A Travellerspoint blog

Ok the body is in Meltdown! R and R is required I think!

Rio De Janerio - Brazil, Santiago - Chile

sunny 26 °C
View Map 2 - 30 Rio to Santiago on krystalmat's travel map.

Matt typing

Wednesday the 25th of Febuary

After waking up with heavy eyes again we were glad to hear that Rio Carnival has offically ended! I don´t mean that in a negatative way at all as it was an awesome time and we had a ball but some rest was clearly on the cards!

We got our stuff together and checked ourselves out of our lovely hotel and caught a taxi back to into the land of abackpacker. To a 9 person dorm in a hostel! Rus, one of the guys we have been hanging out with booked 6 beds in a hostel for him, Bobby, Simon, Tish, Krystal, and I. If you don´t know who these poeple are they are the guys we have spent crnival with. So a 9 person dorm is not that bad when you own 2/3´s of it!

Once we all got ourselves sorted Krystal and I decided that we should really see a little bit more of Rio besides the street parties that we have done for the past few days in carnival. Our Lonely Planet book had a self guided walking tour around the centro area of the city so we grabbed the underground and heaed out there.

We should have stuck to street parties cause this so called walking tour sucked! We spent an hour and a half walking around the CBD of Rio and the highlight of it was having Rus and Bobby company so we could have a chat while walking. Once finished we headed back to Botafago (where we were staying) and Krystal and I wandered over to the shopping plaza to see what we could find and also to check out a restraunt here called the Aussie Outback for dinner for all of us. We quickly decided against dinner here after seeing the menu prices but to my delight, and Krystal dreading saying anything they were playing the Liverpool v Real Madrid Champions League game! So we watched the reds win 1 nil, had a couple of beers and also some Kookaburra wings! Well thats what they called them on the menu anyhow. Along with roo burgers, shrimp on the barbie, joey snacks, plus the good old blokes and sheilas on the bathroom doors!

We met up with the other guys for dinner and not surprisingly we all ordered soft drinks and waters and called it a pretty early night as I think all were pretty keen for some rest! We headed back to the hostel had a shower and crashed out for our first PM goodnight in Rio

Thursday the 26th of Febuary

Up nice and early this morning and refreshed (well kinda) we were up and ready for our tour that we organised to the Fevelas of Rio. Well not all of them as there are currently 978 ¨Favelas¨in Rio so we were taken to one of the largest, that being Rocinha. A Fevela in English is known as a shanty town. It is usually very crowded, plagued with rubbish and sewage, and can be very dangerous if in the wrong place. Majority of the time Fevelas are run by drug lords who are more than happy to use their weapons if they feel the need. Countless shoot outs with the police are not uncommon in these areas. The only way (safely) for us to go there was by a guided tour that we booked directly through our hostel with a company called Be A Local. The company name is quite the opposite but I will explain that later.

We were picked up from the hostel and taken to the bottom of the Rocinha Fevela. From here the way to the top was on the back of a motorbike driven by a crazy crazy local! We flew between traffic, no helmet, no real grip, and absolutely shitting ourselves. Well I know I defenitely was as my man managed to be the first up to the top of the hill. I think I can safely speak for Krystal also as she looked quite relieved to get off the back of her bike also!

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From the top of the hill we were then taken through the tiny streets and slowely but surely we made our way to the bottom of the hill and back out into the real world as we know it. It was a very interesting tour and it was the kind of thing that clearly makes you appreciate what you have. During the walk down our guide explained certain things about the Fevelas in particular majority of the Fevela has electricity but 99% of it is illegally hooked up to the powerlines throughout the area. Power poles would have hundreds of lines on them leading in all different areas around the place. He also took us into a local daycare centre where infants are cared for. This place I felt was pretty sad as the little kids have such innocent faces and not a care in the world, but in the future they will be exposed to the biggest problem in the world, poverty!

We both enjoyed the tour but also felt like we were invading and imposing on someone elses misfortune in life. I mentioned earlier that the company was called be a local, we were quite the opposite really. We walked around with our cameras, taking pictures when we were told its ok and safe, being taken into a little house and shown local art to buy, shown some kids play the drums with a bucket and stick then ask for money and so on. Still it was a learning experience and I guess the best way to learn is to experience it as best you can.

