Archive for the Category »South America «

Getting to Europe the old-fashioned way

We took slow travel to a new level as we spent 21 days travelling by ship from Santos, Brazil to Venice, Italy.  Along the way, we stopped at six ports of call in Brazil and five ports of call in Europe. 

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Leaning towers of Santos

About 80 km from Sao Paulo, Santos has the biggest seaport in Latin America and it is from here that we board our transatlantic cruise.  So it made sense to spend our last few days in this area, even though we had been warned this was not the nicest tourist destination.

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Scratching the surface of São Paulo

With a population of 11+ million in the city and almost 20 million in its metropolitan region, to say São Paulo is big would be an understatement.  In fact, São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and America, and the world’s sixth largest city by population.

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Getting to Iguazú Falls in style

Much to my great dismay we arrived in Iguazú Falls a full hour ahead of schedule.  This meant one hour less on the most luxurious bus I’ve ever been on.  Perhaps I’m being a little facetious, but I’m not kidding about our very enjoyable 17 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú (Bus company: Via Bariloche, Full Cama Service, if anybody is planning a trip).

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The sights and sounds of Buenos Aires

Our time in Buenos Aires has passed by far too quickly.  We are spending our days wandering around the various neighbourhoods and visiting some of the tourist sites, walking endlessly. I discovered the Reserva Ecologica which is a beautiful ecological park about 2km from our apartment and a perfect place to go for a run.

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Roughing it at Cerro Fitz Roy

Camping means different things to different people.  For some, it means driving the luxury trailer complete with all the conveniences from home to a nice camp ground where setting up is a simple matter of hooking up your electricity and sewer.  

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Torres del Paine in all its glory and ferocity

Our hopes for hiking the “O” circuit in Torres del Paine were immediately dashed upon arrival at the park entrance when a park ranger informed us that the north west trail near the infamous Gordon Pass was covered in knee-deep snow and another blizzard was heading that way in just three days – exactly the time we would be reaching that part of the trail.  

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Patagonia here we come

At the end of our Antarctica cruise last Wednesday, we flew to El Calafate because this was the fastest, most direct way to get to Puerto Natales which is where we would get ourselves organized for our big trek in Torres del Paine.  

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We’re at the end of the world in Ushuaia

Last Sunday we arrived in Ushuaia, the southern most city of South America nicknamed “the end of the world”.  This slogan is well used throughout the city, appearing on clothing, menus, tourist attractions, road signs, etc.

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Isla Magdalena: Home to 120,000 Magellanic penguins

I wanted to be wowed, and Isla Magdalena delivered with its breeding colony of more than 120,000 Magellanic penguins.  This small, uninhabited island lies inside the infamous and important Magellan Strait at the southern end of South America, at the tail end of Patagonia and just north of Antarctica.

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