Click on this link to view the photos of the trip to Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

I was checking my weekly Travelzoo web page and discovered this trip to South America for a good price.  I e-mailed this to my friend Barbara in Seattle to see if she was interested.  She phoned me to say she was and would do some checking up as to the dates and flights.   After she did some checking she contacted me and thought it wasAmazon River Trip in 1994 - Western Brazil & Peru! a good price for so many countries to Chuck at Machu Picchuvisit and so many things to do! 

In 1994 I visited Cusco Peru and Machu Picchu and then flew from Iquitos Peru into western Brazil and the town of Tabatinga where I did a weeks cruise on the Amazon River back into Peru.  The Amazon river was at flood stage so it was quite a trip needless to say Check out the photos on the Amazon River on the right side of this page! 

This link points to some of the photos I took while on the Amazon River in western Brazil at the flood stage in 1994 - and now I am on the east side in Rio!

I always wanted to see Rio de Janeiro in the eastern side of Brazil so this seemed a perfect way to tour the city plus a trip to Iguaçu Falls since I have seen Niagara Falls in Canada and Victoria Falls in Zambia. 

I visited Argentina in 1999 and did a cruise through the Strait of Magellan from Punta Arenas Chile to Ushuaia Argentina and visited the Pargue Nacional Tierra del Fuego of Argentina. 

Check out the photo on the right where I am having a whiskey with a large ice cube made from glacier ice on the border of Chile and Argentina in Tierra del Fuego!   Tierra del Fuego - 1999Chucks Brazil Visa

Since I have been to the southern tip of Argentina, this trip also seemed like a good idea for me to see Buenos Aries!  And this link points to some of the photos I took while on a cruise to the tip of Chile to Argentina through the Strait of Magellan in 1999 and the Pargue Nacional Tierra del Fuego at the tip of the continent!

Barbara sent me her passport to get her visa, excuse me, $130.00 for the visa and $20 extra as I took it in and she didn't, for a grand total of $150.00.  I went to the Brazilian Embassy in downtown San Francisco after my Carnival Cruise to Cabo San Lucas Baja California on October 6th, 2009.  I should get it on the 21st, in time for our departure from the San Francisco International Airport.  I needed my passport for the cruise to Cabo San Lucas at the tip of Baja California!   This is a link to the paper work and the receipt.  And I did get my Brazil Visa on the 21st as the embassy indicated!

I normally put photos on individual web pages for each country I visit but this time I will put on one set of web pages for all the photos from the countries we visit on this trip!

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You can read about our adventures visiting major cities in Brazil and Argentina plus the world famous Iguaçu Falls and Colonial, a World Heritage city in Uruguay in the daily diary I kept during the trip!

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San Francisco to Miami to Rio de Janeiro

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October 29, 2009

Barbara will fly to San Francisco from Seattle and meet me at the SFO airport.  We will fly from the San Francisco International Airport to the Miami airport and in the evening, fly on to Rio de Janeiro, getting into Brazil the morning of the 30th.  Here is the itinerary of our flights to Miami and on to Rio.  Then from Buenos Aries to Miami and on to San Francisco!  Barbara missed her flight and flew directly to Miami where we met and continued on to Rio!

We sat in the two seats by the window, Barbara had the aisle.  The two attendants came by after about two hours to serve dinner.   The cute one asked if we wanted a drink and I started to whine, I would like a chardonnay but, I don't want to pay $6 for it, blah, blah, blah.   He finally said he would give it to me just to make me happy.  After dinner Barbara complained that he didn't offer her a free wine.  So she asked the other attendant about a Bailey's whiskey and he asked why should she get one free.   She said I got a wine so he said, "Why don't you ask Food Boy!"   Food Boy!   So the attendant from San Diego came back and we told him the other attendant called him Food Boy.   He said he would talk to the other guy.   Next thing, the other attendant came by with four bottles of Baileys.  So Barbara got two and I got two bottles and I ended up getting $18 worth of drinks for free.  Such a deal!

Check out the annual temperatures and precipitations for Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aries on this link!

Check out the map of Rio de Janeiro on this link!