We were dropped back at our hostel around lunchtime and once under control we made our way to Copacabana beach. This was a must because considering we had been in Rio for nearing a week now we had not yet made it to this ¨world¨famous beach. Firstly though we had a little shopping to adhere to and that consisted of us purchasing as many pairs of Havaianas as we could. 6 pairs later we were out of the shop and under control!

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We headed to the beach where much to our delight it was much much quieter than what I am sure it would have been like during Carnival. I think this had a lot to do with why we didn´t come down here earlier. I had a couple of swims, Krystal relaxed on the sand and we both enjoyed the sunset coming down over Rio for our final time.

From the beach we headed to a local bar called the Mud Bug where we met the other 4 for some pre dinner drinks. After a few beers Simon, Tish, Krystal, and I headed across the road for a great dinner and lots and lots of Caipirinhas! We spent the next 4 hours in the same spot and stumbled out rather happier than when we strolled in. We thought hey one more will do us so back to the Mud Bug for another round of Caipirinhas!

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We decided to call it a night and after a slight mishap with the bill and many angry Portuguese yelling at us we got in a cab and got out of Copacabana and back to our hostel safely and much to our relief into bed for what we new was going to be a rough day tomorrow!

Friday the 27th of Febuary

Ouch, that alarm hurts the ears was the story of our dorm! We were up at 7:30, showered, dressed and packed by 8:30, and on our way to the airport for our flight out of Brazil. We said our goodbyes to the others and thanked them for a great week together and hopped into a cab for the airport. Having met some great people all in all 9 of us during Rio really made our experience all that much better as I think it is defenitely a place where you want to be around good friendly people to really enjoy yourself! So thanks to you all especially Charlotte and Steve who are now back in Australia!

Can´t really write much more other than the fact we spent the next 9 hours in irports and planes before finally landing in Chile. We made our way through customs, paid the stupid USD61 entry tax before getting our bags and heading to our hostel via a transfer.

Much to our delight the final hostel that we chose turned out to be cheap and great! We have our own room with cable tv, free interent, great movie selection, and located perfectly! We have decided that we will be doing as much relaxing as possible over the next 3 days before our flight home.

We grabbed some dinner across the road then headed back to the hostel for some well deserved rest and crashed out around 11pm

Saturday the 28th of Febuary

Exactly to plan we sleapt in until 11am before slowely getting ready for the day. We decided that something different should be in store for today so instead of the usual city touring and so forth we made ur way to the horse racing! We were bopth really keen to this as it was something different to what we had recently been up to, that was until we walked outside and it was raining! We decided to persist with it and head out there only to again be dissapointed when arriving at the track to find out the races were not on there today and they were at another track!!! We decided to take our loses and headed back out of the rain and to the hostel to relax for the afternoon. Not much else to report other than we went out for a nice dinner then back to the comforts of our room and our cble English chnnels on TV!!!

Sunday the 29th Febuary

Agian same deal as the day before up late, slow to get ready, and again missing breakfast! This was working out well as the hostel didn´t include breakie so we felt we were saving money this way. We wandered into town grabbed some lunch and then headed to catch the fenicular that was here to get some views of the city. We headed up and ejoyed what we saw before grabbing an ice cream and making our way back down to the town. We both felt satisfied with our viewings of Santiago (hey we saw the whole thing in one hit!!) and headed back to the hostel for a back to back movie afternoon! Awesome and the first time we have laid and relaxed on a cuch for quite a while.

Once movied out we decided that tonight being our last night in South America we should treat ourselves to a nice fairwell dinner and that we did! Krystal had a beautiful Salmon and prawn dish while I had skewers with chicken, lamb, prawn, and grilled veggies all washed down with a bottle of Merlot produced in Chile! We both left very satisfied and excited knowing that tomorrow we would be flying home to see our much missed family and friends!

Our next and final blog will be from Australia so thanks for reading, sorry to bore you and we will see you soon for some real life stories!!!!

Love

K and M

Posted by krystalmat 02.03.2009 08:26 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Rio Carnival Baby!

Rio de Janerio, BRAZIL

sunny 32 °C

- Krystal typing -

Friday the 20th of February - Day 1 of Rio Carnival!

Not a brilliant start to the 2009 carnival for us as we spent the first half of the day on a bus.

