17 Mar 2013
Today we started our six-day visit down The Amazon River.
Everybody who cares knows it is in the world’s biggest rain forest, supplies 1/3 of the oxygen in the world, has countless species, and is the largest river measured by volume.
Brazilian scientists have proven it is the longest river in the world. Egyptian scientists say the Nile is the largest. I would have been disappointed if either side came down the other way.
Not one bridge crosses the Amazon. It is over 4,000 miles long. I would hate to have to drive around it to visit a friend on the other side.
13 Mar 2013
Salvador was the world’s biggest slave port. 2.4 million slaves entered here; about 20% of the world’s total. Still 70% of its residents are Afro-Brazilian.
I like to blend in with the locals.
Slaves could not hurt one another, as they were considered property. Capoeira, a dance they put together, allowed them to vent frustrations towards each other -- without ever touching. (See Allyn above).
Carnival here is gigantic, but for the locals, not the rich tourists.
11 Mar 2013
Did I have a sign on my forehead? At the last port a man selects me from many people boarding the ship, introduces himself as an H. Stern (the jewelry store) rep, and offers a free car, driver, and guide while visiting Rio. The only catch is we have to visit their store. We do not have to purchase anything and there will be no high pressure. “Sounds like a deal”, I said.
They kept their part of the bargain. We had two full “free” days of touring. Allyn bought a beautiful necklace. The stone is a deep purple Brazilian Amethyst.
Among many other places, we visited Copacabana Beach.
We visited three synagogues.
We even visited an old car show.
08 Mar 2013
In Las Vegas Buzios is a nice restaurant in the Rio Hotel. In Brazil, Buzios is a wonderful seaside resort, just over 100 miles north of Rio.
It is definitely the nicest one we have visited. They have 22 beaches, 27,000 residents and about 300,000 people in town during the summer.
Punta del Este in Uruguay is where the rich and famous play. Unfortunately we were weathered out there a week ago and did not get to see the town.
Brigit Bardot spent some time there with her Brazilian boyfriend. Ergo the statue.
Pre- History – 520 million years ago Africa and South America collided and formed a huge mountain change similar to the Himalayas. Then they split and formed the Atlantic Ocean. Two places in Buzios give the geologists their facts.
07 Mar 2013
We keep traveling northeasterly up the east side of South America. There is no more cold this trip. It is hot and humid and we are still quite a bit below the equator.
For several days we have enjoyed quiet, quaint, fishing villages with not much going on but touristy boating, shopping, beaches and general loveliness. There hasn't been much to write about but the days have been very pleasant.
We have one more tomorrow then it is off to Rio for three days.
Did you know that Rio de Janeiro is a state as well as a city?