A Travellerspoint blog

Taupo

Merry Christmas

sunny

Taupo xmas 021.jpg
Well, just thought I'd pop online on Christmas day to say 'Merry Christmas'! I've had a good couple of nights out with the people I've met, a group of us from the bus and a few Irish lads who Emma and Lynsey met in South America...so they've been to pretty much the same places as me. Went out on Saturday, had a good night and then last night we had the office Christmas party. Obviously because none of us have jobs, a Christmas party was needed. Emma and Lynsey bought some props, so we went out with crazy minging teeth and glasses with noses, it was pretty funny. Taupo xmas 020.jpg Lynsey's nose feel off her glasses during the night, so she attached it to her necklace, when she woke up this morning it was still there!
I woke up feeling rather rough, Cios the Brazilian boy in my room gave me a present...a princess crown! I then opened my present from Paul and Roseann, a cute little pot with lipgloss and sweets in it. I then went upstairs to the girls room and we had presents. Got a game of 'snap' a little fairy figure, magnet and some chocolate...so didn't do too badly. Emma and Lynsey had loads of presents as they had a parcel from home, it was cool watching them open them all. After I got showered and then sat outside, the sun was out and it was pretty warm. Then it was dinner, the hostel owner and his family made the dinner. Turkey, ham and salad...much rather have been eating my Mummy's lovely dinner, but I made do, and the pavelova kind of made up for it!! Just been chilling since, quite tired, played pool and there was a raffle, didn't win anything though surprise surprise. I never win!!! Think we're going to have a few drinks tonight, hostel is the only bar in town that's open though, so no going out, thank god cause I'm shattered! Have a good one folks!! Mwah xx
Taupo xmas 033.jpg
Boxing day I got up, went for a walk and sat by lake Taupo while I waited for everyone else to get up and sorted. We then went up to the bungy. Cathel went first, Stephen, Myself, Lynsey and then Damien. Oh my it was so so scary, I stood at the top making a complete fool out of myself. Taupo-Wellington_008.jpg(PICTURE, ME HANGING AT BOTTOM OF MY JUMP)Everyone else just went up and threw themselves off, but I stood right on the edge deliberating! Anyway, soon decided that I'd paid the money so I really ought to jump!! So, off I went, in style over crystal blue waters...it was pretty awesome. Just kind of hung around for the rest of the day and then went to the fair in the evening which was quite fun!

Posted by faith8069 23:31 Archived in New Zealand Tagged events Comments (2)

Auckland-Whitianga-Rotorua-Waitamo

Rotorua- bit smellY!