By 1pm we were in a cab which had pulled up at the front of a very nice hotel, and we were greeted by a couple of bell boys wanting to take our backpacks. Sooooo this is how the other half travel! As much as we both like backpacking, what a place to spend our last week, especially during carnival!

Matt had prebooked a carnival accomodation package nearly 6 months ago. It was abit of a mission to find something that didn´t involve us staying in a 14 man dorm (which included 5 double beds so I´ll let you imagine what that would be like), but Matt managed to find this deal for practically the same price!

We checked in and soon bumped into Charlotte and Stev, we`d arranged to meet them at our hotel so we could go check out Christ the Redeeemer Statue - the gigant statue of Christ at sunset. A quick stop off in Copacabana to meet up with a few other people they`d met along the way and we were our way.

All 9 of us jumped into a few cabs and headed to the base of the mountain that the statue sits on. We all piled into the mini train that leads to the top of the mountain and were greeted with spectacular views of the city - very spectacular! Very nice first impression of Rio! The reason why the view was so good was the unique landscape of the city with it´s very varied shoreline. There were little bays, beaches, lakes and islands popping up everywhere, sections of land that were green and lush and then huge built up areas with massive highrise buildings. Would have to say it is my favourite city viewed from above! The Statue of Christ was also pretty cool!

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Once back down the bottom of the mountain we jumped in some cabs and headed back to Cococabana to grab a feed and hopefully find a street party somewhere. We went to an awesome little place for dinner that was cheap and tasty and then headed to the Mud Bug bar for a few bevvies. After that we went on a little walk in search of a street party but were out of luck, to our suprise we couldn´t find one, which we thought was strange since it was day 1 of carnival. So back to the bar it was, before heading back to our palace!

Saturday the 21st of February - Day 2 of Carnival!

Woke up this morning, did the usual, showered, dressed and headed down for some breakie. Expect this time it wasn´t the usual, we´d stepped into breakfast heaven! Lets just say there was a slight bigger selection than bread and jam!

After stuffing overselves with mango we headed across the road to a conference room where Kumuka was holding a meeting for pickup of prebooked tickets Samabadrome - the main parade of carnival. All went smoothly and we were very relieved to have our tickets locked away in our hotel safe.

After that we headed out to our local beach, Flamengo beach, for some late morning baking and a swim. The cool thing about the beaches in Rio is that there are little green lush steep islands poking up in fron the horizon - very pretty.

After cooking both sides, front and back, we headed back to the hotel for a shower and then made our way to the metro to catch up with a few of the guys from last night. We´d arranged to catch a train out to macarena stadium together and buy some tickets at the ground, as it was much cheaper than doing an organised package.

Now as you can imagine, catching up with 8 other people without mobile phones can be some dramas! We´d organised to meet on the last carriage of the train headed for the stadium at a certain time at our tube station. And I must stay, with a few little hipcups we did quite well!

We got to the staduim, lined up for some tickets and headed in, it was huge, which I guess is to be expected since it´s the largest in South America. Playing was Flamengo (the area of Rio that the two of us are staying in) Vs Resende, the first semi final of Guanabara's Cup. So it was easy enough to decide who we were going for! As it turned out, Flamengo also happened to be red and black, it was meant to be for Matt!

We soon discovered we´d brought tickets to the wrong section of the ground, so we decided we´d try and sneak into the area where all the die hard fans were, which we did with a breeze - not much security at all. Now having liven in London and going to the footy there, I remember thinking how passionate the english were about the footy. Well..... the Brazilians were crazy!!! With all their chants, drums and actions, I nearly thought they were more interesting than the footy (shhh don´t tell Matt I said that)!

Final score ended up being 1-3, we got to witness Flamengo´s first lost of the season! We did get to see the crowds reaction to a goal, which was amazing, even more amazing to see another one quickly taken away from them (big deal... off side, pfft).

After the game Matt and I along with Steve and Charlotte decided to go suss out a blocko (street) party that was happening in Lapa. We´d learnt from the meeting that morning that about 5 or 6 happen each day, and had managed to get a sheet with all the details of each.

People were everywhere! There were bands with drums, people dancing, little trollley stores selling alcohol and people drinking. It was mayhem! After a few caipirinhas (beware! 39%), which is a cheap local cocktail that everyone seems to drink, we met up with the others, found a spot and stayed there for the next couple of hours, before Matt got really drunk and wanted to go home!

