Published: April 2nd 2012
March 30th 2012
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 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 BUILDING
Beautiful colonial architecture.
compare and contrast the Old and New Worlds. And springtime on the European continent is a lovely time of year.
There are more photos below