A Planet Pilgrim’s Perspective on the Drowning of the World’s Largest Waterfalls, the Guairá Falls in Brazil :
The famous coffee plantations of Brazil stretch to the border with Paraguay. In 1981, you could hear a constant, thunderous sound from thirty kilometres away as you approached the border. The following year, that sound ceased. The largest series of waterfalls, by volume and flow rate, on Planet Earth, had been drowned by what became the largest hydroelectric project on Earth, at that time.
Construction of the Itaipu Dam resulted in the complete inundation of Sete Quedas, Seven Falls in Portuguese. Outside of South America, these mighty waterfalls on the Parana River were most commonly known as the Guairá Falls. They were only twenty kilometres north of the touristically celebrated Iguazu Falls, higher but much smaller.
It was an honour and a privilege to be able to make a personal pilgrimage to the falls the year before they disappeared. That’s what the above photo is all about. Constant travel year after year formed the seed of an idea that was eventually conceptualised as “Planet Pilgrim”.
The Tales of Marco Polo, gypsy trading, spiritual searching, the Age of Discovery and a myriad of other curious flames of interest for human culture and faraway places, all fed a driving desire to touch and be touched by this planet. Earth may necessarily be seen as sacred for people, if we consider that the human race is nurtured and evolves through the experience of generations of revered ancestors, just as Planet Earth has nurtured and stimulated life.
Aside from this approach to life as a pilgrim on our sacred earth, Planet Pilgrim, in its conception as a World Gift Shop, offers human hand-made curiosities, traditional and Indigenous handicrafts and cultural artefacts of interest and fascination to world travellers and people who could identify as, or with, a planet pilgrim.
The Planet Pilgrim venture encompasses the intention to share an appreciation of the poetic synergy within nature, people’s beliefs and human cultural diversity on this blue dot screaming through the universe.