2012 Travel in Review, Part 2

For the second half of my travelling adventure, I decided to include a transatlantic cruise that would also include crossing the equator.

Sao Paulo: I started the adventure in Sao Paulo. Nothing prepared me for the number of people, the traffic, or the language barriers! But, that is what makes travelling n adventure — learning to face new challenges and opportunities. In Sao Paulo, I stayed at the LimeTime Hostel, which was very close to the Metro and Ave. Paulista. Of course, my first day out, I turned the wrong way and got lost looking for the Metro and Ave. Paulista, but I finally started learning my way around — and using the Metro was a great help!  Want to do something different?  If you are up early on a Sunday — which can be difficult because there are so many cool bars in Sao Paulo — head to the Benedictine Monastery for 10 AM mass.  It is crowded, so unless you get there a little early, you may have to stand, but the singing is beautiful!

Casa de las Rosas
Casa de las Rosas
Statue in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Statue in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Lower level of the Sao Paulo cemetery
Lower level of the Sao Paulo cemetery
Statue in Sao Paulo cemetery
Statue in Sao Paulo cemetery
Cat in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Cat in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo Cathedral
Sao Paulo Cathedral
Placa de Republica
Placa de Republica

Santos: There is a bus that takes you from Sao Paulo to the beaches of Santos.  It takes about 90 minutes and will stop right on the beach.  I took the bus to the cruise terminal to join my ship, RCI’s Vision of the Seas. There were a few of us on the bus — and we all got a little nervous, not knowing the exact route the driver was taking through Santos.  But we made it safely and got a mini-tour of Santos in the bargain.  The beaches are beautiful!

Beach at Santos
Beach at Santos

Rio: It was really nice sailing into Rio — I sat ion my balcony and took pictures from a view many people in the city would never see! I was also very fortunate to hook up with a small group of people to “see the sites” and had an amazing lunch at a Brazilian BBQ place.  I also had a moment of panic when I thought my group had left without me. I would love to spend more time here — preferably with someone and not on my own.

Cat on the beach in Rio
Cat on the beach in Rio
Rio Beaches
Rio Beaches
Vultures over Rio
Vulture flying over Rio
Sugar Loaf Cable Cars
Sugar Loaf Cable Cars
Christ the Redemer
Christ the Redemer
Cat's photo at the tram
Waiting for the Tram
Sailing into Rio
Sailing into Rio

Salvador de Bahia: I loved the history and and experiences I had here in Salvador — and took one of my favorite pictures here as well.

Ribbons at Senhor do Bonfim
Ribbons at Senhor do Bonfim
Senhor do Bonfim Ribbons
Senhor do Bonfim Ribbons
Blessing
A Candoble Blessing

Crossing the Atlantic: I can say that I have not only sailed across the Atlantic, but I also sailed across the equator! This was 6 days of pure relaxation (when I wasn’t sick form a nasty cold).

Tenerife, Spain:  Our first port after 6 days — and I needed to get back into nature.  What a great place to experience the beauty of a volcano and this unique landscape. I want to go back and see more!

Rock formations near Teite Volcano
Rock formations near Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano

Funchal, Portugal: I had such a lovely day in Madeira — this is another place I want to return to and spend more time (and one of the reasons I cruise — get a “taste” of different places to decide where to return to!).

Funchal Market Monte tobaggan View from Monte Swan Tobaggan ride Funchal Cable

Lisbon, Portugal: I love Lisbon — great food,wine, entertainment and beautiful architecture — so much to take pictures of! I stayed at the Living Lounge Hostel — a wonderful spot in the heart of the city. I never seem to have enough time in Portugal!

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Review of my 2012 travel memories Part 1

I had a remarkable travel year in 2012.  Here is a list of the of some of the highlights of my travel adventures.

Buenos Aires: I rang in 2012 at a special tango show and fell in love with Argentina. I stayed at  Maggie’s B&B — great location just off Avenue de Mayo and Maggie was very friendly and helpful.

New Year's in Buenos Aires 2012
New Year’s in Buenos Aires 2012
Large tree in Buenos Aires
Great place to eat Fredo ice cream!
Gaucho booth at San Telmo Market
Gaucho booth at San Telmo Market
San Telmo
San Telmo on a Sunday

Punto del Estes, Uruguay: While it was very cold in Toronto, on January 3, 2012, I was basking in the sun on a beautiful beach watching a lab puppy take its first steps into the ocean.

Beach at Punta del Estes
Beach at Punta del Estes
Puppy at the beach
Puppy’s first trip to the beach in Punta del Estes

Montevideo, Uruguay: I had no set plans for wandering around Montevideo, however as soon as I walked off the ship, I was met by a very friendly tour guide who arranged a small tour for 5 of us in a van.  It was a great way to see the city. At the end, we were dropped off in the city centre where we wandered through the streets before returning to the ship.

Settler's statue in Montevideo
Settler’s statue in Montevideo

Puerto Madryn, Argentina: Who would have thought that Welsh was spoken here — brought from Welsh immigrants who settled in this part of Patagonia. Desolute, yet beautiful, I had a proper Welsh tea, complete with scones and clotted cream in Gaimen and saw some of the local wildlife — in the form of sea lions. A couple of them even tried to board a ship!

Patagonia near Gaimen, Argentina
Patagonia near Gaimen, Argentina

 

Patagonia
Patagonia
Sea lion catching some waves
Sea lion catching some waves

Cape Horn, Chile: I’ve already talked about this in an earlier post. It is still one of my highlights of my travel adventures — to “round the Cape” while schooners of old.

Cape Horn
Cape Horn

Ushuaia, Argentina: This is another place I cannot talk enough about — from the beauty of the mountains and Tierra Del Fuego National Park, to the quaintness of the city, to more wildlife, more isolation, and the gateway to Antarctica.  Yes, I will want to come back here and spend more time. It is stunningly beautiful!

Ushuaia sign

Lighthouse at the end of the world
Lighthouse at the end of the world
Sea birds taking off
Sea birds taking off

Sailing through the Beagle Channel:  How could I forget standing on the deck of the ship in a formal dress and taking pictures of the massive glaciers that line the sides of this waterway.  I am still surprised I got any pictures, as I was shivering! But every time I thought I was head back inside to the warmth, I would caught a glimpse of a new wonder — and would  stay outside, mesmerized by the beauty.

Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel

Punta Arenas, Chile: Not only a nice place place to stop for handicrafts, but also a great place to see wildlife.  I went to Ottway Sound to see a colony of Magellanic penguins — penguins are just too cute! Then is was a chance to visit the market in the centre of town.

Market in centre of town
Market in centre of town
Statue of Magellian
Statue of Magellian
Statue of Magellian
Statue of Magellian

Puerto Montt: While the town is not really much to see, once we were outside, there were volcanoes, waterfalls, and lakes! Plus an amazing lunch of local fish and pisco sours!

Osomo Volcano
Osorno Volcano
Petrohue Falls
Petrohue Falls
Trinkets
Trinkets

Valpairso, Chile: The sad part is leaving the ship — it was the best cruise I’d ever taken — but Valpairso is very interesting and close to nice beaches and a wine country that reminded me of Napa Valley.

Vina del Mar
Vina del Mar

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El Cuadro winery
El Cuadro winery

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Santiago, Chile: I think by now on my journey, I was getting tired and it was really hot — not a good combination for me. But I did see some interesting things and got a great sunset picture!

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And this ends part one of my travel year in review!