A Travellerspoint blog

Hello Uruguay!!

all seasons in one day 22 °C

Another overnight bus delivered us to Montevideo, although this time we went first class and arrived in a bit of style!

Uruguay has been our favourite country to date, and Montevideo is a beautiful city. Quite small after the big city bright lights of Buenos Aires and Rio, and with a lovely, laid back feel. The city itself is attractive, very european feel to the architecture and parks dotted about the city. It is definitely more modern than Brazil, and the fact the temperature has dropped about 10-15 degrees has made walking around exploring so much more comfortable.

A street off the main square is where the nightlife centres - restaurants and bars with live bands every night so far. That being said, Montevideans don´t seem to go out for dinner or drinks until midnight or so, so things are a bit quieter pre-midnight when the bands generally get going. One night we saw a cool little cover band doing songs we both knew, last night [Saturday 3rd] we saw a local band who did more traditional south american music - sounded a bit like the Gypsie Kings!!

Today is our last day in Montevideo and sadly, it has been pouring rain all day so far, so we might not get to see much more of the sights, but tomorrow we´re heading a couple of hours west to Colonia del Sacremento which is a sea-side town for a few days. Hope the rain clears up before we hit the sights and beaches there!

Alli + Jason

Posted by Jason316uk 12:22 Archived in Uruguay Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Curitiba to Porto Allegre to Montevideo

sunny 38 °C

We made our trip on the 27/02 to Porto Allegre with the initial intention of staying overnight before we moved on to Montevideo.

From Curitiba we left around 9pm and arrived 10am on an overnight bus again. Once we arrived, we both came to the immediate conclusion perhaps it would be best to get the next bus to Montevideo that left that evening. With a day to kill we dropped our luggage off and ventured into Porto. It was stinking hot and within 1 hour we were so glad we booked our onward journey.

We spent the day looking around at some reasonable architecture and people watching. I obviously overwatched an old lady who basically was absolutely, certifiably insane. She was yelling at me across a park avenue and literally doing the christ cross on her chest. This carried on for about 15 minutes. I don´t know if it was curiosity on my point or morbid enjoyment as I refused to take my eyes off her during the onslaught of which we could not understand a word of the portugese babble.

She made the mistake of laughing at some Uni student when something dropped out of a tree or a swooping bird scared her. She let out a cackle and laughed. The Uni student took great exception and was equally as crazy with this old witch - a very funny 10 minutes followed. After a few more crossings - a gentleman sat next to me got up and walked off saying crazy old woman.

We left her to it and whittled the day away waiting for our bus.....

Jay and Alli

Posted by Jason316uk 12:12 Archived in Brazil Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Rio to Curitiba

all seasons in one day 24 °C

Rio to Curitiba was achieved by a 12 hour overnight bus taking the 900Km trip south. We got there in the morning feeling reasonably good.

We checked in to a basic hotel called Maia and stayed there for 3 nights.

The City itself is about the size of Perth (maybe a little bigger) or somewhere around the size of Oxford for the poms.

We found a delightful neighbourhood that was very European and had a Parisian feel in the main square, maybe an Italian feel. But you get the gist. It had cobbled streets, old colourful buildings and a quaint country market. We will download a few pictures when we get established.

We visited a place called Morrettes via the most spectacular railway in Brazil (if you read Lonely Planet). The LP was bob on as usual speaking about this journey to the coast (the train does not go there but stops short of the place by a bus ride) and we went on Monday the one day according to the LP the train does not run on.

The train is a descent over 3 hours or so through the city of Curitiba then to the countryside and down a valley. It was rather nice with some lovely scenery, but hardly the sell the LP made it. It might have been a tad better if we spoke fluent portuguese as the train tour guide offered none stop commentary on the trip but not in ingles.

We spent our evenings in the delighful neighbourhood eating and drinking in the local pub called Fire Fly which served some darn good grub and drinks and made Curitiba a rather delightful stopover on our way South to Montevideo.