Matt Typing

I can safely say one thing, Beware of the Caipirinhas! They are nothing but straight spirit with a little ice and some lime! I though think it was responsible of me to suggest we go home, don´t you????

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Back to Krystal typing

Sunday the 22nd of February - Day 3 of Carnival!

After a wee bit of a sleep in, still feeling really tired, but unable to pass up the awesome breakie, we got up and ate. We headed out to the beach again for another baking session but soon discovered every man and his dog was doing the exact same thing, and it wasnt the relaxing with 80 million kids running past. We decided to head back to the hotel and hang out on the roof top beside the pool.

We planned to take it easy today, as tonight was Samabadrom night!!! Yay!!!

Now for those of you who don´t know, because I didn´t either, the main event of carnival is the parades that happen at the Samabadrom, which is an organised event, not just people dressing up and walking down any old street in Rio. A main street is blocked off with grandstands on one side and boothes on the other.

The main reason of the parade is for all different Samba schools compete aganist eachother to try and win that year´s title, and is pretty much the climax of the whole festival. All the best samba schools compete on the Sunday night, and we´d splurged on some sector 3 tickets for that night, being tonight!

We got to the Samabadrom early, saved some seats for Charlotte and Stev, and sat on the hard concrete for a couple of hours waiting for the parade to begin.

After some fireworks, the first of the 6 schools competing tonight began their parade, and wow, it was amazing! The colours, floats, luxurious costumes and size of each school were spectaular! Each school has around 5000 participant, and to have this many costumes with such detail was unbelieveable - and that´s just one school!

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The schools are given an hour each on the runway to strat their stuff, but of course everyone goes over a little. We managed to make it through 4 of the 6 schools, but hung out for half of the 5th as they were reining champions from the year before - by this time it was 4am. We´d spent 7 hours watching the parade, plus another 2 waiting for it to begin, we were done!

As the 5th school´s parade was coming to an end, we decided to head out before there was a mass exit and grab a cab. We managed to make it back to our hotel and watch the rest of that school on tellie, before falling asleep and pumping out some Zs.

An amazing event, something we both will remember for a very long time I´m sure!

Monday the 23rd of February - Day 4 of Carnival!

This morning, again we couldnt say no the hotel breakie, so we stumbled out, ate, and headed straight back to our bed!

By 1pm we managed to make it out of our hotel and headed down to Ipanema Beach, where Stev and Charlotte were staying, which is one of Rio´s most famous beaches, second only to Copacabana. It was abit of a mission to get there since our tube stop was closed, but it turned out to be a blessing as we got to walk along Botafogo beach on the way which was quite nice.

We made it to their hostel, headed out to a bar for some caipirinhas, then caught up with the rest of the clan, before heading to the beach (more caipirinhas) to watch the sunset. And then making our way to a pizza place for yes, pizza and more caipirinhas!

Tuesday the 24th of February - Day 5, final day of Carnival!

Today we had a lazy day during the day, in prepartion for the last night of carnival!

Quick spill on carnival actually. It started as a pagan celebration in Rome, and made its way to Rio and is now known as "one of the greatest shows on earth"

Carnival always takes place on the 5 days in the lead up to Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of lent - the 40 day period of fasting. There is a catholic tradition of eating up all the eggs, milk and sugar before the beginning of lent, as they are forbidden foods during the fasting period.

It´s the same sort of idea for the Brazilians, however they do things alittle different. Instead of giving up sugar and eggs, they are meant to give up bodily pleasures. So instead of feasting on the yummy foods before Ash Wednesday, they have a 5 day celebration of flesh!

Anyway, back to what we did, which was not alot during the day. In the afternoon we met up with one of the girls we´d been hanging out with, and headed to a blocka party near our hotel in Flamengo.

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We had a few drinks there and abit of a boogie to the drums before we got talking to a couple of locals. They were really nice guys, and we all decided we´d go to the next blocka party in Lapa together since this one was starting to die down.

We arrived at Lapa and was greeted by mayhem! It was bigger then the party a few nights back. There was another drum band playing that were starting to move away from the main area. We all decided we´d go follow them, so for the next hour or so we wandered through the streets behind the drums and were amazed at how big the blocka party had gotten, there were people everywhere for streets and streets!