rain 18 °C

Well folks, I returned to Auckland after my trip to the Bay of Islands. Stayed in and watched Firewall on Friday night, good film if you haven't seen it! Saturday I dragged Mike around a market, he loved it...and then we went to a beach party in Mission Bay. Would have been really good with a load of people and cool boxes full of booze like everyone else had, but Mike and I weren't quite prepared! We returned from there and we went out to the Viaduct, the harbour area in Auckland.Met Kiri out, a few of her friends and Mikes as well. One of Mike's mates was on a work do and dressed as Rambo, which was fairly amusing. Had a really good night, Kiri MADE me drink lots...Simon will vouch for me on that one!! IMG_0107.jpgSunday we struggled, but managed to get up and head to Mike's friend Donna's house for a BBQ. It tipped it down, so we left the garage and headed back to Mikes. Just relaxed and watched another film!....not so good though!
From Auckland I headed up to Mercury Bay, a small town called Whitianga, stopping at Thames and Cathedral Cove on the way. We had a nice walk down to Cathedral Cove...but then we had to walk back up again!!IMG_0139.jpg We arrived in Whitianga, very little to do there, so we had tea and a drink and then got an early night ready for our 7:30am set off. We set off for Rotorua, stopping in a couple of small places on the way. When we arrived in Rotorua we had a free tour around the Maori village place, and learnt a bit about the Maori culture...before the New Zealanders. We then went to the hostel, the worst so far I reckon...a little bit seedy. I spent the afternoon with a couple of gilrs at the thermal baths, it was cool, pouring with rain sitting in hot pools of sulphur. I had a blonde moment and after being told to take off all silver left on my silver bracelet...it looked like an antique after going in the pools. But, I admitted to the guy that I was stupid and he dipped it for me...don't worry Helen, it's all good now! I then spent the evening at a Maori night where they show off their culture, put on a show and then you have a meal.IMG_0173.jpg It was really cool, and I managed to have vegetables and pavelova, which was awesome!! Yesterday I had a little lay in, much needed after a couple of 7am starts. I had a look around Rotorua and went to the Rotorua museum. I've been overloaded with information on the Maori culture and know everything there is to know now. I have even learnt about all the fault lines around here, as I've spent 2 days in a volcanicly active town.IMG_02131.jpg On the way out of Rotorua we visited the biggest thermal activity park, it was cool, loads of geysers and mud pools, I saw kiwi birds too...but they were asleep. IMG_0195.jpg
I arrived in Waitamo about 2pm and we went to the hostel and then went for a little wonder in the bush. Walked through a few caves. Only a short walk, but it was cool. Since, just been chiling in the hostel, having tea and drinking some beer..now I'm blogging! Tomorrow I'm going black water rafting...actually caving through dark caves in wetsuits and rubber rings, it should be cool....I'll let you know how it goes...IMG_0227.jpg
Well, I got up early and headed for the caves, another great experience. We put on wet suits and white welly boots, all freezing cold...and our hard hats with head torches. We went off to the caves, first they threw us backwards into a river outside to get us used to the water. We then went down into the caves, some tight squeezes lots of water. It was quite scary really. We had with us our black rubber rings so at times we could float, like a lazy river...but it was only a lazy river after jumping backwards down a waterfall in the dark, I was pretty scared...but it was also very exciting. On the top of the caves you could see all the glow worms, it was quite facinating. We laid down, switched our lights off and looked up and they led our way out of the caves. We got dunked by the guides if we put our light on! The guides were super though, really helpful. My hands and feet were freezing, but I got there! It was really cool, another experience that I've done. It's a real shame I have no photos, but it was pretty wet down there! But, you can see me in my wetsuit! Just hanging around Waitamo today and heading onto Taupo tomorrow for the weekend and for Christmas. i spent a couple of days chatting to a couple and they very kindly bought me a Christmas present as they didn't like the thought of me spending Christmas on my own with nothing to open, so that was really kind...thanks Roseann and Paul. Bye for now....Merry Christmas and a Happy new year everyone, going to really miss the pub on Christmas Eve and my Mum's superb Christmas dinner. Lots of love xxxx

Posted by faith8069 13:18 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

New Zealand here I am!

Auckland and the Bay of Islands

overcast 21 °C

So, I arrived in Auckland after a very uncomfortable plane journey, and Mike was there waiting for me...which was great! He'd got up at 4am especially for me! Auckland B..nds 001.jpgAnyway, went back to his house and then I had a shower while he went back to bed as he had to go to school. I went into the city, had a little look around and bought myself a lonely planet...time to go it alone now! I cooked for Mike and then we went out, I had 2 drinks and then realised that I couldn't actually keep my eyes open, the jet lag kicked in, so I had to leave and go to bed.
Saturday we slept in and then went into town, met Kiri Wilson (from home), had some lunch and I booked my kiwi experience. Saturday Mike was hungover and I was still tired so we stayed in with his flat mates and watched a film...well they did and I fell asleep! Sunday was a day at the beach, followed by ice cream, Mike and his mate surfed while I got caked in black sand!Auckland B..nds 012.jpg
Monday I went into town, tried hard not to buy any clothes and then got on a ferry to Devonport. I walked around for a few hours, up North Head and Mt Victoria, took some amazing photos of the Auckland sky line. The view of the beach is where I ate my lunch, it was so amazing. I then walked along the beautiful beach.Auckland B..nds 036.jpgAuckland B..nds 029.jpgI walked miles and was half dead when I got back to Mikes. We then got in the car and went to Snow Planet snowboarding. I was a bit apprehensive as haven't been since I hurt myself in Italy, but I did really well..so pleased. I didn't fall once, apart from on the way up on the button lift and I have a lovely token bruise from that! All weekend, Mike and I managed to work our way through fast food chains and fish n chips!
Tuesday I was up early to catch my bus to the Bay of Island. It left at 7am and I arrived up here by midday. I went for lunch and then managed to fall asleep for a couple of hours, I then went to the beach. To add to all the rubbish I've eaten from the weekend, I had BBQ at the hostel. The hostel I'm at is called the PipiPatch, it's pretty nice. Today i was up and I went on the exciter jet boat, but to be honest it really wasn't that exciting! We cruised around the islands and it was cold! Wind was blowing. Auckland B..nds 052.jpgThe guy suggested I pay an extra $10 to get dropped off at an island...so that's what I did. The weather wasn't great and I was on this island, did the walk and had some food, read my book and got thoroughly bored! I had to stay for 4 hours as there wasn't many ferries...thankfully they allowed me onto the ferry an hour earlier, I was really glad to be back. I went to the supermarket and had to put some stuff back as I realised I didn't have enough money..can't believe it! Just going to chill tonight, going kayaking tomorrow, chill day on Friday before heading back to Auckland in the evening. Hopefully I'll have a night out at the weekend as I feel pretty sad as I haven't been out for ages....what's all that about!! Auckland B..nds 070.jpg I went kayaking, we rowed quite a long way around the islands and across to Russell where the first New Zealnad pub was born! I got back and spent the afternoon with really sore arms, they really hurt, I'd obviously worked hard! I spean the afternoon at the beach, the sun decided to come out. I then made my pasta and spent the evening in the bar, there's a girl in my room who it seems will be pretty much travelling along side me as she's just started too and is on the same tour as me, she seems really nice so that's good. Just hanging around now waiting for my bus back to Auckland.

