A Travellerspoint blog

Buanos Aires

sunny 24 °C
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We arrived in BA on the 31st of december. Checked into ARG hostel, an understated, slightly tatty place, but with a dorm room to ourselves (unbelievable on NYE) and a balcony. We left straight to try top hook up with Bert at his hostel a little way across the city. BA has a reliable, large and cheap subway, or "subte", we used it for most of out moving about town.

We met Rob, hung out for a few hours catching up on 9 months worth of stories. He was travelling with a couple of guys, and the party at puerto limon hostel was shaping up to be good. We speant the evening there with a brief walk to the docks.

The next few days were speant exploring the fairly calm and relaxed streets of BA. It feels so quiet and european compared with cities in Brasil, infact Argentina in general feels like europe in comparison to Brasil, a nice change but a bit "sanitised". The people are really friendly, foods ok, with alot of italian influence.

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We saw the presidential pallace where "Evita" gave her speaches. The dakar rally was kicking off from Argentina to Chile (or summit) when we were there, so got to see all the cars and trucks.

Suzie left BA towards Mendoza with Braziliens we had met in Puerto Limon, me and Bert were heading south, to Patagonia.

Posted by josh denne 07:58 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Iguacu Falls

sunny 28 °C
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We stayed in paudimar hostel, near the falls. Met an australian guy named Matt and spent a day exploring the Brasileiro side of the falls, and a huge Hydroelectric dam up river - It supplies paraguay with ~75% of the countries electricity and brazil with ~25%, HUGE!

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The day after we crossed the border and spent 1 day on the Argentine side.

Crossing in style!

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Missing the Portugese language, Brazilian smiles and food, we got on the bus and headed straight to Buanos Aries for new years eve!

Posted by josh denne 12:45 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Regua

sunny 32 °C
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1 Day at Regua.

I normally start my day sleeping, I have a bedroom i share with Suzie in a little house backed onto a wetlands. In the house we have 3 bedrooms for people staying, a lounge area (with a table lots, of books and two sofa`s) and a bathroom.

Around 7.00 to 8.00 we wake up (unless we have a long walk to do, or fancy a lie in). I have a shower, and prepare myself for another hard days graft - Ha haaaa!!

We have breakfast at the kitchen across the coartyard. The walk is across a grassy area, a dirt road and the coartyard, even by 7.30 the heat can get oppressive, often exceeding 30*C. Breakfast usually consisting of Granola, cheese sandwiches, bread and jam, a good selection of tropical fruits. We try to be ready to work by 8am, but it can be earlier if it is going to be hot and we want to go walking.

In the morning we could be working in the nursery, planting trees, walking in the forest with rangers or collecting seeds with Mauricio (the nursery manager), helping with maintanence, clearing leaves. . . . On the odd day we could start the long process fo waiting for the rain to stop.

Lunch is between 12.00 and 13.30 depending upon who is about, who has visitors etc etc. I eat with the other volunteers (during my stay this included Sam, Humphrey, Holly, Suz (Blates!!), Alex, Paul, Jenny, Lisa and Louise) normally Nicholas and Raquel (the owners managers of the reserve), somtimes forestry engineer Aline, computer dude, Mauricio and any others who are about and have a hankering for some food. Our food is prepared by the ladies that cater for the tourist house. Lunch nearly always has beans, rice and salad. Somtimes we have pies freshly prepared, potatoe dishes, lentils, soup. The quality of the food is outstanding and the sheer quantity is exhausting!

After lunch I maybe take half an hour or more to relax, use the internet or read. After this we go back to one of the activities mentioned before, maybe take a walk to a river for a swim, maybe take a dip in the swimming pool at the Villa. Work for the employees ends between 4.00 and 4.30, so we finnish around then.

Supper is left for us to eat when we want, usually between 6.00 and 8.00. Again, almost always including the typical Brasileiro Feijao è Arroz (beans and rice) and any of the other delights above. After supper we Read, Internet, Swim, Chat, Play with the ferrel children that live on/near the reserve, go to Guapiaçu or Matumbo for a beer or walk about the place. At the weekends we go to Guapiaçu for a swim at a small river beach, go to Rio do Janeiro, Nova Friburgo, Cachoeras de Macacu. One weekend we went for a comunity bikride with the young rangers, and another we had a Churasco (BBQ) with the staff. If all else fails you can just R e l a x . . . .

I go to bed between 9.00pm and 11.00pm and normally end my day sleeping.