After awhile we decided to make our way back to the main part of the party, holding own noses and dodging puddles of wee! The street party was great, they just need to remember to get some porta loos for next year tho! After a few more drinks we made our way back to our hotel and crashed.

Carnival done!

Posted by krystalmat 28.02.2009 11:04 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Now that´s a lot of water!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Foz De Iguazu Brazil

sunny 32 °C

Monday the16th of Febuary.

Matt Typing

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KRYSTAL!

Ok so what is the best way to begin your birthday? Sitting on a night bus for 14 hours!!! Ok so the beginning of Krystals birthday was not the greatest but the destination was pretty darn impressive. We were on our way to Iguazu Falls, the biggest and most amazing falls in the world and we arrive at the bus station around 8am that morning. We grabbed our bags and jumped into a taxi with another 2 girls who were going to the same hostel as us and we were on our way. Iguazu Falls in shared by both Brazil and Argentina and we were staying in the Argintina side for 2 days and then Brazil side for 1 more night before taking off.

We arrived at the hostel, checked in and then headed to their travel desk to sort out what we could do regarding the falls. While sitting and waited we bumped into a couple of Australians who we have seen along the way, the last time being 7000kms south in Southern Chile. We chatted to them briefly and they filled us in on what they did and how they did it and so on before telling us that they were headed to the Brazilian side that morning. We decided to go along with them to the Brazlian side so we booked a transfer, chucked our bags in the luggage room and we were on our way. Again we had to cross back through the border so out we hopped and got our entry and exit stamps for Brazil and Argentina (we got 6 stamps in there today!!) before making our way to Iguazu Falls.

The falls has been something that we were both really looking forward to and when we arrived got our first glimpse of the volume of water it didn´t let us down! The walked through the park and everywhere you looked there seemed to be another waterfall to your left and another to your right and they were getting bigger and stronger the further you went along. After walking for an hour or so we were presented with our first views of the biggest fall fall on offer, the Devils Throat. It was amazing the the strength that it had behind it was unbelievable! We hung around for a little while longer before heading back to the gate and getting our transfer back to our hostel.

With the afternoon still available to us we relaxed and hung around the massive pool that we had at our hostel as this place was really more a backpackers resort rather then a hostel of any sorts. We had a couple of drinks and chatted with some others staying before me Krystal, Charlotte, and Steve headed into town for a birthday dinner. The 4 of us ordered wine, entrees, sides, and a huge 4 person BBQ which we all enjoyed and then washed it down with some dessert and a free bottle of Champange courtesy of the restraunt for Krystals birthday. We headed back around midnight, had a drink with the pthers at the hostel and then hit the hay. All in all a great day with some great company and for a birthday not at home, I am pretty sure Krystal had a good one!!

Tuesday the 17th of Febuary

A little bit of a slow start this morning due to last nights celebrations we were up and on the bus around 9am making our way out to the Argentinian side of the falls. There is alot more on offer on this side with majority of the falls (FYI there are approx 275 different falls in this park!!) actually being on ARG and not the BRA side.

We entered the park, grabbed a map, worked out our plan of attack and we were on our way.

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For the next hour or so we walked through a trail that eventually ends at the base on the area and from here you could look up at the falls surrounding you and also you had the option for a boat ride out on the water.

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All be it a rip off we had to do it as when else do you get to be driven underneath a waterfall! The ride was good fun and at one point we were driven under the San Martin waterfall (2nd biggest I am pretty sure behind the Devils Throat) and were completely drowned! Mind you the humidity out here is so bad the water was quite pleasent. Once back on dry land we walked around for another hour before making our way back to the top in a great number of huffs and puffs so walk across another trail that offers views from above. Once this was down we were hot hungary and nearly at the end of our waterfall experience.

The final thing that we had to encounter was a close up view of the Devils Throat that could be seen from this side of the park. Yesterday was had great views looking up the throat but today you could get a train and about a 1km walk and be pretty much on top of it! We had some lunch in the line waiting for the train and within 30 minutes we were standing there in awe and admiration of what power and beauty mother nature can offer!! The power was amazing and it was o a moment that no words had to be spoken as looking at what was in front of you said it all for itself.

