Blogs from South America - page 2

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South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago January 15th 2019

A busy 2018 is done and it’s time for the holiday I began booking before I left on the last one. When my father mentioned the only place overseas he is interested in visiting was Antarctica, I began investigating how to make it happen. As it turns out, to get there you pretty much have to go to South America. So back to Chile I go! This time, with dad. Leaving on Monday morning, the flight to Santiago went very smoothly and actually felt quicker than last time. I’m not sure if the Dreamliner is faster, or if it was just my imagination. It was definitely worth paying extra to get a seat with more legroom though, and I actually got a pretty decent sleep for a change. I did think the food portions were a ... read more
New and Old
Santiago
Santiago

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Foz do Iguaçu January 14th 2019

We are up at 5 am this morning to fly 750 miles south-west to Foz do Iguacu on the border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The old man has survived the night without succumbing to dysentery – a fact he puts down to a combination of luck and having killed the germs by drinking caipirinhas. We have booked and prepaid for our taxi, which sounds like a recipe for disaster. But 15 minutes ahead of schedule and before we’ve even had chance to worry about what to do if it doesn’t arrive, we get a call to say the driver is in reception. One advantage of being up so early is that we see the sunrise over Rio en route to the airport. It really is something; the city and its monoliths silhouetted by the bright ... read more
Itaipu Binacional Dam
Itaipu Binacional Dam
Itaipu Binacional Dam

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana January 13th 2019

It has come to my attention that I don’t apply sunblock right up to my clothes. I have woken this morning with 3 pink rings around my neck and shoulders outlining yesterday’s vest. So this morning I am wearing a t shirt. I feel hideously overdressed is a city where the preferred attire is a bikini which barely covers your nipples. It’s our last day in Rio so we’re going up Sugarloaf Mountain. We’ve left it till last because frankly I hate cable cars. It’s not natural to hang in mid air in a glass box on a bit of wire and Sugarloaf Mountain requires some serious mid air hanging. First you take a cable car up the neighbouring Morro da Urca. Then you take a second cable car to Sugarloaf. Basically you travel a kilometre ... read more
Morro da Urca
Morro da Urca
Sugarloaf Mountain cable car

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Centro January 12th 2019

Today we are going sightseeing in Rio. So, on a sunny summer Saturday, we set of by Metro from Copacabana to the city centre. Not surprisingly, we are travelling in the opposite direction to almost everyone else. We buy Metro tickets, which are quite decorative and thus a good item for my scrapbook. However, at the turnstile, we insert the ticket and it isn’t returned. I look so disappointed that on the following journey, the old man buys 3 tickets so I have one to keep. First stop is the Bonde, the old streetcar which clambers across the Arcos de Lapa viaduct and up the hillside along cobbled lanes decorated with murals. We’re taking the Bonde just for the sake of it, so buy a return ticket, worrying that we’ll look a bit sad when we ... read more
Bonde
Bonde
Bonde mural

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Tijuca January 11th 2019

Today we’re going to see Christ the Redeemer. One of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. In the school summer holidays. I suspect we won’t be alone… The ascent is made by funicular railway. You need to purchase tickets in advance for a specified time. Turn up late and you lose your slot. So we leave ample time for the bus journey to the station. We find the bus stop, the bus is on time and we get off at the correct place; the result being we arrive an hour before our train. It’s very busy but very efficiently organised which is kind of good, because I like order and kind of bad because there’s no chance of getting an earlier train. Eventually it’s our turn to board and we set off, or rather up. ... read more
Waiting for Trem do Corcovado
Christ the Redeemer train station
Trem do Corcovado

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 10th 2019

Our first real foray into South America begins in Quito. We have a very comfortable, inexpensive Airbnb here for 6 weeks. As we did in Malaga last year, we plan to use Quito as our home base to take side trips to various sights in Equator. Next up, Galapagos Islands.... read more
Surprise welcome
Quito digs
Venezuelans

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana January 10th 2019

We get up and go for breakfast. We deal with yesterday’s dietary deficiencies by consuming a mountain of fruit – mainly mango – the sweetest, juiciest mango I have ever tasted. I also have some sausage and eggs, although there’s a slight delay in proceedings while a women attempts to light her cigarette on the heat source under the breakfast buffet. Then we set forth along Copacabana Beach. It’s 8.30 and the prom is already heaving with walkers, runners and cyclists out for their morning constitutional. It’s like an exotic Bournemouth; we have the Overcliff, they have Sugarloaf mountain. We walk the full 4 km length of the beach, and back again. By the end it is 36 degrees and we’re rather warm and sweaty. After a pit stop at a beach bar, we round off ... read more
Copacabana Beach
Santa’s post Christmas R&R
Copacabana Beach

South America January 10th 2019

I've been in Lima for 2 days and this is the first chance I've had to start writing about it. How did that happen? Maybe having 8 traveling companions has something to do with it? And lots of plans for these 2 pretour days has kept me too busy during the day and too tired at night? All good reasons! This trip is off to a great start. I'm on this adventure with my usual traveling buddies, Rochelle,Roberta, Cheryl, Carol, and Naomi, and we've added 3 lovely ladies, Wendy, Sandy, and Terry. For these 2 days we've gotten to explore Miraflores and Barranca on our own via paper street map and free walking tours. And taken a half day tour from Viator to go to the south of Lima to Pucasana. What I've seen of Lima ... read more
Devil's Mouth Pucasana
Eating for a change but this time fresh baked bread with olives.
Bread baked in clay ovens at a reststop

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana January 9th 2019

We’re off on our travels again – this time to South America, starting in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a long journey; our first day, having already spent 2 hours on a coach, consists of 13 hours of flying plus 4 hours at various airports, finishing with an hour taxi ride. I have a heavy cold. I can think of better ways to spend the day, like tucked up in bed with a mansize box of tissues watching daytime TV. But at least everything is punctual and I get the chance the read the Tattooist of Auschwitz in one sitting. We fly via Madrid with less than an hour between flights. After landing, I see the old man get my bag out of the overhead locker, then we get separated by a crazy lady who decides to ... read more
First Brazilian beer

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca January 1st 2019

We decided to make an effort for Christmas this year, so have rented a nice, modern apartment in Cuenca for a month. This is the city that we hope to move to later this year, so we have been enjoying exploring the different neighbourhoods and experiencing some traditional Ecuadorian Christmas and New Year celebrations. For the first week in Cuenca we stayed in Tortuga at an overlander campground - well, driveway - run by a very welcoming Ecuadorian family. It's a tiny little place and can squeeze in about 4 small vehicles at a push, but Miryam and Richard were so kind and friendly that we felt at home right away, and I especially enjoyed befriending their sweet 9-year old daughter Romina. We were also able to meet up with our friends Jen and Kyle, the ... read more
Christmas Eve parade
Cute kids with a basket of roasted guinea pigs!
Free chicha!




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