 

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Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

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October 30, 2009

Flight we landed in Rio de Janeiro Brazil at 9:50 A.M. and a transfer to the Hotel Debret on the Copacabana.   Our guide was very nice and gave us a nice tour from the airport to Copacabana beach.

The first thing we saw were the huge slums next to the airport, one to three story houses made of blocks and on a small dirt area by the freeway bypass, goats were trying to graze on a few weeds.

We were tired but decided to take the ferry across to another island to see the city as the sun set.  We took a cab and there were thousands of people getting off work to use the ferries.  The city was strange by the dock, a big three story mall to shop in and a Mc Donald's that was very busy.

Coming back on the ferry I met a young man about 23 whose family was Italian and he said he worked as a masseur.  He spoke Portuguese and Italian and a little English.  He was very nice.   We took a cab back to the hotel and went out to dinner.  

October 31, 2009

This morning we take the train to the top of the Corcovado Mountain and the 12 story statue of Christ.   We met the rest of the tour group and instantly became friends. 

In the afternoon Barbara, Sheila and I took a trip on the subway to the center of town and visited the historic center on a hill and took a yellow trolley back to the botanical gardens and a bus back to the hotel.  

Later we had a drink and then even later we had the Brazil special dinner the slaves used to eat, all the parts of a pig the Portuguese didn't eat.  It had pork, beans, greasy gravy and side dishes of a green, rice, a white powder that tasted like saw dust.  Not very tasty but we did try the native dish even if we were unsure of what we were eating!

November 01, 2009

Today the group decided to go to Sugar Loaf Mountain on our own.  It was perfect viewing and we took many photos.

We left around one P.M. and to our surprise, a huge gay parade was just starting by our hotel but unfortunately, it rained but they still had a huge crowd and floats.  We went down for an hour and took photos and then went to the 12th floor of the hotel, the restaurant surrounded with windows and sat and had coffee and watched the parade begin and the music.

This evening we had a tour of "Rio by Night' and a barbecue dinner with a samba show.  The food in Rio was not very good but the dinner did have some good meats and salads.  

But the Samba Show was excellent and was about two hours long with many acts and costume changes. 

Iguaçu Falls - Brazil/Argentina

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November 02, 2009

Today we have a flight to Iguaçu Falls and transfer to Hotel Rafain Centro. 

But before that our guide Wilson suggested we visit the Brazil side first.  We spent a few hours touring the Brazil side and then we went to the hotel, it was up graded due to one of the tour group men, Jerry, complaining and we were upgraded by the tour company. 

It was a good thing we toured the Brazil side or the next day would have killed us as we had to hike over five miles and also wanted to take the raft ride into the rapids and into the falls them selves!

November 03, 2009

We took a small train to the siding we wanted to get off of and we did two walks in the morning on the Argentina side.

Then we took a kind of giant jeep down to the river and did a river run and at the end, ran under the falls as people screamed and laughed.

Next we had a great lunch and beer before we took off again.

Then we did a mile walk into the river to see the massive Devil's Gorge, then a mile back with the temperature at about 45 C or over 110 F!

We were so tired most of us stayed at the hotel and swam and drank and gossiped and had dinner there, a great evening after a great day!

Buenos Aries - Argentina

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November 04, 2009

It was suppose to be a morning flight to Buenos Aries and transfer to the Viasio Hotel but the tour agency screwed us up and we ended up on a two P.M. flight and got into the city late in the afternoon.

The hotel was very nice after the horrible one in Rio and we just walked around the area to check out the stores. 

That evening we found a great place to eat, all kinds of meat on a grill, salads, deserts and so on, all you could eat, $7.00 U.S. dollars, such a deal.  We also found an ice cream place on the main boulevard and sat at the side walk tables and watched the sun set. 

We then took some photos at night and I got a good one of the Obelisk lit up in the middle of the main street.

