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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 81 - 90 of 2037 Page: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Dec 18, 2017 12:00 AM To Casablanca...

To Casablanca... Royal Air Maroc offers last expensive one-way air ticket from Brazil to Europe. That's how I travel... But it is not the most reliable carrier!
The flight from Sao Paulo to Casablanca was 1,5 hour delayed.... Dreamliner, but the service was rather rude, the choice of the movies on the individual screens poor... They kept darkness in the cabin untill 11.30 am, very non-professional! We landed in the sunny Casablanca at 12.15 pm. You are arriving by new, modern plane but they do not use bridges to transfer you to the terminal - you go by bus. Security civil agents qualified everybody to be screened or not. Then I took transit yellow path to reach transit desk. Oh my God! I found there a crowd of passengers, mostly black Africans trying to get to the miserable clerks. No regular lines, no police to keep everything in order... People shouting.... "fuck you" and "kill you" were popular in this black crowd... After half an hour I saw the corrupted policeman - coming only to arrange papers for his friend passenger. Well, after an hour I got the decision - theyl send me to thd hotel before Wednesday flight. Then I was again staying 40 min in the line to the immigration and finally went to the upper floor of terminal 1 where "acommodation desk" is located. Another 30 min in the line... Ufff...they put me with the group of fellow passengers to the minibus. After 40 min drive we landed in "Le Zenith" hotel on the outskirts of Casablanca - far from the centre. Good night!

Dec 17, 2017 12:00 AM Fortaleza Sao Jose

Fortaleza Sao Jose In the 18th century Portuguese built on Santa Catarina and little islets in the strait solid forts to protect their colonial property from Spain. The best preserved is Sao Jose fort in the northwest corner of ghe island.
I took three buses one by one to get there from my place. You pay on gne first hus 3,90 then you change bus for free in firts hub TICEN, then you catch the bus to second hub TISAN, and the third bus 272 takes you to the destination. The fort is located on the rocky cape, with nice beaches on the both sides. There are old cannons, the casern and comandante house next to the powder storage. White chapel was also open. They charge 8 BRL entry fee at the gate.
It took me one hour to see the pace, to read explanations and to take pictures. Then I returned the same way to my pousada - 3 buses, less then 2 hours on the way.
It is lovely sun and 30 deg Celsius but it is time to go back. In the late afternoon I am flying to Sao Paulo and in the night I will cross the Atlantic. I hope everything wil go well...

Dec 16, 2017 12:00 AM Around Santa Catarina

Around Santa Catarina The island dimensions are 54 km by 18 km so sorry, it is not walkable, especially in the 30 deg Celsius heat... You can reach most places by public buses (3,90 reales per ride including transfers in the hubs) but this require a lot of time, waiting for the connections - not good solution for hurry backpacker. I did it by tour doubledecker. The is the tour company floripabybus who offers such a day tour for 100 reales (80 for senior) -and I think it is reasonable price.
After short Florianopolis overlook we drove to the wild south of the island with great beaches and mountain views. Joaquina Beach bordered by huge boulders was probably the nicest -see the picture. Then we turned north to the big lagoon enjoying the view from the Mirante Mole. Turtles-saving institution was also on schedule...
Then beaches of the north - very fashionable, very narrow and very crowded - I do not recommend them. But top class girls were there :)
On the west coast we stopped in the old San Antonio village to enjoy samples of colonial architecture.
Return at 4.30 pm, then bus to my pousada. Great day on Santa Catarina!

Dec 15, 2017 12:00 AM A long way to the paradise...

A long way to the paradise... I try to avoid bus travel in the night because it is tiring, doesn't give the view and it is also sometimes dangerous. But there was only one long distance bus per day from Santos to Florianopolis - in the evening. I bought the ticket in advance via internet on the site of Catarinense company. In their window on rodoviaria (bus terminal Santos) they issued proper ticket. 15 min before scheduled departure big white doubledecker arrived. They collected bagage and... I recognized that in this elegant bus I do not have enough space for for my legs..... Uuuuu!!
It was very tiring 13,5 hours journey. We made 2 stops on the road 30 min each....
Many traffic jams on approach to the bridge to Sta Catarina Island. At 11 am I landed in the paradise.
City bus 136 for 3,90 reals took me to Edelweiss Pension. Look what a view I have from the pension... It is time to rest....

Dec 14, 2017 12:00 AM Santos - the smell of the coffee

Santos - the smell of the coffee It is the completely new place to me. The biggest port in South America. Already at 10 pm when I disembarked the ship with my pack I was convinced that it is not a nice port. On the other side of canal there are port slums and you see nothing interesting... Well, you see that the surroundings of the terminal are not designed for the walkers. Many rail tracks, no sidewalks on deserted streets. I decided to take a metered taxi to my "Republica 13" hostel. Located in the quiet street they offered me clean room for day stay for 22 USD.
I left my suff in the clean room and took a long walk to the city center. Santos is the capital of coffee. The most interesting historic buildings are concentrated around the coffee exchange building. See picture. Now there is coffee museum where you can of course taste coffee of your choice. Many coffee shops and sidewalk cafes are sprayed around. And a ever present smell of coffee....
Old tram is going around the old part of the city with a tourists. But sorry, the golden past of Santos is over. Many nicely decorated houses are in the ruin or converted into the car parks. Gray color dominates here...
Santos has also nice beaches, but this is another story...
Tonight I plan to take the overnight bus going south - to Santa Catarina...

