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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 1 - 10 of 2293 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Dec 06, 2019 12:00 AM At the bottom of the Andes...

At the bottom of the Andes... Sunny morning in Mendoza. The liter of petrol costs here 55 pesos - we filled the car tank to full to avoid problems in the countryside. It was 9 am when we started to drive the famous RN40 road... It goes all over the way south - at the bottom of the Andes. Till Tunuyan there were vineyards around and snow visible on the peaks reaching 5 to 6 thousands m above sea level. Then we found ourselves in the semi- desert. The most impressive part of this segment were the canyons around Rio Diamante crossing. See the views on the picture. Then we stopover for the meal in the green township od Malargue. RN40 took us again through deserted hills to Bardas Blancas. We crossed the bridge and... what a challenge! More than 110 kms driving on the stoney/ gravel road. Nice views of the Rio Grande river but I was really afraid about our tyres - no settlements on thd way to repair! We were lucky: with reduced speed I reached after 2,5 hours the bridge on Rio Barranca - the border of the Neuquen province. No single control in such a remote point... Good asphalted road took us up and down the mountains 150 kms away on the RN40 - to the town of Chos Malal - this was the first possible overnight point. We did today 655 kms, but the gravel segment should be multipled by 3 :) Good night from the bottom of the snowy Andes

Dec 05, 2019 12:00 AM 643 kms to Mendoza

643 kms to Mendoza Wow! Blue sky. strong sun. We are driving west through the mountains of Argentina. First two hours we were climbing up to the Parador of Condor enjoying great panoramic views of the rocks, high slopes and deep valleys. There were nice waterfall "The tear of the Indio" right above the road. Then from the La Posta pass there were nice descent to the Mina Valley. Much more green here on the way to Dolores. In the afternoon we made a short stopover in the colonial city San Luis. The cathedral is under restauration , but Santo Domingo church is interesting and they two shady plazas with monuments and fountains.
Then finally we reached good highway no. 7 heading to Mendoza . Police and sanitary controls on the province border. They introduced highway fees - 80 plus 60 pesos on this segment. Hot day! More then 30 deg Celsius in the sun. We arrived to Mendoza only at 7 pm. In the evening the city is nicely illuminated - especially the main Plaza Independancia. People are srtolling along main San Martin Ave. With High Andes in the background city has many green avenidas and parks. I must confess I am tired. The bottle of regular wine cost here around one dollar. Let's drink for the great day... We plan to drive even more tomorrow!

Dec 04, 2019 12:00 AM Buenos - end of the cruise...

Buenos - end of the cruise... After two days in the stormy Atlantic today in the morning "Costa Pacifica" docked in the port of Buenos Aires. It was the time to say goodbye to all friends (I will miss you dear Russians, Hungarians, Americans!) I disembarked at 10 am after a solid breakfast. Uuuu, no changes in the dirty terminal..... Outside of the building crowd of the people waiting for taxis. Hard to see here the other backpacker.... I - the backpacker know my way - turn right, go some 1,5 km along the noisy street full of the big trucks.. Pass the road works and at the exit from the next port gate under the viaduct there is bus stop of 45 bus heading to universitaria via Aeroparque airport. The bus cost less than one dollar. At the moment I am waiting in the AEP airport for my flight to Cordoba. Good free internet here! My Polish friend is also in the air on the other flight. I should meet him in Cordoba around 5 pm.
Later: everything goes well - we rented the car - big logan and reached in the evening Vlilla Carlos Paz. Twin room with a kitchen costs here only 1 USD. Payment in dollars is accepted. Buenas noches from Argentina!

Dec 02, 2019 12:00 AM Storming in the Atlantic

Storming in the Atlantic This was surprise for everybody on the ship. In the night after leaving Rio our ship stasted to dance on the waves ( and we started to dance on the dance floor - but this ws a challenge!) The captain Valentino ordered to lock the doors to the open decks. The life on the ship bacame little boring (unless you have a good friends) The concert of two tenors in the theatre - nice, popular songs...

