Saturday, March 29, 2008
The sign says that this is the Kilometer 0 for Iguassu River Navigation. Historically barges and boats started traveling down the Iguassu River and up the Negro River from this point. The name of the city where this port is located is Porto Amazonas and NO! it is not located in the State of Amazonas Brazil or anywhere in Amazonia. This Port Amazonia is in the State of Paraná, Southern Brazil, about 2 hours by bus from Curitiba. Nor is the Rio Negro mentioned above the rio Negro people visit in Manaus. This is another Rio Negro, a tributary of the Iguassu River.
Porto Amazonas boomed thanks to its riverport throughout the 19th and well into the 20th centuries. The whole of the agricultural output of the State was shipped from here to cities and ports on the Brazilian Coast. One day, railways killed the riverways and later roads killeed the trainway. Today no one uses the port anymore and the river, as a local poet puts it, is drying up, if you plunge into it headfirst you will be killed. The river is silted and life is disappaearing from it. We are watcthing the port going from KM 0 to Zero Navigation all in a lifetime.
Before our eyes the Iguiassu River dries up,
but all are too busy,
watching too much TV,
working too hard,
who has time to care about rivers?
From Daniel Caron's Portuguese blog. He lives in Superagui Island National Park, Paraná, Brazil