Page 2 of QVK Travel Blog Posts

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Centro March 23rd 2011

Carnaval. It really deserves its own entry, doesn’t it? Ok, so it’s a more pricey venture, but truly like nothing else you’ll ever see. We left Petrópolis to arrive in Rio around 5pm. From the bus station, we cabbed it to pick up our tickets. (They’re actually these cool press-pass looking things that we wore around our necks.) Then, we had a few hours to kill before showtime so we strolled along the main streets in Rio enroute to the Sambodromo. The previous night’s floats were being ushered down the main street in one direction, while many of the on deck floats began lining up in the other. It was cool because we got to see the floats really close up; you’re walking right next to them! The streets were full of people, singing, dancing, and ... read more
Favela from the streets of Rio
Float from day one
..and another

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Petrópolis March 18th 2011

Hidden away in the Atlantic Rainforest above Rio is a fabulous little mountain town. Enchanted looking little forests and buildings with fog rolling in amongst the tree tops. It’s an oasis, straight out of a fairytale, with quite a bit of history as well. Known as the summer home of Brazil’s last Emporor as well as the home of Mr. Santos Dumont (rival to the Wright Brothers as the father of flight), Petropolis has a beautiful historic center and lots of museums. For us, it was the cheaper of the Rio Carnaval housing options and only an hour bus ride away, so we ended up there by chance. However Pousada 14 Bis (named after Santos Dumont’s famous plane) turned out to be the nicest place we’d stayed, and the town was a hidden treasure (not to ... read more
Looking out from the Pousada towards the city
The ride to Petropolis, outside of the city of Rio
Along the canal

South America » Brazil March 14th 2011

Behind on the blogging (limited internet access), BUT still among the living! More to follow....... read more

Campo Grande Short and sweet. This was more of a recovery from Pantanal/preparation for Rio town. A couple days of R and R, less sightseeing and such. Our Pousada (as the B and Bs/hostels are called in BR) was nice. #1 Problem: Laundry. Lots of stinky, wet from the Panatal clothes. Laundry mat? Does. Not. Exist. In Brazil. I’m serious! Ultimately, we had to send all our things to a laundry service and have everything, from socks to underoos to dry fit shirts, dry cleaned. How do people wash their clothes??? A question that has yet to be answered. Anyway, we pretty much asked everyone and the conclusion is that no laundry mat was available and we had no choice but to send our clothes and decide never to speak of the bill again. Outside of ... read more
The Pousada Dog
Downtown CG
The Electric Shower Head

South America » Brazil » Pantanal March 5th 2011

Well. The Pantanal. An awesome adventure in the wild! We heard from another pair of travelers that Santa Clara offered an amazing experience of the Pantanal. So we exchanged a few emails and headed on a 14 hour overnight bus ride to Campo Grande (which they pronounce Campo GahnGeee). There, Magaly, from the office met with us and discussed the details of our trip as she readied us for another ride out into the state of Mato Grasso where we would meet our guide. After about 4 and a half hours, the bus driver dropped us off, literally at a little hut on the side of the road. So, we waited...... ....and in about half an hour, an Indiana Jones-like character jumped out of a super muddy truck and greeted us. We rode for another hour ... read more
From the shack on the road side
On the boat

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Iguazú National Park February 28th 2011

Iguazu Falls! From the Argentine side you can see many of the falls close up. Not much else to do in this town, but the park kept us busy for a few days...more to follow from Brazil... read more
Butterfly in the park
A humongous spider
More wildlife

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Foz do Iguaçu February 28th 2011

We then headed across the boarder into Brazil to see the more panoramic view of the falls. Absolutely amazing. Just check out the pictures. In addition to the falls, Foz Do Iguassu in Brazil also has the worlds largest hydroelectric power plant. Actually, China has a larger dam, but because the Rio Parana has such steady flow all year, the one here produces more power. It's construction (which began in 1973) has been controversial because it drowned out tons of rainforest and amazing waterfalls, though it has created mucho commerce. It belongs equally to Paraguay and Brazil, lying on the natural boarder (the river) between the countries. There's a huge reservoir of water up top which drains into the gianormous white turbines, which then exits the dam several meters below the water's surface downstream. The waterslide ... read more
Flowers by the falls
Looking upstream towards Garganta
The falls

South America » Paraguay February 28th 2011

Pizza and empanadas and ice cream, oh my! And yet, I've never seen as many skinny jeans in my life! I'd better be careful or I'm going to be una chica gorda when I return! Well, El Soberbio was a cute little town with not much besides farming and tourism. But unfortunately for us, the river is running high and therefore fills the ravine where the falls usually,...well...fall! So there WERE no waterfalls for us to see in El Soberbio. We did stay in a cute little hostel with a lovely balcony from which we watched the afternoon rain fall. Here"s what they might have looked like: And then, it was off to Iguazu! The falls are visible from both up close in Argentina and more panoramically (?) from Brazil. We spent several days at ... read more
El Soberbio
El Soberbio
El Soberbio

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Posadas February 23rd 2011

…..and now you understand why I am currently writing to you from Argentina!!! Did not expect to be here at this point, or really to visit Posadas at all (which is, of course, just across the border from Encarnación) but it’s been nice! We stayed with a sweet older lady and her family, who run Residential Misiones, a no-frills but clean and very pleasant guest house. Her son was nice enough to give us a free ride to the bus station, speaking slowly so we could understand him, and sharing his maté with us (everyone down here carries a cup, filter-type straw, and pitcher and drinks it all day). Posadas is also a friendly town, a little heavier on the begging, especially with the children who come right up to your table and ask if they ... read more
Posadas, Argentina
Posadas, Argentina
Posadas, Argentina

South America » Paraguay February 23rd 2011

Hola Amigos! Finally! It’s been go, go, go, but at last I have a chance to update! First, let me take a moment to give a shout out to my sweat-sister, and you know who you are, Jessica Chait! This may be very hard for you all to believe (especially the salseros) but I have NEVER, EVER been as sweaty as I have been these first few days in Paraguay. I mean, 90 degrees, 200% humidity, crowded in to a bus that’s sitting completely still at a stoplight, literally dripping with sweat. O.M.G!!! Ok! Now that you’ve got that fabulous visual: Landed in Asunción, Paraguay (the capital) and spent several days there. Asunción is beautiful and friendly and so contrasty. There are shanty towns with homes made out of metal along the river, and then even ... read more
Asuncion, Paraguay
Asuncion, Paraguay
Asuncion, Paraguay

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