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We spent 30 minutes or so here before calling it a day as the heat was unbearable and we headed back to the park, grabbed our usual magnet, (I am tipping we are up to 50 of these things by now. I am going to have to get a big fridge to fit them all on it!! Thats ok though we can put more beer inside it then) grabbed the local bus back to our hostel and went to the pool to relax and cool off.

We hung around the pool for a while and met up with a couple of Dutch guys we stayed with in Floranopolis and an Aussie guy who offered to cook us dinner as he was going to the supermarket to get a cheap meal. With that offer we thought why not and he made a very very very basic pasta which I will add was not his fault as what was on offer in the corner store was very very basic. Still what more do you want for 5 pesos a person (about AUD2.30).
After dinner Krystal decided to have an early one and headed off to bed around 9:30 so I stayed out met a bunch of people and made it into the dorm around 2:30am ready to collapse!

Wednesday the 18th of Febuary

Originally we thought we would need 3 days here at the falls but once we arrived we realised that 2 was plenty so today we decided to relax and get up to date with things on the computer (blogs, photo´s all that kinda crap). We packed our bags, grabbed a cab and headed back across to Brazil where we were spending the night before getting our 23 hour bus to Rio for carnival!!! This is our final bus ride and we are both extremely pumped and relieved about that I can tell you.

So pretty cruisy and boring day really. Mind you it is again hot hot hot so we just took it easy, spent hours in the internet cafe as the air conditioner is awesome in this place before having an early dinner and calling it a night.

Thursday the 19th of Febuary

Ok so this day will be short and sweet. Woke up, got a taxi to the bus terminal, got on a bus and spent the next 25 hours in it! I can´t really write much else other than that was the final bus that we have to encounter on this trip! Thank god for that!!!!

Ok back up to date and the next entry will be Rio Carnival baby!!!!

See you all soon

M and K

Posted by krystalmat 06:51 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Life´s a beach!

Florianopolis, BRAZIL

sunny 33 °C
View Map 2 - 28 Florianopolis to Iguazu Falls & Map 2 - 27 Buenos Aires to Montevedio on krystalmat's travel map.

- Krystal typing -

Wednesday the 11th of February

We woke up this morning and were greeted by another beautiful breakie, this time fresh fruit (an abodence of mango) and wait for it... toast!!! It´s been nearly six months since we´ve sunk our teeth into some and it was great. Its funny how much you miss the simple things sometimes.

We donned our togs and were ready to hit the beach. After looking at the map of the island we finally decided to go visit Praia Mole - one of the 20 odd beaches the island has to offer. We walked down to the main straight, jumped on a bus and not long later we were there.

The weather was looking pretty ordinary, it was really overcast but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, perfect temp for a sun bake! The beach was really nice, it stretched for a few hundred metres and had plenty of surfers. Plenty of Brazil woman strotting their stuff in itsy bitsy bikini tops and matching g-strings also - no matter what their bum size! We were by far the whitest ppl on the beach, everyone has such beautfully tanned skin.

After a couple hour session we walked up to he hill top and had some lunch before heading back down to the sand for a little more laying. After that we jumped on a bus and headed back to the hostel for a few drinks and some more laying in the hammocks.

We headed out to the main street for dinner with two dutch guys, an irishman and a perth couple who were also staying at our hostel. After dinner we headed across the road to an open air surf bar for a few more drinks and then headed back to the hostel calling it a night - well I did, matt decided he needed more beer and stayed up for awhile with a few of the lads.

Thursday the 12th of February

After another yummy breakie we were again looking at the map thinking hmmm which beach to visit today. This time we decided on one called Barra da Lagoa, which is meant to be one of the biggest and busiest beaches of the island. Jumped on another bus, arrived and were greeted by masses of umbrellas and tanned bodies (with exposed bum cheeks again!)

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We walked along the masses of people until we found a nice little spot and settled down for another baking session. The weather today was awesome, not a cloud in the sky, but it was really windy. So after an hour or so of getting burried in sand we went for a dip in the ocean to try and clean ourselves and then decided it was time to grab some lunch and some drinks.

After a few more swims we headed back to the hostel, attempted to rid ourselves of the sand that was in every little orifice and then headed to the fridge for some drinks. We headed down to the main street again with the clan from the night before for some dinner and then headed out to a bar were we spent the rest of the night. One of the locals saw us watching her do the samba and pulled us over to teach us.

