Pushing further, I asked him, knowing the entire time the upcoming answer to my question, who is the greatest footballer of all-time.
With a confused look on his face, as if the answer was so obviously carved in stone, he answered, with a slight pause to add dramatic affect to my obvious stupidity, “Maradona.”
I decided to push on, fashioning the idea that maybe Pele was a little bit better than Maradona, and that his career was a little bit more complete, a little more consistent. Needless to say, I am no longer welcomed back at that establishment.
You might be wondering what the Pele vs. Maradona argument has to do with the title of this article, and although the article isn’t about football, the competitive nature between Brazil and Argentina is. You see, throughout Argentina people constantly had told me that my arrival to Iguazu Falls would be amazing, something I already knew. They told me, “wait until you see the Argentinean side, it is the natural jewel of this continent.” Whenever I ask of which side is better I get the same answer thrown back at me as with the Maradona question: “olvidate (forget about it) the Argentinean side is much better.”
Most of those who have been to Argentina soon catch on to this pride, if not conceit, in the patriarch. Closer to Europe than Latin America, the best steak, greatest wine, most beautiful women in the world, “olvidate!!!” And although the argument about the women is debatable (see Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia), they are not too far off base on the rest of it. Where they are wrong, is when it comes to the Iguazu falls argument (and the Pele/Maradona argument… sorry Argentina).
Although the Argentinean side is incredible and trails through an amazingly large section of the falls offering numbers of different vantage points and angles, the Brazilian side just feels a little bit more powerful.
On the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls the vantage point has a certain explosive nature to it. On the Argentinean side of the falls you feel like you are on top of them, looking down. However, from the vantage point offered by the Brazilian side, you feel like you are within the falls. The mist flies through the air and spatters your cheeks with a refreshing tingle, the fresh scent of scent of stirred waters finds a way to nestle in your nose as you breathe in the moment, and the crashing power of the water can almost overwhelm one’s sense of being.
In my article about the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls I spoke a lot about the crowds, I spoke a lot about how a simple loss of one’s patience could easily ruin the experience, on the Brazilian side that is not at all the case. This side of this world wonder is speckled with tourists in comparison and you’ll rarely find yourself jostling for position to take a photo or to have one taken.
I’m sorry Argentina, and I’m only saying this because I love you, but the Brazilian side is better.