Page 5 of bwendorff Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Singapore May 1st 2015

In an effort to simplify the early airport trip by sharing an Uber ride, Fred graciously allowed me to crash on his couch the night before. The morning of our trip started with my alarm waking me at 4am to quick freshen up before our 4:30am departure. The night before Fred told me he had not packed yet, so I expected to see him up and moving. To my surprise, the space under his door was dark. With a knock, I opened the door and asked a simple "Fred?". I got the groaning response "What time is it?" My 4 o'clock answer received an explicit response. Fred jumped out of bed to gather his things while I went on my way to get ready. Amazingly, we managed to get down to the street for an Uber ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro September 7th 2013

As our last day in Rio de Janeiro, Andrew and I had been hoping to go downtown to see the Beehive and National Library. Unfortunately, we didn't realize it was a holiday (Independence Day) and that there would be all kinds of protests going on downtown. So instead of doing that as planned, we packed up and stored our bags before heading out with the girls around Copacabana and over to Section 9 in Ipanema (the cool part of the beach). It as perfect to walk outside and see all the locals enjoying the weather, playing sports on the beach like volleyball and footvolley, and purchasing fun souvenirs from vendors. I got a really neat magnet for me and a colorful shawl for Lauren as a thank you. The boys got coconuts from the beach vendors ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro September 6th 2013

Despite our late arrival home, I managed to get everyone up and out of bed at 10am to get ready for another fun filled day. We headed out to get a taxi to Corcovado but ended up getting a service from the hotel that brought us up the mountain, helped us get our tickets to go up to Christ the Redeemer and waited for us to take pictures. The day was beautiful so we got some amazing pictures of the city and like usual clouds covered the mountain tops. After many pictures, we shuttled it back to our van who brought us to another viewing point - which happened to be very near the helopad from the previous day. Multiple pictures later, we headed back to the hotel. To save room for a Brazilian steakhouse dinner ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro September 5th 2013

We started our morning off right with the amazing breakfast buffet before heading out on our first tour. The seven of us took a jeep tour to the jungle of the Tijuaca Forest. This is a huge hand-planted park right in the middle of the city on the mountains. In the early 1900's, the king had 10 slaves (9 men, 1 women) go about changing the coffee plantation that had been on the mountains into the rainforest we saw. It was a bit chilly in the forest, so us girls were cold because we had dressed for the beach, but it was worth it. We stopped at a number of different sites for pictures including Cascatinha Waterfall and a helopad that had an awesome view of the city and Christ the Redeemer. The memorial is actually ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro September 4th 2013

The four of us enjoyed the most amazing breakfast buffet at the Windsor Martinique hotel. It had fresh fruit, fresh fruit juices, amazing waffles, eggs, bacon, and rolls. We definitely look forward to that the rest of our trip! Outside it was raining so we decided to do a little planning before heading out to explore. Talking with the front desk we set up two events for the next day. Then we went for a walk in the rain. James joined us but Kevin stayed at the hotel because he wasn't feeling well. The five of us wandered around Copacabana and walked along the Ipanema beach. The beach was empty - no people around at all. Which if I lived in a city like that, I wouldn't pick the beach on a rainy day either. James ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro September 3rd 2013

The ride those last few hours to Rio made the whole awful bus trip worth it. The scenery was beautiful; the gently rolling hills eventually turned into mountains the closer to the city we got. We drove through a number of cute towns and cities. There was a lot less of European architecture influence here than in Argentina. We made a number of more stops to drop people off. Eventually we made it Rio de Janeiro where there were only 2 of us passengers still on the bus. From the bus station I took a taxi to the hotel, where I was a little early so had to wait for the room to finish being cleaned before I could head up. It was fine though since I had wi-fi and could shoot off a couple of ... read more

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Foz do Iguaçu September 2nd 2013

I got up early this morning to go with Jeeves to the "Tres Frontera", an area in Puerto Iguazu where you could see all 3 countries of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. We did the 30 minute walk across town in the rain (again more rain). Luckily I had my umbrella and the poncho from the previous day. Still, by the time we got back to the hostel, my shoes and pants were soaked. Jeeves left on a shuttle to the airport to head to Rio, while I grabbed breakfast and my bags to go to the bus terminal. There I got on a bus to Foz do Iguacu, the Brazilian equivalent of Puerto Iguazu. It was quite the journey to get to the Foz do Iguacu bus station for my bus to Rio de Janeiro. First ... read more

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires September 1st 2013

The bus pulled into Puerto Iguazu at around 9am. Jeeves and I disembarked, then headed across the street to the Marcopolo Inn. It was too early to check into the hostel so we dropped off our bags and got directions to the Iguazu Falls park. We stopped by an ATM for some additional pesos and grabbed lunch from the bakery before hopping on a local bus that shuttled us to the Falls. It rained the whole way there, and even turned to hail at one point. At the park entrance, we purchased a couple ponchos and headed into the park. We got there just as the parked opened so it wasn't too busy yet, so we took advantage and hit the lower two trails first. The views up to the waterfalls were fantastic going on forever, ... read more

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires August 31st 2013

Due to the late night/early morning evening, I took some time to sleep in a little so I had at least 4 hours of sleep under my belt. Finishing all my packing, I grabbed some breakfast from the hotel before checking out and heading onto my next adventure. I walked over to Hostel Estoril to make sure that my bus ticket would work even though all my passport numbers weren't listed on the ticket. Since that was good to go, I took a cab to Retiro Bus Terminal. The last thing I wanted to do was walk around the city lugging my heavy duffle bag. After a little roaming to find a bus company that would take me from Iguazu Falls to Rio de Janeiro, I got a bus ticket from Pluma for a 22 hour ... read more

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires August 30th 2013

They saved the best company visit for last. We went to a cosmetic manufacturer called Natura. They run a lot like Avon, but seem to have much better success with over $3B sales in seven Latin American counties versus the $11B for Avon from over 150 countries. The speakers were really energetic and passionate about the company. They were very willing to answer questions. Not only did they feed us, take pictures, and answer a million questions-we got to take home samples! Really interesting company and highly focused on social and environmental impacts as well as the bottom line. We ended our trip with a farewell lunch at a traditional Argentine buffet. Samantha gave us a good farewell and congrats to all those who were now done with the program (unfortunately not me). Back to the ... read more

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