Posted by faith8069 10:44 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

Last stop in South America-Chile

Santiago

sunny 32 °C

Pucon-santiago 053.jpgAfter not feeling too well I am now feeling much better after I have had a few tablets. On Monday Jess and I trailed the city, walked miles, got beeped and whistled at no end of times, spoke the worst Spanish, we we found what we wanted!....a beautiful swimming pool on the top of a mountain in the middle of Santiago. We thought we`d just follow the hill...but the hill was about 2 miles wide! Anyway, we got a small mini bus to the top of the hill and spent the afternoon by the pool reading our books. It was wonderful! Pucon-santiago 061.jpgYesterday I went with Laura around the national museum and to the cathedral where there was a service. People confessing, and we saw one of the priests open the gold safe...it was kind of weird and I wanted to get out pretty quick. We met Kat and Jess had some lunch and went to the museum of modern art. It was cool, I especially enjoyed the photography exhibition. It was photos of Kabul, Afganistan, really interesting....it`s made me want to be a photographer even more! Last night we went for a lovely meal, we managed to get Anthony the T total guy to have a drink....he`s so funny! I had a cocktail...but just the one this time.
Woke up this morning, had breakfast and sorted my stuff out. Put my stuff in the luggage room and said goodbye as all the people I met piled into mini buses. I felt really sad as I`ve become good friends with Jess in particular, so it was a tearful moment. I walked down the street quicker than their minibus! Went to the postoffice and then decided to go to the cinema. Was kind of strange going to the cinema in Santiago on my own, but it was in English and I have time to kill before my flight tonight....so here I am spending more money, killing more time telling you guys what I`ve been up to. Only a few hours now until I make my way to the airport for my flight to Auckland. Quite crazy as I fly at 11pm, takes 13 hours, but I don`t get there until Friday morning! So, enjoy 7th December as much as you can as I don`t have one this year! Stay well, I`ll be back again from New Zealand. Chow for now! Pucon-santiago 097.jpg

Posted by faith8069 09:58 Archived in Chile Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Chile-Pucon

Why did I decide to climb a volcano?