Regua is a not-for-profit NGO aiming to conserve the upper catchment area of the Guapiaçu river, an important water supply for nearby towns and cities, and a major water source for the people of Rio de Janeiro, and to conserve the unique habitats found in the area. The work consists of Patrolling the protected areas (using local men, many of whom have used to be hunters) Creating opportunites for reasearch by people from universities all over the world, Reforesting areas that have been deforested in the past (there are alot - all but 7% of the atlantic rainforest has been lost) And restoring small areas of wetland that we drained for agriculture. The NGO is run by Nicholas and Raquel Locke. Nicholas inherited some of the land and has bought other areas from realtives as the surrounding area was once a huge family farm.

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After 2 months at the reserve i decided to go and see some of the surrounding area. I saw Petropolis, Walked from Petropolis to Teresopolis (one of THE famous walks in Brasil) And went to the beach resorts of Rio dos Ostras And Buzios where i met Matias and Juan. It was fun.

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Below you can see photos of My time at Regua after this.

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Nicholas and Raquel at a BBQ we had.

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Mayara, the real boss of Regua, Brasil, and the WHOLE WORLD!

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The Regua Team.

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This little friend was growing in my leg.

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Caraça and Ouro Preto in Minas Gerise. Me and suzie we for a week, Foi muito bom!

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Posted by josh denne 09:03 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Rio de Janeiro

sunny 27 °C
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We drove for 14 hours through the night to "the marvelous city". I had heard alot about rio, pulling into the underwhelming bus station "rodoviaria novo rio" i hoped she wasn't going to dissapoint. Suzie me and Christi (some girl we met on the bus) got a taxi to copacabana - to the Yellow Mellow hosel. I can only describe Mellow Yellow as a shit hole. Huge, the MY has rooms sleeping over 30 public school gap year students surviving on a concoction of cocain, super noodles, overpriced tours of rio (once they have their parents permission slip) and the sence that they are surviving the third world - ego's fly high. It is the kind of place that stacks guests up (3 teir bunks about 3 meters high) and gets them in and out as quickly as possiable. Bad organisation means they always have a scrum of people 3 deep at the reception. And if the showers were just cleaned once a month it might make it better! (ok im exagerating) We stayed there to meet friends me met in lencois. We also met some cool people.

Suzie, Ariel (he arrived with the londoners) and i took the cog train up corcovado mountain to see the "christo Redentor"statue, standing tall over Rio's Favella's.

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We took a walking tour of Centro, the central district of the city.

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The Cathederal.

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Important phone call??

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Lapa by day.

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Celaron's Steps.

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I saw the botanical gardens with Elodie (also from lencois) We went back to The red steps and met the artist, Celaron. And walked back via the Lagoa

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Rio by night accross the Lagoa.

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After moving to the much nicer CobanaCopa Hostel (i dont know HOW they came up with that name) I saw the contempory art museum in Niteroi.

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Sunset from sugar load mountain with Suz.

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We moved to Ipanema for two nights and relaxed on the Beach.

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Cycled around the lagoa with Suz on a tandem, visited santa teresa on the tram and road accross the lapa arches.

For Suzies Birthday we visited a rainy market (which turned out to be closed) and looked around the national museum. That night we went to Zero Zero, a club in th planetarium - NERDSS.

We experienced the Maguira samba festa - the year round saturday night practice for carnaval. Thee much have been 200 drums, the sounds, and the feel was incredible.

We hit the beach one more time, i went to the doctor about the possiable worm in my foot, turns out it was just a good dose of foot yeist!!

Leaving rio felt a bit emotional, after three weeks Copacabane had started to feel like home. There was no doubt that Rio had worked her magic on me . .

Posted by josh denne 15:02 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Porto Seguro & Arraial d´Ajuda

sunny 30 °C

The bus from Salvador direct to Rio de Janero is 26 hours (roughly). And coveres a large section of the country. It seemed obvious to break the journey and see somwhere on the way.

Porto seguro is a small town/city on the coast, it was the first place that the Portugese landed before colonialisation began. A ferry accross the estury takes you to a Arraial d´Ajuda. Arraial is a small slightly over touristy town, home of the largest water park in Latin America and. . . . . . not alot else. We met Oliver walking from the bus, stayed in a three bed room in the pousada Bouganville (which had its own pool!!!) and enjoyed the fantastic breakfast for three mornings. I got absolutely smashed on Caipirinha´s (Cacassa, which is sugar cane rum, limes and sugar) at a street bar, spoke to a guy who had ¨been to every country in the world, had 4 wives, had a class of car racing created just for him and raced formula1 winning his second race¨ jokes.

Apart from the water park, we saw some quality Capoiera at the sul de Bahia grading ceremony - a big event which involves people from Capoiera acadamies from all over the world. We were lucky to see it as we knew nothing about it until the last night it was on (our last night in Arraial).

Suzie and Oliver:
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Some Capoiera, the wire mesh and poor light fucked up the photo´s

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Getting a bit bored of backflips.

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Getting very bored of backflips.

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Posted by josh denne 13:15 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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