A Travellerspoint blog

Tinharé

overcast 23 °C
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On Monday we headed back to the airport in Salvador to catch a flight to the Island of Tinharé, about 200km from Salvador.

We knew the plane would be small, but when they started to refer to it as a taxi I began to get a little nervous. At our `boarding time`we turned up at the airlines office and were taken by car about 20mins to a location the other side of the airport. There we saw the small planes and helicopters used as taxi´s to taken people to the islands in the Bahia region. Our plane took 10 people including the pilot. We had a full view of everything the pilot did and we were just behind him. One lucky passanger sat next to the pilot. It was a fun 20 min flight, but I hated the last 30 seconds of the landing.

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The island of Tinharé has 4 beaches and the major village is Morro do Sao Paulo. No vechicles are allowed in Morro so there are men with wheel barrows and mules used as transport for items around the village. The roads are dirt tracks, which are in a pretty bad state. With all the rain, I think they are worse then normal.

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Chris and I are staying at a Pousada on the 4th Island. The place is Hotel Anima (http://www.animahotel.com/) and is perfect. We have our own secluded bunglow which is very comfortable and clean. The staff speak great english and the owner perfect engligh. The food is very good and reasonable prices given we are on an island. We have lots of tropical fresh fruit (mango, Pinapple, Papya) for breakfast along with pastries and cereal. Dinner is usually a sea food dish. The sea food is very good here. There is one dish called `fishermans catch`that we are going to try very soon. As with most places we go, there is a cat that seems to have adopted us.

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Unfortunatly Tinharé is experiencing a very unusual and wet July. They have had rain every day of this month. This is a problem for 2 reasons - little chance to sun bath and the mosquitos and terrible. Today the sun is out and it hasn´t rain for a few hours (so why are we sat in an internet cafe?). Hopefully the bad weather has ended and we will be blessed with Sunshine for our remaining 9 days on the island.

Once we leave here, we head back to Rio for a couple of days sight seeing before we head home.

Posted by The Pratts 23.07.2008 09:26 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Salvador, Bahia

sunny 27 °C
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We landed into Salvador on Saturday about 2.30pm. We were greated by a driver with our name on a plaque. We are now trvelling in Honeymoon style, but with a backpacker budjet!!

The Pousada (http://www.pousadadopilar.com/) in Salvador was very nice, with a great view over the harbour and ocean. Chris and I spent Sunday wandering around the cobbled, hilly streets (painful in flip flops!) soaking up the sun and atmosphere. The architecture and atmosphere in this city were amazing. Although it has been said that you are more likely to be mugged or pick pocketed in Salvador then anywhere else in Brazil, I felt much more comfortable here then in Rio.

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On Sunday night I treated Chris to a meal out at Fogo de Chão. After eating there several times in Dallas we thought it would be great to eat at one of their Brazilian locations. The overall idea and set up was the same, but there was a much better salad bar in Salvador and the cuts of meat were differenet. Most were better then the ones at the Dallas location, apart from the hump (yes they served the hump of the cow!!) and Chris missed the bacon wrapped fillet and sausages.

A bit on Salvador - Salvador was the first capital of Brazil and remained so until 1763. Over 80% of the population ois of Black African origin, and African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. The historical center of Salvador, frequently called the Pelourinho, is rich in historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.

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Posted by The Pratts 23.07.2008 09:11 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Paraty (or Parati)

sunny 27 °C
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On Wednesday morning after a short sleep we headed into the town of Paraty which was a 20 min walk on cobble stones. We did a bit of sight seeing, a bit of internet etc and sat on the beach for a while. In the evening one of the cook groups put on the last cook group dinner in the form of a BBQ. It was a great evening and in true form a little too much wine was drunk. A few of us stayed up late and had a go at playing Digga´s didjeridu around the camp fire.

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Thursday a large group of us went on a boat trip around the islands of Paraty. The trip was 5hrs and we got to snorkel, swim, sun bath and the highlight was seeing a very large pod (over 100) of dolphins. The view from the boat was amazing, very tropical.

Thursday evening we had our final meal as a group and we went to an all you can eat BBQ and Caipirinha resturant. It was a very backpacker place and there was free flowing Caipirinha all night - what a mistake.. The great thing about Caipirinha is it doesn´t seem to give us a bad hang over. It was a fantastic evening and a fitting end to the trip with Dragoman.

