After some downtime in Ilha Grande, we hit the road and ferry back to the mainland and made our way to Rio. It felt like an achievement when we got there as we had made it by road all the way from Santiago, Chile in nearly a month’s travelling. My time in Rio was pretty hectic as there was just so much to cram in. The first thing we did was to do spend the afternoon doing a city tour to see all the main sites. We started off by seeing the Christ the Redeemer statue, the iconic Art Deco landmark of Rio. It was amazing to see it up close to see how huge it is and also surprisingly simple as well as taking in the view of Rio itself. I particularly liked the area where there is a big lagoon in the middle of the city. I believe Rio was named when the discoverers thought it was a big river so named the city Rio and also because it was discovered in January, so the city is effectively called the river of January.
It was time for the relaxing beach part of the trip when we headed to an Island called Ilha Grande in Brazil. This involved getting a Ferry from the mainland near Paraty which would take about an hour and a half. Unfortunately for me, we got to the ferry port just at the right time as they were unloading a massive delivery of fish so it absolutely stank and I was quite literally heaving. The boat ride itself was really nice though as we kept passing all these little islands – apparently there are around 365 islands in the area which means you could feasibly visit one a day for a year. Continue reading
Aside from checking out the Iguazu Falls, the other mini activity we did when we got to Brazil was to drive to Paraguay (Ciudad del Este), which is only about a 40 minute drive from the Brazilian side of Iguazu. Most of us wanted to go just to say we had been to Paraguay, even though we were told there is not much to see other than cheap shopping as it is a tax free zone – we would not even get our Passports stamped. I went along but regretted it quite quickly as it is just one big concrete shopping market. Lots of people were selling cheap things on the streets and there were a lot of high rise malls with a mixture of cheap and not so cheap things inside. Paraguay is a good shopping option for people in Latin America apparently but we thought the prices were on a par with what you could get in the UK or America. I am sure there is more to Paraguay than Ciudad dle Este but I guess it was interesting to see this side of things nonetheless. Continue reading
Seeing the Iguazu falls was one of the main things I wanted to do in South America and I finally got there. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to see them from both the Brazilian side as we were staying in Foz de Iguazu, as well as the Argentine side. Continue reading
It was time for the part of the trip that I was the most apprehensive about, the Estancia/ranch stay for three nights. We were going to experience life on a real working ranch and live as Gaucho (a) for three days. However, this ranch is in the middle of nowhere so this meant no mobile phone connection, no Wi-Fi, in fact, no Internet at all and only four hours of electricity a day between 7pm and 10pm. Yikes! Continue reading
After Argentina, it was time for Uruguay and I have to admit that I knew nothing about Uruguay. I have learnt a few things though. Did you know that the first ever World Cup was held in Uruguay? That Uruguay used to be part of Argentina? I also happen to know that England and Uruguay are in the same group in the upcoming World Cup! Continue reading