide fluent in English. ____________________________________________________________________________________
Kofi Annan concerned by increasing civilian casualties
[This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2003/s817545.htm]
27 March , 2003 08:23:23
LINDA MOTTRAM: United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has also expressed his growing concern about the humanitarian situation in Iraq, particularly in light of the attack on the Baghdad marketplace.
Mr Annan spoke to reporters in New York during a break in UN negotiations over the proposed Oil for Food Program for post-war Iraq.
KOFI ANNAN: I'm getting increasingly concerned by humanitarian casualties in this conflict. I've just heard the reports that a missile struck a market in Baghdad, and I would want to remind all belligerents that they should respect international humanitarian law and take all necessary steps to protect civilians. Besides, they are responsible for the welfare of the civilian population in the area.
Experts See Iraq War Damaging Ecology, Health
Wed Mar 26,11:45 AM ET