sunny

Pucon-santiago 004.jpgWell, on Friday morning I was up at 6am, we went to the tour office where we had a beautiful breakfast of dippy eggs...it was like being a child again, I told everyone that they should have soldiers. So, there we all were with earl grey tea, eggs, soldiers and fresh yoghurt, building up our bodies for the walk up the volcano. Only for the man to come back with the weather report and say it was too dangerous as it was hailing up at the top of the volcano. So, off we went back to bed.Pucon-santiago 028.jpg I didn´t do much with my day, stayed in bed for a while,it was cold and wet so just hung around and chilled out in the hostel. So, Saturday we woke up to beautiful sunshine, definitely the day to climb the volcano....so back to the tour office, dippy eggs again! This time we got fully equipt with snow boots, trousers, jackets, helmets and a nice pack up. We had special sunglasses, big mittens and an ice pic! So off we went, I was sitting in the van driving to the bottom of Villarica volcano wondering what the hell I was doing...but just thought, this has got to be done! Pucon-santiago 024.jpgSo, we get to the bottom, heavy rucksacks with helmets, 2 litres of water, ice shoes the lot...realy quite heavy. We started our climb. The crater looked so close, but it was so far! There was 200 people climbing with lots of guides, 18 in our particular group with black and orange jackets! We started walking and I could barely breath, just wondering how I was going to make it. It was a steep gradient and really hard to walk on the snow, but we were taught how to use our pic axe should we fall. 5 hours later atfer several stops, realy sore ankles and a sore groin I reached the crater. It was so hot, I had walked all the way up in just my t-shirt as the sun was so strong. It was quite amazing to see all the sulpher coming out and small bits of lava creeping out....in all honesty though, not sure the 5 hours of agony was worth it! Pucon-santiago 021.jpgThe way wack down was far easier, in our rucksacks we had a bum strap, we clipped it around our bum and away we went...it was pretty scary at first as it was a very steep slope, but we just as Aimee would say ´greased our arses and slid!´ It was a lot of fun, but there was walking in between when the slope wasn´t quite steep enough to slide...funny how I didn`t notice those bits on the way up!! My groin was killing me and I just wanted to get to the bottom so much, but it still took nearly 2 hours to get back down. Finally we made it, I could barely walk and my ankles were all red and swallen...but I am really proud that I did it.
The worst thing was having to spend the night on a most uncomfortable nightbus, I could hardly sleep, my body was in bits. We arrived in Santiago at 7:30am, my final South American destination. I had an hour rest and then went out to have a look around the city. The main square is lovely and has a great big Christmas tree, first time I`ve really thought about Christmas. We took a walk around, went to a museum, the museum of pre columbian art, it was pretty cool. I then had a bit of drama with a cash machine which decided not to give me any money, but then made myself feel better having a mint milkshake...lovely!
With all the changes in weather I´m realy not feeling well, we went out for a fantastic meal last night, but then I had to go to bed as I am suffering. Have bad chest and head cold, but I`ve been to the pharmacy this morning and have lots of things to make me better. Feeling better already! Today my tour has ended, but I am here until Wednesday and so are the other people who are continuing the tour so I will be spending some more time with them until it´s time to go. Just going to explore the city a little more today and tomorrow. I need to work out what I´m going to do when I get to New Zealand aswell. That´s all for now....

Posted by faith8069 05:45 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

Chile

Puerto Varas- Pucon Lake District

all seasons in one day 13 °C

photo_ 033.jpgWe arrived in Puerto Varas after a 6 hour bus ride, Jess and I have been named the Swedish blondes...it`s great. We put our bags in a taxi from the bus station while everyone else walked!...GAP paid of course!photo_ 011.jpg
We went out for dinner and then back to our dive of a hostel. It was like having a shower under a waterfall, cold and very cave like, it was dark in there!...I was shivering so much. Yesterday we went on a trip to the island of Chiloe, a bit further south in Chile. We went to a gorgeous beach place with noone around and went out on a boat to see penguins, they were so cute waddling around and falling into the water. It`s been pretty cold here, but the sun was shining. It was so cool to see penguins and otters in their natural habitat. We had freshly caught fish for lunch, seabass and hake...it was lovely. photo_ 028.jpgConsidering that the penguins were a 3 hour drive away on a different island Puerto Varas is the disappointment of my trip so far. It has a beautiful lake and a volcano to the back of it, a great view. But little else to do and the worst accommodation so far. The best thing about the accommodation was the big feather duvets!
We then took another 7 hour bus journey and arrived in Pucon. The sun was shining and it was rather warm carrying our bags up the street. We got to the hostel, and it`s really cute. It has a real homely feel to it, and big feather duvets again! We went to book excursions last night and I got wound up with the whole group thing again, it took so long! I didn`t end up getting my dinner until 10:45pm...wasn`t impressed. Not feeling great at the moment, had a sore throat and feeling a little runned down...must be all the hard work I`m doing!! Booked on to go up the active volcano tomorrow, they give you all the snow shoes and stuff, so it will be challenging, but evry exciting!photo_ 012.jpg Supposed to be going rafting this afternoon, but I really can`t make up my mind if I want to do it. It`s pretty cold here today, my hands are like ice typing at the moment. Not sure getting cold and wet is going to do much for my sore throat. Anyway, I`ll go now and make up my mind....laters