About 11 P.M. that night Barbara and I were talking and the phone rang.  It was Jerry, he told Barbara he and Happy were still in Iguaçu Falls.  We thought he was kidding.  He wasn't.  The tour company had screwed up their flight and they ended up having to miss the tour the next morning of the city.   Barbara tried to have the tour company change our city tour from nine to ten A.M. the next day but it wouldn't have mattered as Jerry and Happy didn't get in until almost noon.

November 05, 2009

So the group took the morning tour of Buenos Aries, and the Plaza de Mayo, La Boca with out Jerry and Happy.

We walked all over the area taking photos of the buildings and the streets and especially liked the shopping area with the colorful buildings.  Our guide said many immigrants worked years ago worked on construction and took home the paint left over in a can.  Thus they painted a door one color and maybe one wall on color and another one another color.  We also saw tango exhibitions and gauchos dancers plus bands and artists working.

We visited the same buffet restaurant again as the food was so good and watched the tango dancers and shopped for tango shoes for Sheila!

November 06, 2009

Today we took a train to Tigre and took a boat ride around the area along with lunch.  Debbie and Kathleen from Vancouver saw us in the morning and asked if they could go along.  Of course.

We had a nice train ride with the locals and found a nice boat to relax on and see the sights plus have a nice lunch.

Coming back I stopped for two minutes at a bank to get some pesos and come out and no one was around.  I checked all over and finally went to the train station just in case and went to check a car to see if they might have gotten on.  The door slammed shut and I was off to Buenos Aries with out them.

I walked back to the hotel and relaxed in bed and an hour later Barbara came in and we had a good laugh as I said I got caught in the train and couldn't get out.   She said they asked a man at the station if they saw me and he said no as he always knows a foreigner.  Ha, he didn't recognize me as I knew where to buy the ticket and how to get on the right train!

This evening we went to a fantastic Dinner and Tango show.  The dinner composed of huge steaks the way one wanted it, French Fried potatoes, a nice salad and desert plus, all the wine one wanted, bottled water and good coffee.

Afterwards we took some photos and Kathleen and I went to the shop and tried on the Tango hats and did a Tango number and had Jerry take our photo.

Andre wanted me to Tango with Jerry so they all could take our photo, I said I don't think so even though Jerry was available!  Excuse me!

Uruguay

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November 07, 2009

This morning we will take a ferry or boat to Colonia del Sacrement, Uruguay, the first city in South America to be on the World Heritage listing.  We will stay two nights there. 

We got off the boat and were given an hour of history on a walking tour of the down town. 

We then went to the hotel and had a late lunch and then walked back down town and checked out a bed and breakfast so we could transfer there the next day.

We had dinner at the hotel and by then were tired and went to bed early to be ready for the next day.

November 08, 2009

We decided to change hotels in the morning and get a bed and breakfast with lots of charm.  

We walked around the town so often that we started to know the area quite well.

We found a great out door cafe and relaxed and had a nice lunch.

We also sat in the main square and relaxed under the palms and trees and watched the green parrots make nests along with small song birds and other birds.

We then finally after almost two weeks and no shopping, stopped at a shop we liked and proceeded to buy most of the things we wanted to take back!

Uruguay to Buenos Aries to Miami

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November 09, 2009

This evening we boarded our flight back to Miami and on to San Francisco, arriving on November 10th.

The flight was uneventful and the food was very good plus the movies.

So I wasn't worn out when I arrived in Miami even after an 8 1/2 hour flight.

Then the fun began trying to get through immigration and customs in Miami!

Miami to San Francisco

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November 10, 2009

It was a mess, I got to Miami with only an hour to change planes.   I had to go through immigrations, then customs and then run half a mile to the other gate.  I hate the Miami Airport, everything is so far apart.

I made the plane with five minutes left and flew to San Francisco.

I got here about 11 A.M. but the bag was still in Miami but American Airlines was very helpful and said the bag would be on the 6 P.M. flight and they would deliver it to my apartment the next afternoon.

They did, 3 P.M. the next day the phone rang and the delivery man was there and everything in the bag was safe so I was happy!



Return to the World Travels of Charles Walter Buntjer


  Charles Walter Buntjer


San Francisco California
Created on: 2009.10.30     


Published on: 2009.12.05