Saturday, January 28, 2012

7th Posting - Machu Pichu

Rather than put pictures from our onward journey to Machu Pichu on this website, I decided to create a separate blog for the 3 days in Peru. There were just too many photos to merely add to the South American blog. Click here to enjoy our adventures with us in Peru!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

6th Posting - Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is one of the most magnificent cities in the world. We finished out tour with two nights at the Arena Hotel, smack dab in the middle of Copacabana Beach. We had a full-day tour, which included the cable car ride up to the top of Sugar Loaf and the funicular ride up to Corcovado and the Christ the Redeemer Statue. What a great end to an exciting tour.
This is the view of Copacabana Beach from the top of our hotel by the swimming pool and bar!

This is the view of Corcovado from the top of our hotel!

An elaborate Sand Castle on Copacabana Beach

Dining with a view in our hotel restaurant

The beach at night

Sugar Loaf Mountain and the aerial cable cars!

View of city center from Sugar Loaf

Copacabana from Sugar Loaf

The Cable Cars up Sugar Loaf

Our whole group on Sugar Loaf with Copacabana in the background

Walking the jungle on top of Sugar Loaf

Rio's ultra-modern Cathedral

Interior of the Cathedral

Looking up inside the Cathedral

Municipal Theater (Opera)

The Sheraton Beach, with Ipanema Beach in the background

The eight-mile bridge over Rio's Harbor

Christ the Redeemer Statue on top of Corcovado

The train station hall for the ride up Corcovado

Sitting in the train on the way up to Corcovado

Christ the Redeemer

Looking down from Corcovado

Sugar Loaf and the beaches from Corcovado

The City Hall at dusk

The Opera House at dusk

Parliament Building for the State of Rio de Janeiro
(Brasilia is the capital of the country)

Evening Glow and farewell to Rio de Janeiro


Monday, January 23, 2012

5th Posting - Iguassu Falls!!

OK, this posting admittedly is going to be a lot of waterfall pictures, but after all, Iguassu Falls are the widest waterfalls in the world, with over 275 cataracts spanning more than 2 miles! They are on the border of Brazil and Argentina, and while most are on the Argentine side, the panorama of the falls is better from the Brazilian side. We stayed at the 5-star Hotel das Cataratas by Orient Express, right at the brink of the falls in the Iguacu National Park in Brazil. You can see by the first photo from the hotel's website, the fabulous location!

We took a walk right away the first afternoon.

The jungle, full of flowers and butterflies, added to our delight.

Alan, Armina and Ruth pose along the way.

Ahhhh, our first glimpse into the Devil's Throat, the most massive volume of water at the falls.

A coati shows off along the trail.

On the Brazilian side, a catwalk goes out over the chasm for a view of the Devil's Throat.

Looking into the Devil's Throat

Our Hotel, das Cataratas

The hotel's swimming area

Spectacular sunset over the falls

and half an hour later, it was even better!

Hotel entrance at night

Hotel Pool and Restaurant at night

Next morning a toucan welcomed us back to the falls

Morning light on the falls

Part of the group with the Devil's Throat in the background

Devil's Throat and little 'grass islands'

Catwalk to Devil's Throat

And then on Monday we went over to the Argentine side where we took a little train out to the Devil's Throat station and walked nearly a mile on catwalks above the river out to the end. Here we could look right straight down into the Devil's Throat.

Devil's Throat!

Looking downriver from the Devil's Throat

Half the group took a fast boat-ride under the water falls. They got soaked, as expected, but of course there are no photos from under the falls, as you have to put cameras in waterproof bags before you get into the heavy downpour! Here's Chloe ready to go.

The view from below, just before entering the cataract.

A boat under the falls!

In the evening we went out for a Brazilian Barbecue and Latin Show.

Lots of costumes from Latin America as well as interesting performers