Diversions by Taxi: Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday 31st January 2019

The extent of my knowledge of Uruguay was slim before we arrived. I knew that it was a relatively small nation that had won two World Cups, in 1930 and 1950, although they have four stars on their badge because the Olympic Games - won by Uruguay in 1924 and 1928 - were officially recognised as the … Continue reading Diversions by Taxi: Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday 31st January 2019

An Up Side and a Down Side to Rain: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday 30th January 2019

The overnight rain cooled things down considerably, which was a relief, and that was definitely a benefit. It was overcast as we headed out early, the only people on the shuttle bus, and the temperature was quite pleasant. We arrived at the southern entrance for the Costanera Sur just after half-seven, and Micky arrived just … Continue reading An Up Side and a Down Side to Rain: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday 30th January 2019

Meat-ing Up: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday 29th January 2019

Sunrise saw us navigating the very narrow channel to the port of Buenos Aires, through the muddy waters of the Rio de la Plata, dotted with vegetation washed down from recent storms upstream. There were few birds to be seen, although a Peregrine Falcon and a Harris’s Hawk were soaring over the entrance to the … Continue reading Meat-ing Up: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday 29th January 2019

Fair Winds to Buenos Aires: at sea, 26th-28th January 2019

I think we all expected it to start getting cooler as we headed south from Rio, we have left the Tropics after all, but there was no sign of cooler weather. Indeed, several of us believed we were showing signs of heatstroke. The seas remained benign, however. One regular told me that she had never … Continue reading Fair Winds to Buenos Aires: at sea, 26th-28th January 2019

Trees Not Tourist Traps: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, Friday 25th January 2019

There is too much forest around Rio to ignore, so I had arranged for a guide to take us to Tijuca National Park in the morning. We were being picked up at seven, which seemed quite late, but it turned out the National Park did not open until eight. Our guide, Ricardo Parrini, was waiting … Continue reading Trees Not Tourist Traps: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, Friday 25th January 2019

Her Name is Rio: Iguaçu to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, Thursday 24th January 2019

I would have liked to get up at dawn and visit the falls, but tiredness and packing got in the way. There were plenty of birds around at breakfast though, as I caught up with Chestnut-eared Aracari and watched the pair of Yellow-fronted Woodpeckers provisioning their chicks in their nest hole. Chestnut-eared Aracari Yellow-fronted Woodpecker … Continue reading Her Name is Rio: Iguaçu to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, Thursday 24th January 2019

A Day Trip to Argentina: Iguazú, Argentina, Wednesday 23rd January 2019

To be a real traveler and not a tourist, you really have to cross land borders, so I fail to qualify in that respect. I have only ever crossed two borders on land requiring documentation, crossing from France to Spain to Portugal and back in 1985 in pre-Schengen Europe. Every other time I have entered … Continue reading A Day Trip to Argentina: Iguazú, Argentina, Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Magnificent: Iguaçu, Brasil, Tuesday 22nd January 2019

We had come to Iguaçu (Anglicised as Iguassu) with the cruise company, CMV. Theoretically, we could have traveled independently (and some on board did) but we decided that, with three flights involved, it would be better to travel with the company, as they would ensure we got back on board the ship. All the pre-tour … Continue reading Magnificent: Iguaçu, Brasil, Tuesday 22nd January 2019

A Day in Transit: Recife to Iguaçu, Brasil, Monday 21st January 2019

Our arrival in Recife was an hour early, an ambulance waiting on the quay providing the explanation for the departure from our schedule. Recife is built around the mouths of several rivers, hence its nickname as the 'Venice of Brasil'. Founded by the Portuguese in 1537, it was, as Mauritsstad, the capital of the transitory … Continue reading A Day in Transit: Recife to Iguaçu, Brasil, Monday 21st January 2019

The City of the Dunes: Natal, Brasil, Sunday 20th January 2019

Natal lies just 30 km from the north-eastern part of South America at Cape São Roque, and so is the closest part of the continent to Africa and Europe. It was first visited by Portuguese navigators in 1501, but no settlement was established until the building of the Forte dos Reis Magos (the Fort of … Continue reading The City of the Dunes: Natal, Brasil, Sunday 20th January 2019