Friday the 13th of February

After getting home at 4am we were in no hurry to get up and out of bed, and after finding out we were a little (very little mum) sun burnt we decided to have a lazy day hanging around the hostel, reading in the hammocks and really just doing nothing. Although we did manage to head down to the supermarkert and cook some spag bowl for lunch. The hostel was having another cook up, this time a traditional brazilian dish - a stew of black beams, rice, salad and the yummy fried bananas. Was a cheapish night as you could BYO wine, and buy cheap beers out of the fridge. Matt headed out into town later on while I hit the hay.

Saturday the 14th of February

Happy Vday! Hope everyone at home got covered in chocolates and kisses - as I didnt since Matts a valentine scrooge!

Nearly made it to a PM sleep in again this morning, getting up just before and missing breakie. We decided to head back to the same beach we went to two days ago, Barra, but as we were waiting for the bus we noticed another bus headed to the near by beach of Joaquina and managed to flag down the driver and jump on.

Happy we did as we ended up rating this beach number 1 by the both of us.

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Today we decided to be wise and get a beach umbrella so that we didnt get totally fried, just a nice golden brown! After turning a few times and a couple of swims we hopped under the shade and laid and relaxed. Matt got a cheese stick from one of the local guys, which is block of mozzarella cooked on some hot coals in front of you and then dipped in a bag of herbs - very yummy, seems to be a Brazilian thing at all the beaches. While I snacked on a doughnut stick dunked in sugar with caramel running through the middle... mmm... another Brazilian speciality!

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Headed back to the hostel and hung about for awhile heating up our spag bowl from the day before. We were laying in hammocks out the front of the hostel having a few drinks (tough life but someones got to do it!) when we heard the noise of drums coming from the main street. We decided we´d go see what it was all about.

There was a huge festival going on, a massive tent was set up on the park land with a band of about 30 people, all playing different types of drums at one end. In the middle was about 30 Brazilian girls in little hot shorts and tiny tops and platforms shoes jiggling away to the beat of the drums. And then at the other end of the tent was a 3 man band, 2 with guitars and a singer. Have no idea why the band was there, all we could hear was the beat of the drums and had to yell to speak to eachother, but everyone seemed to be singing along - well moving their lips!

It was pretty impressive, we gathered the festival was to annouce the main girl - the queen bee if you like, for their parade in the district´s carnivale float. Was a little taster for what´s to come in a few days time in Rio!

We stuck around for an hour or so before the band stopped so we headed back to the hostel calling it a night.

Sunday the 15th of February

Today we were catching a night bus to Foz do Iguacu so had to check out of our lovely room. After some breakie and putting our bags into storage we headed down to the lake to kill some time. Sat under a tree relaxed and played some cards before heading back into town for some lunch.

Wasnt the most eventful day, after lunch we headed back to the hostel and hung about in the hammocks before jumping in cab and heading to the bus terminal, ready for our second last bus of the trip!

Posted by krystalmat 15.02.2009 09:04 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Montevideo. We came, we saw, we left!!!

BA Argentina, Montevedio Uruguay

sunny 30 °C

Friday the 6th of Febuary

Matt Typing

After another late night, full stomach (steak and wine) we got ourselves out of bed at 12pm!!!!! Krystal was very impressed by this and thinks its the first time she has ever known me to sleep in until PM.

We got ourselves showered and dressed andheaded out for some lunch (missed breakfast) before jumping on the underground and heading to one of the famous attractions of BA, La Recoleta Cemetery. This place is where the most important people ever to be involved in BA or Argentina for that matter are laid to rest. It was quite an amazing place and the temple/tombs were bigger than you could imagine. The most important person to be buried in this place was a lady by the name of Eva Peron who was the presidents wife in the early 20th century and also famous for her devotion to the poor within Buenos Aires.

Once satified with ourselves and everything we had seen in BA we walked back along the main road towards our hotel before stopping off for a relaxing drink along the way. We then headed to another steakhouse (I think we are turning into cows) and had another great meal before heading back and relaxing in the hotel for our final night in BA.

This city is an amazing place and if anyone is heading to South America make sure you give yourself planty of time here. You can spend a month very easily!!!