Dec 13, 2017 12:00 AM Rio from the sea!

Rio from the sea! I think that Rio has one of the most spectacular location regarding all cities of the world. Other ones are Hong Kong, Sydney, Cape Town, San Francisco....
For the first time I approached Rio from the sea. I got up early to see the view. Yes, it was spectacular with Sugar Loaf and Corcovado in the distance... An hour later I was already on a shore. Terminal in Rio (on a picture) is poor - no city maps, internet is so weak that not possible to use.
I have been already twice to Rio, visiting popular places. So what to do?
I will tell you the secret: there is Hans Stern jewellers stand in the terminal. They offer free round trip tour to their gem factory in Ipanema. Tour is interesting. On the way you will see many interesting landscapes of Rio. Tour takes like 40 min. They offer free tea/coffee/soft then you politely say thank you, I do not buy gems! Politely ask for the password and you can use their wi-fi.
Then you can walk around Ipanema to enjoy the beauty of the girls, before returning to the factory for your return shuttle bus (the last one goes at 6pm.) What a free deal!
Yes, it is nice to walk again along Ipanema and Leblon Beaches... I love it - there is only one Rio in the world...

Dec 11, 2017 12:00 AM Ilheus, Brazil - Oh, how they dance!

Ilheus, Brazil - Oh, how they dance! The band of drummerswas waiting for us on the little pier in the port of Ilheus. And three ladies - the dancers... They were still dancing when I was disembarking the ship an hour later. What a power!
Ilheus for many years was a world capital of cocoa... The still have the plantations but noe tourism is here the main source of income.
It is walking distance from the port to the center of the city - Ilheus looks much safer then Maceio... :)
They have a nice cathedral and the pedestrian zone with the house-museum of the famous Brazilian writer Jorge Amado. In the back of the cathedral it is worth to see Praia de Christo - the name come from the Big statue of the Christ overlooking the beach.
Can you imagine? It is not possible to find here internet access!
On the way back I climbed with a group of friends little hill where Ursuline convent and church Piedade are located. Just nearby the fine viewpoint is located, but it is better not to be there alone.

Dec 10, 2017 12:00 AM Sunday in Salvador - Bahia

Sunday in Salvador - Bahia Afro-American culture, exceptional architecture of Brazilian baroque - this place is on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. It is also one of the most dangerous places for the foreign tourists. But the situation is improving. In the old town almost on every corner you see the guys (and pretty ladies too) from Policia Militar. I survived Salvador many years ago so I believie I will be OK... Anyway it is a pleasure to walk again the cobbled streets, to see the rich churches (they conduct Sunday masses today) and to enjoy azulejos pictures in the courtyard of San Francisco monastery. But the upper deck of our ship gave me also the new perspective too see the old city - Alto located some 70 m on the cliff from outside. Destroyed houses, piles of garbage, ruins... This is the other face of the same town... Still exciting!

Dec 09, 2017 12:00 AM Maceio - new port!

Maceio - new port! It was 7 am when we entered little port surrounded by beautiful beaches. It was Maceio - the, capital city of one of the poor states of Brazil. The pirt authorities offered free shuttle bus to take us from the pier/ cranes area to the city beach right from the harbor. Here the local tourist office staff was waiting for us to give the city maps, and the police officers - to protect us from the herd of taxi drivers offering tours.
First I took the walk along the beach. I is really nice with the palms, but sorry there is a lot of garbage, plastic bags and bottles around. Something what is special here are the jangadas - little, colorful boats used to sail the tourists around. Then I returned to the tourist office stand - yes, they say there is free city wi-fi network. But when I tried to connect the machine said that I need to upload local phone an ID number. Local girl gave me her numbers for a kiss... Then I ask the officer how to get to the center - to cathedral place - according to the map it is 3 kms from the beach. He responsed that I must take a taxi, because it is not safe to walk. Then we asked for the taxi price - the response written on the hand was 50 USD !!! The Brazilian paradise is expensive for the strangers!

Dec 08, 2017 12:00 AM Recife, Brazil - hot, hot, hot!

Recife, Brazil - hot, hot, hot! After 6 lazy days in the ocean we docked in the first Brazilian port - Recife. Atlantic was calm, but with some rain too. I have ben to Recife - the capital of Pernambuco state before, sothis is opportunity to refresh memories, to walk again throught the old town to the Square called Marco Zero. Empty streets in the morning ( therefore they are not so safe) because today they celebrate the day of Immaculate Conception. I took the walk across the bridges to the former jail where they organized art and craft center. Poverty on the streets - people sleep on the sidewalks...
In the evening we hava a show of Pernambuco national ballet - so I expect a lot of fun...

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