Colour and passion, plus a cool beach
21.04.2008 - 24.04.2008
Iguazu to Brasil
Some travel that went right to plan for a change !! arrived in Rio around midday - transfer driver didn't speak much English and I had hardly stepped into hotel than he was off .. I guess to enjoy the rest of the holiday monday. Excellsior on Copacabana Beach is pretty flash I notice it's internet prices are pretty flash too, so I resisted the hotel internet on my apart from one day .. almost $25 for a day ... but I get my moneys worth that day ... food is abundant (and cheap) beer is cold (and cheap) woman are hot (and I wouldn't know)
First tour - Up Corcovado Hill to see the statue of Christ the Redeemer ... unfortunatley for the first time on the trip the weather is not co-operating ... occasional light drizzle and heavy mist, but we take the tram up anyway ... the USS George Washington is in port and half the tram is US Navy ... also at the end bumped into Nancy from Miami whose husband is a big exec with Kraft in South America .. he works and she travels around, great life !! Right at the end I notice this couple ... and they turn out to be James & Judy farmers from Te Awamutu - good to swap stories
Picture 100 or so people standing under a statue preying that the mist will clear for some shots before we have to go down again ... the first time it cleared I was mucking around with ISO settings and the great shots I thought I got turned out to be white outs ... damn .. fortunately with 10 minutes to go there was another chance, not perfect but better than nothing. No chance of a view of the city though ... under cloud.
People always tend to pop up on tours, I catch up with another Australian couple that I last saw at Santiago airport two weeks ago ... they had been heading the opposite direction to me
A Samba band hopped on for the trip down and the whole place was rocking
That evening all four of us and another Aussie couple were off for the Brazilian Barbecue meal (Don't Stop The Meat) ... and a Samba show after that ... great colour, great cotues, great action ... really great experience
NZ'ers may remember the Tip Top Trumpet ad about how far from the beach you go for speedos to change to undies ... and when it's not right to stray from the beach in speedoes ... well they haven't heard this at Copacabana ... men of of all ages and shapes wandering blocks away from copacabana beach in nothing but speedoes ... certainly some interesting sights, of course I was more interested in the female versions ... sure are some eye openers there ... walked into a few lamp-posts because of them !!
Sugarloaf Tour in the afternoon - splendid weather and great light at the end of the day ...
Free day .... at 1.25 AM tomorrow until hopefully 8 PM I will be on three flights to get to Quito .. so slept a bit .. got some laundry done ... caught up on FotoThing
Transfer to the airport picks me up at the hotel around 5 PM ... and it turns out to be a 30 seater bus just for me ... 45 minutes in my own bus ... not that smart for the environment !!
So a long wait over 6 hrs until check in then another two for flight ... hope all goes well with flights ... Rio to Santiago via Sao Paulo ... then to Buenos Aires for next flight to Quito.
I found a power supply so laptop has been on for last 5 hrs ... sorting through some files and photos and preparing entries for this blog. A book to read on the plane, but I hope sleep may be more likely ...
South America so far ???????????????
Loving it .. getting to see some wonderful scenes .. getting by with language barely Portugeese was harder than Spanish of course ... fortunately in most of the tourist spots English is pretty common.
Hotels are a class above what I was expecting .. but given where I am and the language difficulties maybe it is better this way ... certainly nice to be pampered a bit
Travelling by yourself has advantages and dis-advantages - dinner can be lonely but I find something to keep myself occupied .. write up diary or study the country or phrase book, or watch a football game on TV
The trip from Rio to Santiago was unventful even managed an hour or so of sleep, concerns about timing were unfounded a good hour available before check in ... much the same with Santiago to Buenos Aires flight although I do have 3 hours to kill here, hence updating the blog. Seems a heck og a round about way to get to Quito ... but it is the same carrier and hopefully my bags will catch up with me there, this way I don't have to pick them up at each stop and go through customs.