Speak soon
Jay and Alli

We spent

Posted by Jason316uk 06:59 Archived in Brazil Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Rio comes to an End

The Good, the Bad and Ugly.

sunny 34 °C

Rio is now at an end. In 4 hours we will be on a 12 hour overnight bus to Curitiba. We have taken Parati off our list. The accommodation options were about 3-4 times that of Lonely Planet (as are the bus fares!!!!!).

Rio has been a mixture of good, bad and indifferent.

The good are the people, the beaches and the weather. The acai (an amazon fruit I have since found out) is great as are Caipirinhas.

The indifferent is the poverty and those it affects. You cannot go 30 minutes without being hassled for money or whatever. Not that I don´t feel for the plight of those far less fortunate but you grow indifference to being asked and whistled at 20 times a day. Some kid tried to shoe shine my flip flops or thongs.

The bad was a stupíd moment by me. I was attacked by 5 or 6 youths on the beach whilst taking a sneaky pee as is the local custom and non-toilet situation on the beach front. Luckily I had very little on me and the blighters were frightened off when I fought back and left hooked one. I escaped unscathed and will what little money I had on me. Lesson to oneself - do not wander on the dark part of the beach alone on the last night of carnaval!.

Apart from that we have had a fairly decent time.

To any travellers reading this blog, rethink your budgets if you are following the Lonely Planet guide. The tourist attractions are at least double the LP as are planes and buses. Cheap eateries and bars are still up to date.

Our Rio adventure is over.... We are looking forward to a new place with new experiences. Curitiba here we come.

Jason & Alli

Posted by Jason316uk 14:38 Archived in Brazil Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Rio - the land of Acai and Caipirinhas

sunny 34 °C

We have been in Rio for about a week now and it has been a while since we wrote anything in this Blog.

Rio is a city of such contrasts it is difficult to know where to begin.

We are staying one street back from Copacabana beach and we have awesome beach views and views of Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain).

Following advice from other travellers we have discovered the wonderful tastes of Acai and Caipirinhas.

Acai is like a blueberry smoothie mixed with ice and honey. It is sweet and rumour has it, it has great health benefits. I am not so sure but it does taste damn good.

Caipirinha is a local cocktail comprising some spirit I cannot remember the name of mixed with limes and crushed ice. It is a rather citrusy (is that a word - it is now!) taste so Alli has taken to them. On a beach front kiosk these delights are about 3 Reis (about 75 pence each to those from blighty and a little under 2 dollars to the antipodean readers).

We have been relaxing as this has been our honeymoon week and we have kept sightseeing to a minimal. There is not a great deal to see in Rio and I feel people watching, seeing the culture is what Rio is all about. That said we have seen Sugar Loaf mountain (access up via a cable car and a rather expensive trip for what it is 35 Reis) and of course carnaval!.

Carnaval is a street spectacle slightly North of the centre. The area is a bit run down and the local favelas are not too far away. Following a trip to this area and a rather frustrating 30 minutes to try and find a ticket office amidst ticket scalpers we got sector 9 tickets for Saturday evening. We got them at ticket issue price 2 days before the show. The show was fantastic - the sights, sounds, costumes and crowd was awesome. After 6 hours (a sore back) we decided to call it a draw and went home. We got in at 3,30am. We only saw 6 out of 10 of the schools. The show started at 8pm and based on the timings was not due to finish until 6 or 7am. Great value but enough is enough.

That is us all up to date.

Our plans have changed slightly. We were going to go to the Brazilian Pantanal but have ditched the idea. We got mullered by mozzies in Iguazu and both of us thought that going to the Brazilian wetlands would have resulted in frustration!. We have decided to head directly south to Parati, Curitiba, Porto Alegro and then on to Montevideo, Uruguay.

That is the fun of travelling!.

Love to All

Jay and Alli

Posted by Jason316uk 11:28 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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