Posted by faith8069 06:43 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

Argentina

Bariloche- Patagonia

IMG_0424.jpgAfter a long journey we arrived in Bariloche, the journey went quite fast alhtough we could drive for miles and miles and not see any form of life, no cars, no housing, just roads and quite arid land. We drove into Bariloche and there was mountains and lakes, I was straight up to the window with my camera! It was so beautiful. We arrived at our hotel, I am now sharing with Jess, we have the most amazing view from our window, fantasic lake with snow capped mountains all around. We went to a meat restaurant and there was people around us with just a plate of steak and that was all they were eating. We had some fillet steak, ordered a half portion and still got 2 lovely tender pieces of fillet. It was only 3 pounds for, steak, fries and sald, was a good meal. Yesterday, Saturday (only 1 month until christmas) we got up early and went for a tour into the mountains. We went on 3 hikes, 2 to different waterfalls and the other to a black glacier. The different environments that we were walking in were so strange. The first being dense forest and very dusty dry ground, we saw quite a big waterfall, but nothing even close to Iguazu! We then had some lunch, it was pretty weird sat in this national park with horses just wondering around us.IMG_0520.jpg We then went on our hike up to the glacier, it was quite high up, could have down with some walking shoes really...but fashion has to count for something! I managed not to fall down the mountain anyway! IMG_0481.jpgThe glacier was quite huge and very black, it didn`t even look like ice. While we were there we saw a couple of avelanches, you just see the snow fall from the top of the mountain and then hear a massive rumble like thunder. It was really cool. We managed to get a beautiful clear day, so I`ve got some great photos. We then got back into the minibus and drove to our next point, and we walked through a bamboo forest. It was so cool, the guide found a flower in the forest that he has only seen three times in his life as this bamboo only flowers once, between 20-40yrs old, so it was quite rare to see it. We walked down to the waterfall, and walked behind inside the mountain which was cool. We had to walk over logs to get across a river...thought it might be me who fell in, but this boy (or 31yr old) who`s with us fell it...was quite funny. He`s the tiniest 31 yr old I`ve ever seen! By the end of all the walking I was shattered, we got back about 7pm and then went out for chinese. It was good!
Today I am just chilling, having a wander around this lovely little town. It`s a ski resort town so you can imagine what it is like, wooden chalets and stuff...bit like being in the alps, but I`m in the Andes! There`s loads of chocolate shops and wool shops. We`re moving on tomorrow from Bariloche to Puerto Varas in Chile, over on a more coastal region. I haven`t really got enough warm clothes with me, but I`m trying to make do with what I have, wearing the same green zip up top and my hoodie! Take care all xxx

Posted by faith8069 08:46 Comments (0)