Dec 01, 2019 12:00 AM In the legendary Rio again...

In the legendary Rio again... The entrance to the Guanabara Bay is very spectacular. It was 7 am when we were approaching one of the most picturesque places in South America - Rio has very spectacular location. But today the weather is hazy, hazy. No blue sky... Anyway - it was great again to pas along the Sugar Loaf, Copacabana before docking near the bridge... I used old method to reach the beaches from the cruise terminal : free taxi from jewellery shop. They left me in Ipanema. I saw the precious stones, they offered me a piece for 1400 USD then I said thank you and I took along walk along Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches. Memories... . On Sunday the beaches were full of tourists, pretty local girls - the Cariocas. Great walk, refreshing memories. In the afternoon I took the subway to Cinelendia stop (4,60 reais - you can use credit card) and walk to the modern cathedral with great stain glass in the roof. Few people know that just nearby -at the back of
Pertobras huge building is the last stop of Santa Teresa historic tram. Funny archaic car will up and down, crossing high viaduct - for just 20 reais.
Oh - I was happy walking back to the dock. A lot of homeless people sleeping on the card boxes, but also the strong presence of the police... What a day in Rio!
Now we will be sailing two days at sea to Buenos Aires - the cruise will reach the end... Ahoy!

Nov 30, 2019 12:00 AM Salvador - Bahia

Salvador - Bahia I am again in Salvador - Bahia state, famous for great colonial monuments and Afro-Brazilian culture. It is for me great place to explore, but already on the ship we received the official warning: take care on the streets, do not wander the side alleys, keep your watch in the pocket... Brazil... Aha... there are also improvements: the wifi connection in the terminal works good!
I am always fascinated again when arriving to Salvador Bahia - today I found much more tourists then years ago but it is still nice with such an explosion of the colors and music (no drummers parade today but they still drum on the Jesus Square. The cathedral is open after restoration and the charge 5 reales for the entrance which will allow you to see golden altars. There are ladies in the national costumes hunting for the tourist to offer paid picture... Something new: young men are pointing palms, sun etc... on your naked arms or legs. Great place to be - for just 10 reales you can buy the straw hat protecting you from the strong sun. Tomorrow we will have day at sea on our way to Rio de Janeiro.

Nov 30, 2019 12:00 AM At sea - dancing, romancing...

At sea -  dancing, romancing... On our ship there are at least four different dancing floors. I found at least two good dancers and we are enjoying good music..

Nov 29, 2019 12:00 AM I feel absolutely safe...

I feel absolutely safe... Salvador has bad opinion regarding the street crime... but there is a strong presence of the military police on the streets of Salvador - they are very friendly!

Nov 28, 2019 12:00 AM Turquoise paradise in Maceio

Turquoise paradise in Maceio Today we dock in the Brazilian port of Maceio. The free shuttle is taking the passengers from the ship out of the port gate where nice and long beach is giving a lot of oportunities to enjoy the real tropical paradise. Plenty of vendors walking around offering huts, drinks, coconuts (2 reais each). Colorful sailboats called jangada will take you for the tour. Just great place, bus the sun is strong and the temperature 35 deg plus...

Nov 27, 2019 12:00 AM Land on the horizon - Pernambuco!

Land on the horizon - Pernambuco! After crossing the Atlantic today in the morning we docked in Recife in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. We are already on the southern hemisphere. It is very hot and humid. Strong sun shines... It is my third visit in Recife - nice to refresh memories of the tropical city, where the port is located right in the old town. But the old sources of free internet disappeared so I was forced to ask for the password the charming black waitress in the cafe opposite Marco Zero - the distance marker from Portuguese time. Few more colonial building are restored and it is still strong presence of the police on the streets - watch you pockets - you are in Brazil! Local authorities appreciate the tourism - in the old city I met at last 30 girls distributing city maps, usually they do not speak English, but all are very polite.. I am doing well. Tomorrow we will be in the port of Maceio...

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