Friday morning we all piled back into Carmen for our last truck journey. We were supposed to leave at 7.30, but everyone was a little slower then normal so we ended up leaving about 8.15 (not bad given the night before) We drove upto Rio de Janeiro. The trip took about 5 hours. Once in Rio the group split into 2 hostels. The younger crowd opted of a large (24 person dorm) party hostel, while to older crowd opted for a quiet family run hostel. Both hostels were in Cococabana. As Chris and I are going to be back in Rio at the end of our trip we didn´t do too much on Friday apart from wander down Cococabana beach.

On saturday morning we caught a flight up to Salvador, leaving to Dragoman group behind. We are now well and truley on our own!

Posted by The Pratts 23.07.2008 08:53 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Iguaçu Falls - Brazil

26 °C
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We left Argentina on Saturday and crossed into Brazil. The drive from our campsite to the border crossing was about 15 minutes, and our campsite in Brazil was about the same distance from the border. So, Saturday was a short drive day.

We spent Saturday walking around Foz do Iguaçu, shopping for cook groups and relaxing by the campsite pool. I was recovering from a bout of food poisoning and went to bed early. Chris, however, enjoyed some of the left over free wine from the Estancia and got to bed around 3.30am!

On Sunday we went to the Brazilian side of the Iguaçu falls. It was a very different experience to the Argentinian side. It was a lot more tranquil and panoramic. We got a much better view of the vastness of the falls.

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The park wasn´t as big as the Argentinian side (the falls are mainly in Argentina), so we only spent half a day there. After the falls we went to a bird park. The bird park is a private enterprise and is used a lot by scientists to study bird behaviour. It is also an important park for breeding rare and endangered species of birds. There were all sorts of birds: parrots, toucans and parakeets as well as some reptiles. Chris and I went in to an aviary with a lot of large macaws. They dive bombed us and flew very close to us. It was a very bizarre experience. I went on to hold a Macaw, I had no idea how heavy they are, or how sharp their talons are. A Toucan pooed on my foot, is that good luck?

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Sunday evening I was feeling much better and found a taste for the Brazilian drink of Caipirinha. Caipirinha is made with cachaça, lime and sugar. Cachaça is made from fermented and distilled sugar cane juice and has an alcohol content of somewhere between 38% - 48% hick, hick...

Monday morning we set off for 2 days driving to get us to Paraty . We bush camped on Monday night. This was our last bush camp on this trip. The roads are in a pretty bad way in Brazil so the going was slow and bumpy. Even around São Paulo, the roads didn´t improve that much. We got into our campsite in Paraty about 1am on Wednesday.

The scenery became more and more tropical and more mountainous as we moved towards the Atlantic and closer to the equator.

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Brazil is the largest economy in South America and the 10th largest in the world but it was hard to believe this as we drove past some very poor areas with people living in makeshift tents and small houses. I was surprised to see such poverty, as we had seen very little in Argentina. I guess the reason is there is a much bigger disparity between the classes here in Brazil.

Posted by The Pratts 16.07.2008 08:23 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Iguazú Falls - Argentina

sunny 24 °C
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We have just come back from a full day at the Iguazú Falls. Words can not do them justice. They were absolutely amazing; the noise, the mass of water, the rainbows and the subtropical jungle - wow.

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The Iguazú National park (a UNESCO World Heritage site) has an amazing network of trails and suspended paths to walk around. The morning was spent walking around the top part (1500m), and bottom part of the falls (2800m). We got to view several of the smaller falls (Iguazú Falls is made up of over 200 falls, see last blog) from the very top, we got some good panoramic views of the falls, giving us an idea of how vast they are. We also got pretty close to the falls in one location, getting wet from the spray in the process.

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In the afternoon we caught the Rain Forest Ecological Train (the train was built in England in Ross-on-Wye) to Devil's Gorge, a location near the top of the falls. We walked for about 1500m, mainly over a lot of river which was eerily calm. At the end of the walk we came to balconies built over the edge of the waterfall - 90 metres high - so we had a great view of the water tumbling over the side, and also had an amazing view of the falls on the Brazilian side. This blog has a lot of photos and links to videos we took because I just cannot find the right words to explain them.

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Click this link to see a video of the falls from Devils Gorge - Video

In addition to the falls we also got to see some wonderful butterflies and several Coati whom are members of the racoon family and condors, too.

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The weather is getting better as we head North back towards the equator. Today was about 25oC and we both have a nice little glow from spending a day walking around in the sun.

Tomorrow we leave Argentina and head into Brazil and get to see the falls from their side.

Posted by The Pratts 11.07.2008 13:01 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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