Uruguay- Argentina

Salto-Montevideo-Colonia-Buenos Aires

sunny 35 °C

Well, after leaving Iguazu we made our way to the border to Argentina before crossing to Uruguay.How stupid am I, I lost my slip of paper to get out of the country!...anyway the police printed out loads of stuff for me and said I should go to the bank and pay a fine. We returned to the minibus and guess what??...I found the blanco paper! So our guide goes back into the station, after getting slightly annoyed with me, and they won`t let me off.I`m currently barred from Brazil until I reach the Brazilian embassy!IMG_0271.jpgSo have to go to the embassy when I reach Buenos Aires.So, my nickname is definately with the group now! After another overnight bus we arrived in Salto, the heavens had opened and they didn`t close for the whole time we were there. We settled into our prison cell of a room, had stale bread for breakfast...but I did manage to get my first real cup of tea!We spent the day at a thermal health spa, as that`s whatyou do in Salto! I also treated myself to a massage, remember this is Uruguay and very cheap! We went for a lovely meal and it only cost 1.50 this time...even better and it was nice! Salto was a bit of a flying visit, left the day after for a 6 hour bus ride for the capital Montevideo. I really like Uruguay, it has a really European feel to it. The buildings are beautiful, we had a tour of the city in a little mini bus. Montevideo has some gorgeous residential areas and is on the coast too, surrounded by water with the river the other side. The people of Uruguay are quite strange...yet very nice, they all walk around with thermos flasks with hot water and a little cup with herbs in, it`s called ´Matte´, they go everywhere with these things drinking from a silver straw, very bizzare! We were there for the weekend so the city was pretty quiet during the day, but had a superb nightlife, managed to get a Saturday night out. The bars were really cool, although I did find myself dancing to the Venga boys which was very worrying! Sunday we boarded another bus, just a few hours drive to the small town of Colonia. We arrived in the evening and went for a wonder around, it`s a really quaint little town with cobbled streets and our hotel was like a small country mannor. I sampled the traditional food, the chivito...basically beef, ham, egg, veg, fries, salad, cheese, mushrooms all piled onto a plate. It was lovely, but couldn`t get through it all. All I seem to have done since I`ve been away is eat, and since the trek the exercise has slowed! So, we left Colonia on Monday morning and got a ferry across to Argentina, managed to get out of there cause I kept my slip of paper to hand. We arrived in Buenos Aires and because of a demonstration it took us about 30 mins to do a 5 min drive, but we arrived at our hotel right in the centre of the city. The hotel is ok, but very noisy as it`s on one of the main streets...I had to use my ear plugs for the first time last night! We went on a city tour which was rather boring, and I randomly bumped into some s I met in Rio on the one stop that we had on the tour. We went to the Tango region of the city, it was so cool and colourful and loads of people doing tango demonstrations. We went for yet another all you can eat, but this one was much nicer. IMG_0276.jpgToday I have been to the Brazilian embassy, and they told me something totally different to what the police at the border said...but in short, I`m not going to be going back to Brazil and if I decide to, I will sort it out when the time comes! We went to a huge cemetery today. It`s like a small town of graves like houses above the ground, you look inside the doors and you can actually see the coffins, it`s really horrible. Some of them have like whole families of coffins inside. We saw Evita Peron`s grave ´Don`t cry for me Argentina´, loads of people there taking photos...including me of course! Just been and looked around the shops, bought myself some trousers as I`ve had to throw a pair out and I`ve looked at the weather for Southern Argentina and it`s not looking great! Tonight I`m going to a Tango show with a few of the people on my tour and then tomorrow is another free day in the city. I`ll probably have a wonder and see some more sights. It`s a great city, but I feel like it`s quite American. Tomorrow evening we meet the people that are joining us for the next 2 week leg of the South American tour and then Thursay we take our 22hour bus ride to Baroloche, the lake district of Argentina. I`ll hopefully have some photos up soon, but this interent cafe doesn`t allow you to plug in USB...how rubbish! Goodbye for now......IMG_0332.jpg
Well, I went to the tango show, tried a bit of dancing, it is so amazing, I don`t know how they move so fast. It was a good night and we had some lovely food. In Beunos Aires I have walked miles, backwards and forwards to different areas of the city. I went to the National art gallery, they have some great paintings, they have picasso, miro, Kandinsky, Cezanne and many more. It was really cool, we also saw a really cool display of hearts in the park...I`ll have to get the photos up soon. Last night I met the rest of my group, there`s going to be 15 of us travelling for the next couple of weeks.IMG_0362.jpg People seem ok, a real mixture though! I`ve spent today with an Australian (Jess)we`ve been to the antique district, there`s some fantastic shops and small markets. Jess took me to this little sandwich and cake shop, it was so cute. I can`t believe how cheap it was, I got a sandwich, homemade cake and a bottle of coke for 65p! It was brilliant since I went out last night dancing and spent more money than expected. We`ve just been walking around...Jess wanted to go into Zara, bit of a mistake! I bought a little black dress....thought it would be useful! We`re now going to make our way back to the hotel to go to the bus station. Bus is at 7pm and we arrive in Baroloche at 2pm tomorrow, this bus is non-stop so we get dinner, breakfast and lunch. I hope it`s cosy! Hopefully I`ll sleep well as I didn`t get in until 3am this morning and had to be out of the room fairly early.

Posted by faith8069 18:08 Archived in Uruguay Comments (2)

