My Dad is going to add a lot from Macchu Picchu so here are a couple of photos of me there!! It was very high with very steep drops all around it so my Mum and I stuck to the main paths and let Dad run around like a kid.
We are in Virginia, USA! So much to catch up and what better time to do it then now - we were going to visit my Mum's cousin in North Carolina but there are Winter travel warnings for the next 12 hours so we are staying in and watching the snow fall on the golf course outside our apartment - very cool!
So to catch up, first I will fill in the main parts of South America that we went to after Brazil - Argentina, then across to Chile and up to Peru. In Peru we went to Macchu Picchu which my Dad is going to upload lots of photo's from, including a new recent slideshow.
After Peru we sailed from Lima to San Diego on a crusie ship.......more on that soon.
Now for our overland crossing of South America. As you scroll down, you will see me in the high plains around Salta, Argentina and then crossing the Andes into Chile. In Chile we finally saw the Pacific Ocean again - all my friends were just over the horizon in Batemans bay!! You may notice me sleeping in a car - that was waiting for a border post to open at the Chile-Peru border!
The falls are on the intersection of 3 countries - Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. At the falls themselves you can see Argentina from the Brazilian side (and vice versa). Paraguay is visible further downstream.
We visited the Brazilian side first, with Shelly and an English guy from our hostel called Kevin.
Then 2 days later we went across to Argentina with Shelly and saw the falls from that side. We thought the Argentinian side was more spectacular although I think you have to see them from both sides to appreciate the size of the falls and the power of the water.
The falls here are created from ancient lava flows that reached this point and created a vertical drop to the earth that was not reached by the lava. Then a second flow of lava reached almost the same point, in some places creating a double drop, whilst in parts it is a single, higher drop.
There were hundreds of beautiful butterflies, toucans and heaps of curious (hungry) Coati's (Quati's) - scroll down to see one of them up close.
The Rio da Plata deserves it's own space for photos - iit was amazing!!! The water is so clear because of calcium carbonate particles in the water that attract sediment and it then all drops to the bottom - well, that's what someone told us!
So, we started out hiring a car in Rio de Janeiro, with our new found friend, Shelly and then headed off to Foz do Igaucu, via some place called Bonito that Shelly had heard was pretty cool.
The first night on the road we stopped at this place called Itajuba, it was a lovely little town with a couple of hotels and a few little restaurants. There was live music in the pizzeria we ate at and a nice atmosphere.
After a lovely night there we headed to another little roadside town called Graca, it was just as nice although a little smaller. This time our hotel was part of a local bar, very similar to an Australian pub, complete with bistro and some local regulars.
After nine hours on the road the next day we found somewhere called Rio Brilhante, with a lovely hotel with a set of table and chairs and a fountain. We stopped there for one night and then the next morning after we had checked out Shelly and I were looking at some clothes and Mum and Dad were walking around the hotel area when a lady working at the hotel pulled them over to show them something. They came back to tell us that there was also a pool with a bar area! Even so we had to get moving again and the next place to stop at was Bonito.
Bonito is a popular tourist destination as it is home to the Rio da Prata (River of Silver) and many other clear springs, rivers and lagoons. We decided to stay there a night and take a day trip out to the river. It was truly spectacular, once we had our wetsuits on and had taken a shower we got into this truck which took us to the next stop. We were in a group with 4 Koreans and once we got to the jungle we did a 30 minute trek through it and at the end we entered the river. First we just got used to our masks and then we did a practice run. The small lagoon we circled to check our gear was amazing, complete with crystal clear waters and even an underwater spring bubbling away, producing mushroom clouds of silt and sand!
After we were all set we did our first proper snorkel. It was hard not to touch the bottom and this was proven to be clear with one of the Korean guys just standing up to clear his mask after the first 10 metres. Fortunately this was rare and clearly few other groups were doing the same as the river was mostly pristine. After about three hours we were done and definitely the best part of the snorkelling was towards the end were it was about 4 metres deep and it was so clear. At the bottom of a sandy part there was a really large spring along a fault line of rock – near the banks of the river it was rocky and in the middle it was sandy – really amazing!
In saying that though it was all incredibly clear with amazing fish in it – a lot like the Great Barrier Reef in a river. There were some scary looking fish the size of cricket bats and they had pretty ferocious looking teeth – gold in colour they are called Dourado’s and are apparently one of the worlds best inland sport fish. But I particularly didn’t like the bits where I kept running into trees, swimming along watching the bottom only to find a tree hanging into the river would brush along the back of my legs – yuk!
After an amazing day we were back on the road and had decided to go back to Rio Brilhante, for a night of fun in the pool. After there we were finally in Foz do Igaucu, we found a lovely hostel and decided to stay there for 4 nights (of course we ended up staying 5). The falls were amazing and the power and beauty of them is worth a few days visit which we did, from both the Argentinean side and the Brazilian side.
I am ready to catch up on what we have done so far in South America but first some favourite pictures from our cruise!
Ummmm, I seem to have dropped behind.
We just had the best 4 days in Venice! Swimming, catching boats every where and we were joined by my Aunty Tracy and Troy on Saturday morning - then got a huge surprise at Lunch when my Grandma and Grandad turned up to see us off (and celebrate their 45th anniversary).
We are leaving today on a cruise ship, South America bound!
Whilst in Vienna I went to the Vienna International School with my Aunty Tracy and sat in her class for a couple of mornings. We did some activities and I got to meet some kids from all around the world without having to go all around the world!
Vienna also has the coolest fun park in the middle of the city. You just walk in and then choose your favourite ride. Dodgems, ferris wheels, roller coasters and other really scary rides. We did a 5D movie experience called Vampires of Venice and Mum and Troy did the Sling Shot!
Well, here are some of the best things I liked in Europe............
Molly: Hi guys, it's me, hope year 5 is treating you well!! My teachers this year are a real drag!! Mum and Dad; boring! I know you won't have that problem at Batemans Bay Public School.........!!!??!!