ADIOS y GRACIAS SOUTH AMERICA


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Published: April 2nd 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

This has been a remarkable trip and we are elated that we circled the huge continent of South America. It has been quite an eye-opener for us and a journey of discovery. Even though we honeymooned in South America 39 years ago (wow— how time flies!) we have always been drawn to Asia and Europe. But we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to see this part of the world. For us the highlights have to be the beauty of Patagonia, rounding Cape Horn and our cruise on the majestic Amazon River. South America is as diverse as it counterpart to the north. It has a fascinating history especially when you consider that the pre-European Indian civilizations were so advanced that they were able to develop calendars and astrological theories without the use of an iPad. Granted they were into human sacrifice—which always seemed to involve some unlucky virgin. All I can deduce is that if you aren’t a virgin, you don’t have to go over the 100’ falls or burn on the sacrificial altar. Maybe virtue isn’t its own reward!

We saw way too much barbed wire and too many poor children. The bars on the windows, the
KIDS ON THE BEACHKIDS ON THE BEACHKIDS ON THE BEACH

Taking their first swim lesson.
jagged glass topped fences and the graffiti were quite unsettling. The pervasive influence of the Church against a backdrop of native culture and strong development interests are constant themes in South America. Brazil is becoming an economic powerhouse leading the way for the rest of South America. But still, the disparity of wealth is astounding.

It is ironic that the government of Portugal is encouraging its young citizens to emigrate to Brazil or Angola. While at the same time South Americans are leaving their countries in hopes of finding better paying jobs in Europe. In Ecuador and Brazil we heard about kids who have been abandoned by their parents who are off to Portugal or Spain in search of a better life. But the kids are left to fend for themselves and often become involved in the drug trade, prostitution and the graffiti gangs. The various governments are working hard to solve some of the larger issues facing their countries and they are becoming more protective of their natural and human resources.

The whole continent is so diverse and so fascinating that it is definitely worth a trip here to experience all that South America has to offer. The natural beauty of Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil is a photographer's dream and a naturalist's paradise.

The last week of the voyage was like a little gift and a perfect way to end this cruise. We called at three beautiful islands—Barbados, St Lucia and St Barths. We spent all of our shore time in the warm, azure waters; snorkeling, swimming and boating. These southern Caribbean islands are quite ritzy and evoke a very European feeling.

There were many farewell parties and good-by dinners. Ray Solaire put together a wonderful 45 minute DVD detailing the many highlights of our Circle South America trip. Although this cruise was much shorter than a world cruise, it felt the same in that we had just spent 72 days with some old and new friends exploring a captivating part of this planet. Fortunately our last two days were sea days, so we could get packed and organized for the next part of this adventure which will begin with a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. While 99% of the passengers are leaving the ship in Ft Lauderdale, we just have to change cabins before heading off to Europe. It will be interesting to
BARBADOS GOVERNMENT BUILDINGBARBADOS GOVERNMENT BUILDINGBARBADOS GOVERNMENT BUILDING

Beautiful colonial architecture.
compare and contrast the Old and New Worlds. And springtime on the European continent is a lovely time of year.


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SULTAN OF QATAR'S YACHTSULTAN OF QATAR'S YACHT
SULTAN OF QATAR'S YACHT

It cost more to build than the Mariner.
FRANCK & SANDRAFRANCK & SANDRA
FRANCK & SANDRA

Out for a joy ride at the faire.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KITTY!HAPPY BIRTHDAY KITTY!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KITTY!

Celebrating with Capt Felice
CARRIBEAN SUNSETCARRIBEAN SUNSET
CARRIBEAN SUNSET

The end of another great cruise!


2nd April 2012

Waxing philosophical
I was very interested in your overall impressions of poverty, fences and the two worlds that seem to exist in S America. Interestingly, I had the same impression and comments regarding our African adventure. I think that these problems exist pretty much around the world and it all just serves to make us realize how fortunate we are to live in the good ol' US of A. Even at its worst, poverty here does not even begin to approach the depths that we have seen in our travels. I'm not sure what the answer is, but clearly this is a world issue that must either be resolved or else in the longer term it will crush the social structures as we know them. Nice to have some thoughtful consideration of the bigger issues -- it makes a change from cathedrals and castles! We share your enthusiasm for S America and have it in our sights for a future trip. Glad you enjoyed the S America experience -- enjoy the Med too!! We look forward to following your adventures from the comfort of our own living room!! Henry and Tessa
2nd April 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed your blogs and photos of South America. You have the gift of making the reader feel as if we too were on this wonderful adventure. Civediamo presto!
3rd April 2012

KU comes in 2nd at NCAA
While you are out cruising, we are doing some serious cheering for KU. We must not have yelled loud enough because they came in 2nd tonight. They have always been a come-from-behind team so I thought they might pull it off. They had a great season and were never expected to amount to anything. I will retire my KU shirt for another season. Sandy

Tot: 0.152s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 9; qc: 34; dbt: 0.0284s; 34; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 2; ; mem: 6.3mb