Iguazu Falls

Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina

sunny 41 °C

After the nasty 24 hour coach jouney we arrived in Iguazu about 10am, I was totally shattered as didn´t sleep well on the coach...although the coach was so cool, huge seats, fully reclining, really comfortable, but not quite enough for me to sleep too well.Brazil-Iguaçu 100.jpgWe chilled out for a while when we got here, hotel is lovely, so not a basic trip as I have a hairdryer in the room this time, true luxury!
In the afternoon we went over to Paraguay, it was so bizzare. We walked across a bridge and then we were 2 hours behind Brazilian time and I felt like I was walking in Singapore, not that I have been there yet, but it´s just like I imagine. Electrical stores everywhere and street vendors just coming up to you trying to sell you things...heaps of women trying to sell me socks. I ended up losing my politeness after a while! On Simons sugestion I bought a big memory stick to put my photos on. We wondered back across the border, and I had a little evening nap. We went for the worst meal I have had so far, it really wasn´t worth the 2quid I paid for it
Yesterday we went across to Argentina and looked at the falls from that side, it was totally amazing, completely took my breath away. The expanse of the falls in incredible, so hard to describe as it is just unbelieveable. I was very snap happy, totally loving it. We walked around and then got a truck into the sub tropical rainforest, unfortunately didn´t see too much though. We then went on a boat ride aruound the falls, it was wicked! It took us right under the falls, the smaller falls, not the devils throat but it was great. Brazil-Iguaçu 042.jpgthe water was lush and at 41 degrees it was much appreciated.
Today I had my first hangover, we went to a bar last night and proceeded to make our way through the cocktail menu. Jennifer (my roomy) and I were so rough this morning. Yesterday was amazing, but today was totally spectacular. The best hangover cure is a helicopter ride over the falls. Noone else in the group wanted to do it, but I´ve never been in a helicopter and I didn´t want to miss the opportunity. There are no words to descibe the experience, totally out of this world. I am so lucky! I sat next to the pilot and got some superb photos, lets just hope I don´t lose them! Until I went up in the helicopter I didn´t realise just how huge the area is. depending on the rainfall there is between 100 and 300 waterfalls. We saw the falls from the Brazilian side today, it was far better than the Argentina side. Today was the best day of my travels so far, it was so exciting, I loved it! Waiting around now to leave for Salto in Uraguay, hopefully having a relaxing day tomorrow. In Salto for one night. TTFN!Brazil-Iguaçu 087.jpgBrazil-Iguaçu 106.jpg

Posted by faith8069 08:39 Archived in Argentina Comments (4)

Paraty

A lovely little Colonial town

sunny

IMG_0202.JPGToday we´ve been to Trinidad!...a small beach town just down the road from Paraty. We went on a little tour, had to climb over these massive boulders and the tide was coming in. I got a wet bum at one point, but was more worried about getting my camera wet! Taken some cool photos, but having some problems getting them online. Just comes up with Image on the site when I´ve published it rather than photo (anyone help!??) The weather was great so we got to sit onthe beach for a while, so caught up on the tanning from Rio. After the beach we went up into the mountains and saw some waterfalls and went to a distilary. The mountains were cool and there was some guy rock surfing, it was really cool. Apparentlty he was the current champion at this crazy sport! He was just gliding down the rocks on his feet, they were flatish slippy rocks!...well, I almost landed on my bottom anyway. A couple of the girls tried this surfing...but on their bums instead, landing in very fresh water!
Been to the supermarket to get some supplies for our long journey. We leave Paraty at 9am and don´t get to Iguazzu unitl Monday late afternoon, so don´t think I´m going to be feeling too good after thet journey. Just been out looking aroundthis beautiful town, there´s some kind of celebration going on for 5 nights. People are playing music, dancing in the street and lots of religious ceremonies and Mum, you´d love the fireworks. They are evry loud though! We just went fot some food and then bought some cake from one of the street vendors, they all bake cakes and sell them in the street. It was very nice. Going back to the hotel now to sort all my stuff out for this long journey. Be a few days before I update again.
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Posted by faith8069 22:03 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Ilha Grande to Paraty

