sol, araya, ondas!!!

That pretty much sums up our last few days. Sol = sun, Araya = sand and Ondas = waves. We are currently in a nice little town called Saquarema, where we are staying with a nice guy named Jose, who runs a small guesthouse only 100 M from the beach. Mira is with us now and has been for the last week and a half. She is leaving tomorrow, sadly. However, our trip with her has been very fun and we are going to be sad to see her go.

First we went to a town called, fittingly enough since Mira is here for her Spring Break, Paraty. It is a nice little colonial town which sits right on the ocean and is surrounded by, as the Lonely Planet states, some 300 beaches. We went to a nice one called Trinidad. Next we headed out to one of the islands, Ilha Grande, which boasts as having the most beautiful beach in Brazil. Ilha Grande is great; it doesn't have any cars and really only consists of one town and maybe a dozen beaches. We were there for a holiday, Tiradentes Day, so it was a little bit crowded, but not too much so. I think the normal population of the island is about 1200 people.

Next, we headed to Rio, which was very beautiful and a great time, but SOOO expensive, so we only stayed a few days there before heading here, to Saquarema, where we have been relaxing and soaking up the sun ever since.

Next stop, I dont know where....we leave tomorrow, but there are so many good places I have not yet been able to decide where I am going to go!

I am still slacking about putting photos on the internet, but Chris has been keeping up with it pretty well...You can see his photos here.



If you go to Brazil, you absolutely have to stop at the Bells Company Hostel. Even if you are not staying there, have a drink and chat with the lively owner, who´s name is Gecko, yes, like the lizard. This hostel is situated on the Praia (beach) da Arcação, which is on a little island called the Ilha da Santa Catarina which is in the southeast part of the country, about 12 hours south of São Paulo. The reason I say that is this: Gecko is great, the hostel is RIGHT on the beach, there are surfboards, body boards and a kayak just waiting to be used, internet and breakfast come with the room rate, AND if you are lucky, Gecko will drag out the karaoke machine and you can embarrass yourself as much as you want.

Chris and I arrived here on Wednesday after a long bus ride from Iguaçu with plans to stay for two nights. Two quickly turned into four as we met a great group of people, practiced our surfing and honed our karaoke skills. Today we board an overnight bus and go to São Paulo, where we will meet up with my friend Mira, who has decided to come down and meet up with us for her Spring Break. She will stay for about two weeks and we will probably hit up a few different places while she is here, including Rio and a couple of other smaller towns near it. After that, we continue to travel north.


Cataratas do Iguaçu

Well, we are now in Brazil. We had a great time in Buenos Aires, but had to finally move on so we can get everything done that we want to do. One of the things that was on the top of my list was Iguazu Falls (otherwise known as Cataratas de Iguazu - AR- or Cataratas do Iguaçu -BR). So, from Bs As we boarded a bus for Iguazu. We splurged this time...in Argentina there are usually three classes of busses - semi cama: this is a semi-reclining seat and you probably get a little snack cake and some coffee somewhere along the way, cama: this is a seat that reclines more and you may even get a hot meal, and, executivo: this is like first class - the seats go back all the way, you get breakfast, lunch and dinner, movies and DRINKS! The ride was 20 hours, but it seemed like nothing...we ate, watched a movie, had some wine, then some whiskey, watched another movie, went to bed...we got up the next morning, had breakfast, watched a movie and...we were there! It was great!

Then we went to find our hostel. We had booked into a hostel that advertised itself as being an old casino that had been remade into a hostel. When we arrived, we wondered...is this really where we are staying? It was so nice...It had a pool, pool tables, ping pong, free internet, barbeques and tango dancing and nice rooms with their own bathroom! It was like paradise!

The next day we went to see the falls...wow! They were very nice. We spent the day walking around to all the different views and trails... Today we came over to the Brazil side of the falls and spent the day doing the same thing on this side. Both sides are equally magnificent in their own way. I definetely recommend it!

Tomorrow we will go to see the Itaipu dam, then we are on to Florinapolis, which is in the southeast on the coast. It is supposed to have some of the nicest beaches in Brazil. I cant wait!


River Plate Game!

This was absolutely crazy! We went to the River vs Arsenal game on Sunday and a huge fight broke out in the stands! Luckily it was not near where we were sitting, but it was quite a sight!

Swollen Summer

Chris and I went to Uruguay for about a week and a half. It was a lot of fun! We took the boat over from Buenos Aires to Colonia, which takes about an hour. From there we bussed to Montevideo, where we stayed a couple of nights. It is a nice city, except it seemed to have an unusual amount of beggers. Also, Uruguay loves their Mate. Mate is a tea type thing, except instead of having it in a little bag, you put the actual leaves into a cup and add hot water and then you sip it through a straw which has a filter on it. There is also a ritual to drinking it. In a style which I assume to be similar to a peace pipe, you drink one whole cup and then fill the water back up and pass it to the next person.

After Montevideo, we headed up the coast to Punta del Este. We were there for the Easter weekend, so it was kind of busy. This weekend is kind of like our Labor Day; it signifies the end of the summer for them. So everyone was at the beach, chilling and getting some last minute sun. It really doesnt get very cold, even in the winter, but it still is kind of the end of the summer for them.
Our next stop was La Paloma, which was a very small beach town. We camped at a nice site which was about a 5 minute walk to the beach. It was great, very relaxing and just what we needed after being in the city for the last couple of weeks. We spent some time at the beach and some time just hanging out and playing cards and reading... However, it was here that a crisis was averted.

We went to the beach one day and everything was fine. The next day we got up and were preparing to leave when I started to itch. I had peed in the dark in a bush the night before and thought maybe I had squatted in some poison oak or something, but soon a rash had spread all over my body. Next the rash kind of dissapated and in its place was just swollen redness. We went to the doctor who gave me cortizone and told me to stay out of the sun. Apparently I had used a lotion or soap which in addition to the sun had given me some sort of allergic reaction. Who knew! To the right is a photo of my misfortune.

So, after that we went to a great little town called Punta del Diablo. However, I couldnt go out in the sun, and it was a beach town, so we ended up just hanging out in our little cabina playing cards with a small boy named Santiago. Which of course was fun! He taught us the name for all the shapes, but we found out later that he actually may have given us the wrong names...

Now we are back in Buenos Aires. But I will have more to say about that later....