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16 Mar 2017

Boca da Valeria (Amazon), Brazil 2017

 

 

 

Touring The Amazon was the raison d'être for this year’s cruise and today absolutely reinforced our feelings. Today was the very best day yet.

 

 

 

After tooting around the tiny fishing village of Boca da Valeria, I hired Antonio to take us in his boat to view the exquisite local scenery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He and his wife graciously opened their home to us. It was so interesting and warm. We learned so much about how they live and survive here.

 

 

 

Allyn was so overwhelmed that she took off her necklace and gave it to Antonio’s wife. 









10 Mar 2017

Montevideo - Rio

It’s been a while since I checked in. We have been to many nice beach type places heading up from the Southern tip of South America to Rio.

Allyn took to the bike again in Maldonado, Uruguay.

 

I never heard of Santos, but it is the largest seaport in Latin America. It lies outside of Sao Paulo. It looks like a tiny place until we left the port. What a shock. Another cable car was in store for us.

 

 

 

Ilha Grande was a perfect place for a schooner trip with snorkeling.

 

Parati is a beautiful old Portugese colonial town, still with its cobblestone streets and original look. It was big during the Brazilian Gold Rush in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Buzios, a resort town south of Rio is very high end. Here I am with my girlfriend Brigitte Bardot who made it quite famous.

 You gotta love a sculpture actually in the ocean. 

And be very careful when swimming with jellyfish. They bite – pretty though.

In Rio two friends from California joined us and will be with us until Miami. Yet another cable car (two actually) was in store to climb the world famous Sugar Loaf Mountain for the view overlooking the city.

We had dinner in town at Satyricon Restaurant, one of the city’s best. 

Bye bye Rio.









26 Feb 2017

Montevideo, Uruguay

 

 

Compared to its two neighbors, Uruguay is tiny. Argentina is 15 times bigger and Brazil 47.

If a country can be a superstar then Uruguay is.

It is  number one in Latin America in democracy, peace, (lack of) corruption, press freedom, middle class, and prosperity.

They contribute more troops to the UN per capita than the others, is highly Internet literate, and 95% of its energy is renewable.

It is a very liberal nation with legal sale and consumption of cannabis, same-sex marriage, and legalized abortion.

 

The people are very friendly here.

While doing a city tour this morning, we stopped by for a beer tasting. Normally I don’t drink before lunch, but what the heck.

 









25 Feb 2017

Uruguay

 

 

We spent a day in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, which is called the Saint Tropez of South America. It is resplendent with fancy yachts, shops and people.

We opted for a boat ride to Sea Wolves Island because over 200,000 sea lions live here. We can always see yachts at home.

Back at the pier, two of them were just hanging around.

The next day Allyn went bike riding in Montevideo and I walked around.









20 Feb 2017

Puerto Madryn, Argentina by Allyn Shulman

 

Lucky for me, the weather didn’t permit our ship to stop at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.  Instead, the captain decided to make an unscheduled stop at Puerto Madryn, Argentina where Southern Right Whales, the world's largest mammal, migrate to breed from May to December.   So what’s a girl to do in February?

 

 

My Barry found a company, Patagonian Divers, that would pick me up and drive me about an hour to Península Valdés, a Patagonian nature reserve that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.  A cruise friend joined me for the adventure.

 

 

 

 

Driving inside the protected area, I saw magnificent indigenous species such as the rhea (a relative of the African ostrich) and the guanaco (related to the llama).

 

 

 

  

And that was just to whet my appetite on the WAY to the main adventure which was SNORKELING with sea lions!!!!   We arrived at their shop, suited up and headed to the boat.  After twenty minutes of sailing, we dove into the water in search of our marine friends.  Then the magic began!

Being that close with nature is heaven on earth to me.  The sea lions swam around me as I tried to follow closely. Pure bliss.

 

 

  

If that weren’t enough, sailing back, we happened upon some young Magellanic penguins.  I will remember this magical day forever.