Page 6 of hkwoody Travel Blog Posts


South America » Uruguay October 1st 2009

Now in our last new country. Uruguay is not on many itineraries, especially at this time of the year, which suits us just fine, it's great to be in places where we don't see the same people we've seen before. Montevideo is a human sized city with plenty of interesting streets, buildings, plazas, and promenades - great for walking around and hanging out particularly when the weather is warm and sunny like it has been today. All of that said the highlight was lunch in the Mercado del Puerto - huge, juicy, cheap steaks and red wine in a place where everybody else was a local - fantastic :-) ... read more
Graffiti, Montevideo
Montevideo Restaurant
Palacio Salvo

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro September 27th 2009

Wow what a city Rio is :-))) although we've liked a lot of the other cities we've been to this is the first time since we left Buenos Aires that we're in a place with life, soul, buzz and action. For the first time on this trip we're having to move on before we'd really like to, but if we don't we won't make Patagonia - bummer but that's how it is. When we arrived from Ouro Preto in the early morning it was grey and drizzly and stayed that way for most of the day, it meant we couldn't do much but we still walked along (a deserted) Ipanema beach. The weather had been like this for the past 3 or 4 days, apparently this almost never happens so it had to get better - ... read more
Sugarloaf
Christ The Redeemer
Sugarloaf

South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Norte » Natal September 14th 2009

Natal doesn't get much of a mention in the guidebooks but it's a pretty good place. Yesterday (Sunday) the place was lively, the beach was full of Brazilians, the restaurants busy, it was a nice place to be, probably nicer than the places the guidebooks do mention which are often full of the same people we've seen in other places. Today we've had a great fun day in a beach buggy on the beaches and in the dunes around Natal. The driver was excellent speeding up and down the faces of the dunes, spinning the back end around, pointing out interesting things and playing some excellent music on the cd. Atsuko and I were both like children at the fairground - whooping, hollering and yee hahing like a couple of American golf spectators :-))))) There were ... read more
At The Top Of The First Dune
At The Top Of The First Dune
At The Top Of The First Dune

South America » Brazil » Maranhão » Barreirinhas September 10th 2009

I know it's an odd title but it's the best I could come up with. The Parque Nacional Lencois de Maranhenses is literally at the end of the road, to keep going east from here - which is what we wanted to do - needs off road 4x4's, plenty of time, a lot flexibility and tons of patience. We don't have some of these so went on a long day trip from Sao Luis, it was a good decision and well worth the travel time, the place is sensational. After a 5am !!!!! start we got to Barreirinhas where we transferred to a Toyota Bandeirante 4x4 for the last 15km to the park entrance. After a few km we came to a long, sandy uphill climb which needed the low 4 wheel drive setting, unfortunately the ... read more
What Make Of 4 x 4 ?
View From The Top Of The First Dune
View From The Top Of The First Dune

South America » Brazil » Maranhão » São Luis September 9th 2009

Yesterday we took a trip from Sao Luis to Alcantara which is a bit over 20km away by boat - the only way to get there. There were a handful of passengers for the crossing which was a bit choppy - a swell of ~2m and whitecapped waves - but only a bit over an hour so not too bad. Alcantara is an interesting place and great for a day trip. It was built in the 18th century, fell into decay, is now being partially restored but still has a few derelict buildings and mansions in amongst the habitated places. After a great late lunch of fried fish and beer we headed down to the dock to get the boat back. When we got there there we were surprised to see dozens of people milling around, ... read more
Alcantara House
Alcantara Church
Alcantara Back Street

South America » Brazil » Pará » Belém September 6th 2009

We had a choice of 2 boats from Santarem to Belem, one that looked like a converted car ferry, the other that looked like a real Amazon cruiser built in the 40s or 50s. We chose the real Amazon cruiser. Getting onboard was more of a challenge than we expected, the guide books say that ALL boats leave from the Docas do Para which are near the middle of town, but that's not right, the N/M Santarem (our boat) leaves from Porto Derre, an industrial dock about 5 - 10km out of town. It was starting to dawn on us that there was a reason it was cheaper :-) As it had come from Manaus it was already pretty full when we got on so finding a spot for our hammocks was not so easy, but ... read more
Shrimp Seller
Boarding
Riverside House

South America » Brazil » Pará » Santarém September 4th 2009

But we're 700km from the sea !!! in Alter do Chao a beach resort in the Amazon, the sand is soft and white, the sky blue, but instead of the sea we have the Rio Tapajos, a tributary of the Amazon. It's a great place, very slow, relaxed and chilled out. And because the river is dark coloured water it's relatively acidic so there are no mosquitoes !!!! yeah !!! The place we're staying is great, a few hundred metres from the town centre set amongst trees and run by an ageing hippy who now wants to move deeper into the forest because Alter has become too busy !!!! We spent most of the day in the sunshine on the beach, which we had almost to ourselves - great. We watched the sunset with beer from ... read more
Right
Left
Sunset

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus August 31st 2009

We're are on a ship on the Amazon. With the exception of the Death Train all of our journeys so far have been by bus so it's great to be taking something different, what's even better is that the journey on this ship is fantastic and unlike anything we've ever experienced before. The journey downstream from Manaus to Santarem takes about 30 hours. On the boat there are no seats or bunks so you have to turn up with your own hammock which you hang up as early as possible in the morning although the boat doesn't sail until 1pm. If you don't bag your spot early you end up either on the bottom deck with the cargo, or near the carzeys, or both - not the way to enjoy the trip. Life onboard operates to ... read more
Colourful Hammocks
The Starboard Side
Sunset

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus August 29th 2009

Manaus has put the smile back on our faces :-) There's not much to do in the city itself but it's pretty cool anyway. All around the city is the reason for being here - the Amazon jungle. We're on a 3 day, 2 night trip, and it's awesome !!! It's interesting as soon as you leave the dock in Manaus, two rivers that come from different directions, are different colours (one is black the other a kind of milky coffee light brown), different temperatures, and flow at different speeds join in front of the city, because they're so different they flow side by side and don't mix for a few km's, it's a weird sight. After speedboat, mininbus - a VW combi - the surfer type van (seems they still make them here), and another ... read more
Flooded Forest
Jungle Trek
Jungle Trek

South America » Venezuela » Guayana » Ciudad Bolívar August 23rd 2009

After having such great times in Ecuador and Colombia Venezuela is a real disappointment. The people are OK and some of the scenery around Merida is nice, but the exchange rate problem makes everything either expensive, difficult or both. That's probably making us view everything else negatively, things that we would laugh off in a country we liked become another reason to dislike this one, and we don't like it here, both of us are looking forward to getting out. We decided to cancel our biking and paragliding plans in Merida and head straight to Ciudad Bolivar to see whether we could sort out a trip to Angel Falls. We did some research on the internet and found the best route was Merida - Barinas - Ciudad Bolivar. Stage 1 went well, we got to the ... read more




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