Saturday the 7th of Febuary

Up and at it we were this morning. Pcked and into a taxi and on our way to the port for our border crossing between Argentina and Uruguay. We were heading from Buenos ires to Montevideo via boat then bus as it was cheaper than going all the way via the boat.

We checked in, got our entry and exit stamps, and hopped on board for a quick 1 hour journey across the bay, sea, ocean whatever you want to call it! We arrived in no time and headed to the bus terminal and then on our way again we were! 2 and 1/2 hours later we were in the bua terminal at Montevideo booking tickets out of Uruguay! We decided that we are tired of seeing stuff that we only see because the Lonely Planet guide book tells us to and have chosen a 20 hour bus ride straight into Brazil for 5 days on the beach!

Once we sorted that part out we hailed a cab and made our way to our hostel. We arrived only to be greated by this ding bat (great aussie slang) of a lady who had no idea what was going on! This was the first time of many. After many conversations of Spanish (which we are no pros at) we finally managed to show her our booking and that we had booked for a 4 person dorm, not a 16 like she was trying to put in in.

After the dramas we headed into town to see what was happening and the difference between here and BA was amazing! It was a ghost town. Completely dead at 6pm Saturday night!

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We walked around for a little while, I had some rocks thrown at me by a little kid wanting a cigeratte before heading for some dinner (steak again) and some drinks. From there we headed bck to the hostel as there was nothing going on and called it a night.

Sunday the 8th of Febuary

Up and out to the breakfast table nice and early this morning and we were treated to a great feed and beautiful fresh fruit. It was proberly the best breaky we have had since being in hostels in SA i think. After breakfast and another run in with the stupid lady of the hostel we headed out for a walk along the water. It was a nice relaxing day and we wandered round until about 3pm before making our way to the supermarket to collect some supplies for dinner.

We headed back to the hostel with beers in hand and set ourselves us for a few hours of TV in the common room. Watched some telly, I nearly had a blew with a Spanish guy who thought it would be good to play his guitar next to us while we watched TV. He whinged and complained to us so I told him to dry his eyes and go away which he did and we set back to watching Gladiator.

Cooked some dinner, played some table tennis and then glued our eyes to the internet and read about the devestating fires happening back home. Our hearts go out to all involved and hope things improve soon. We then headed to bed for some sleep before the 20 hour bus ride coming up tomorrow.

Monday the 9th of Febuary

Again treated to a great breakfast we packed up our stuff and handed in our sheets to check out. There was a different lady on the counter which I new was going to spell trouble as the stupid lady I have been fighting with before hd no idea about the prices of things. I got in another fight with the lady as she had another price and was adding more things to the total so it was all going swell. I told her look I dont care just give me the fricken price so we can leave! Finally sorted in out and headed into town to kill some time before our bus journey to Brazil. After lunch we hopped into a cab and headed to bus terminal and then hopped on our bed for the evening and headed out of Uruguay. We hit the border about 10pm, got our exit and entry stamps and we were on our way to relaxation!

Tuesday the 10th of Febuary

After another shitty nights sleep (well for me anyhow) we arrived in Florianopolis around 11am. We hopped off the bus grabbed our bags and headed inside the terminal to arrange a couple of bus tickets. We managed to book our final two buses that we would be taking before heading home in a matter of minutes and we were both very relieved to have everything under control and our transport into Rio for carnival settled.

Once done, we grabbed a cab and headed out of town and onto Ilha De Santa Catarina where we would be spending the next 5 nights. The island is beautiful with around 20 beaches from North to South and many resort towns, bars, and places to eat and relax. We headed to the hostel and to our disapointment had to stay under cover as the rain was coming down pretty heavy! We decided that today was not to be a beach day so we ralexed around town and in the hammocks on offer at our hostel. The hostel we are staying at is more like a beachouse that a hostel with only 22 beds in total in 4 rooms. Its a really laid back atmosphere and very very relaxing place to chat and have a drink with the others staying here.

That night the hostel was putting on a seafood dinner for whoever wanted to eat there as one of the owners boyfriends is a fisherman and he headed out that morning and caught plenty for everyone. We handed over our 20BRL (about AUD15) and were trated to a fantastic meal that seemed to never end! After dinner we sat around, had a few beers before calling it a night around midnight.

Posted by krystalmat 05:45 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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