rain

IMG_0189.JPGI met my tour group for the next 4 weeks on Monday, all girls and one guy who´s 63, but he´s quite cool. He´s from Columbia and lives in Texas. The girls are ok, sharing a room with Jennifer, she´s from Bristol and the same age so that´s cool. We´re the only Brits, others are from S. Africa, US and Canada. The group has been fine, but already getting annoyed with the tour leaders voice, which is beginning to grate on me somewhat and also the whole group decision thing...becoming annoying and already 4 days in. I think I´ll just have to start doing my own thing if I can´t be bothered with people as it just takes time for people to make up their minds.Anyway, here goes.... After meeting the tour group on Monday we set off from Rio on Tuesday morning after the minibus being 2 hours late! Which then meant that we missed the 3:30pm (last ferry) to Ilha Grande. A small island about 2 hours away by boat from coast of Brazil. We then had to wait until 5pm for this small boat to take us to the island. The journey was eventful to say the least! It was raining and we were getting wet on the boat, there was then a young boy on his own making his way by boat home from school, he was sick everywhere....lets just say he should have chewed his spaghetti a little more, it was disgusting...so then everyone including me had to move and the boat was packed so we were just falling all over the place. We then came across a stranded boat and had to get the boat attached to ours and tow it to the island. The boy was then sick again... I´ll say no more! The sea was rough and was coming over the boat which was pretty scary!IMG_0183.JPG
We finally arrived in Ilha Grande, a small paradise. It was such a cute little village, with no cars allowed on the island. We arrived at our hotel, after walking through torrential rain to get there with our rucksacks on. Our hotel was lots of small huts, had ensuite and airconditioning and hammocks hung outside. It was so lovely. I´m sharing with Jen I think for most of the journey, think they paire us up cause we´re the same age. Anyway, I went to get changed after arriving and everything in my bag was soaking wet....our room became a laundrette. It was so wet, ended up getting most of it washed and dryed by the hotel. Oh yes...noone elses bag got wet, typical that it was me! On Weds the weather was ok, not great so we decided to go for a hike to the other side of the mountain, this meant going up and then down the other side. It was bloody hard work I tell you, but was looking forward to the boat journey around the island when we got to the other side. We arrived and my legs were killing me, we had to sign ourselves in and out of this small village. There was a prison on that side....the guy also informed us that there was no boats running! Oh my god, you can imagine my reaction! So, we sat on this gorgeous beach for about 30 mins and then had to think about the long treck back...I wasn´t happy! I was walking up and up and up, never thought I was going to reach the top to come down the other side....I finally did! It was crazy, but I was very proud of myself as I´ve never walked that far, especially up and down a mountain! My feet were in bits and by body is still in pain today!! We went out on Weds night to a fish restaurant which was really nice.
Thursday half of the group went on a boat trip, I decided not to bother as the weather wasn´t that great and I hate being cold, and to be honest just wanted some chill time on my own. I went out with Stacey (a girl from US) and we got a manicure and a pedicure, my nails now look amazing! She put flowers on my thumb nails and big toes, they look so cool. Only cost 7quid for both! (Hannah, you should come here!) We then just went for lunch and I was feeling quite rough so just relaxed in the hammock for the afternoon.
We set off this morning, the guy from the hotel loaded all our bags into a trolley and pushed them all down to the ferry port. He was so sweet in his little yellow mac! We all got given a hotel umbrella, I felt like royalty, none of this rough travelling stuff!! We managed to catch the ferry this time, and there was some annoying child playing a recorder all the way on this 2 hour journey! (mp3 went on at that point!) We got to the mainland, still raining and caught a bus to Paraty. We arrived here a few hours ago, hotel is cool, got a pool and stuff. The town is an old colonial town and the buildings are beautiful. Yet to see too much. Hopefully the weather will be nice tomorrow so we can spend some time on the beach and have a walk around, as it´s just started raining again....not doing too well!
So, everything´s cool apart from the whole group decision stuff, but Jen and I have quite similar views so should all be ok. We´re here until Sunday and then we have a 6 hour bus journey to Sao Paulo and then a 22hour over night bus ride to Iguazzu falls....so heaps of travelling. But we have some good organised tours when we get there. We see the falls from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, should be fantastic.We are there for two nights and then make our way to Uraguay where we stay in the capital for a couple of nights.

Posted by faith8069 12:13 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Rio De Janeiro

I love Rio!

sunny

Rio´s totally amazing in so many different ways. I´ve had a great time here....apart from losing my photos off my camera. I´ve visited the tourist places, Christ, Sugar Loaf and the favelas. The beach here in Ipanema is beautiful, white sand and plnety of Brazilians playing volleyball! IMG_0070.JPGIMG_0119.JPGThe favela tour was an eye opener, the way some people live is crazy, 7 people in one room about 4 by 4 metres wide. Many of the places look like they could fall down at any moment. The children are so cute, one little boy went to find me a flower and wanted his picture taken so he could see it on the camera.IMG_0054.JPG We took motorbikes to the top of the mountain and then walked back down, the motorbike ride was wicked!! I´ve got 2 more days in Ipanema, then I´m making my way to Copacabana. Can´t wait for the tour to start, but after driving through seedy Copacaba I´m not really looking forward to spending the night there. IMG_0046.JPGI´ve been to a football game at the Maracana stadium, the atmosphere was totally amazing. So many crazy Brazilians....don´t think you could actually sit in your seat, it was just there for show!!! [1].jpg]I´ve met so many different people in the hostel from all parts of the globe, it´s been really interesting. IMG_0012.JPGIMG_0076.JPGCan´t wait until I have chance to tell people about the places that I have been to as it´s boring talking to travellers when you have no stories to tell yet!IMG_0058.JPG

Posted by faith8069 11:16 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

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