Sunday, 28 February 2010

Stunning Punta del Diablo, Uruguay

Trivia -


   Q. Into which ocean does the river Zambesi flow?




WEDNESDAY 24 FEBRUARY – We catch the 11.10am COT bus to Punta Del Diablo, U$185 (£6).  The bus seats are closer together but comfortable and although they are supposed to have wi-fi on board we are both more in need of a snooze.  Arrival time of 2pm passes and we are still not there and around half an hour later the bus pulls over.  Mission control to Houston we have a problem, the driver walking round with the fan belt in his hand gives us a clue.  After changing buses we finally arrive just after 3pm.  Punta Del Diablo is a fishing village turned into a holiday village at the end of road.  The town roads are all dirt, go off in all directions and don’t have name boards.  Setting out to find a room we quickly realise most accommodation is privately owned cottages where you have to telephone the

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Want a cruise bargain - deals from $34.21 a day

Trivia -
   Q. In which ocean are the Canary Islands?


We always shop around when booking a cruise.

Finding a cruise deal is interesting with cruise hot sheet where there is an option to have deals listed by price per day.

Their best deal at the moment is a 14 day repositioning cruise from Galveston Texas at $479, thats $34.21 day.


Having decided which cruise you want you can then use cruise compete to find the best quote.



On 14th March we are taking a Royal Caribbean
Cruise on Splendur of the Seas.  6 nights cruising the coast of Brazil and visiting 3 islands.  Lead in price $309 but we paid more to get an outside cabin.   Total price $947 less $150 on board credit and a bottle of wine.





TIP
Get more ot of your cruise

   A. Atlantic


Friday, 26 February 2010

Spot the rich and famous in Punta del Este, URUGUAY

Trivia -

   Q. How many countries are still members of the British Commonwealth?



SUNDAY 21 APRIL – Rosanna and Nacho get up early to see us off. Nacho drives us to the main highway to connect with the COT bus that Rossana kindly booked, U$109 (£3.50) to Maldonado. We see more flooding en route suggesting that other areas got even more rain than El Pinar. Host Alberto picks us up at Maldonado bus station and takes us to his apartment where we meet his husky dog Nerea. We pop out to buy meat at the supermarket and he cooks us up a delicious lunch. In the afternoon he takes us along to Puerto Del Este where he works. He has his own real estate agency business renting out holiday apartments, http:/ He explains that the season here is really just January and February and the rest of the year the town is like a ghost town. We set out to explore the resort frequented by many famous people including Bruce Willis. It is a peninsula with beaches on both sides but once we walk around the headland to the Atlantic we are nearly

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Free alternative sculpture gardens

Trivia -
   Q. There are three countries that have both an Atlantic and a Mediterranean coast, name 2 of them?




We often visit cemeteries in different countries. In part to see the way they are but also to admire the many sculptures.

These pictures show the ones we saw in Motevideo cemetery.

Trivia answer
  A. France, Spain & Morocco
 





Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The beautiful dunes and beaches at El Pinar, Uruguay

Trivia -
Q. What is the second largest island in the world?



FRIDAY 19 APRIL – It is only 5 blocks walk downhill to “PaysandĂș” street where we catch the bus out to El Pinar along the coast, U$26 (£90p). It takes us about an hour but once we turn off the main road we realise this is the place for us. Lots of shady pine trees with tracks leading to the dunes behind the beach. The bus driver forgets to notify us of our stop so we have to walk back a couple of blocks (mental note to remind the drivers in future). Although it is after 11am we end up waking Nacho up. Last night they went to a Couchsurfing meeting in Montevideo and did not get back until 4am. His wife Rosanna has already gone out to work. Romina, who we met at Juan’s, is also staying here. We are keen to see the beach so head off with our gear. It is a short walk and we find a really nice beach with very few people on it. The water is still a little brown as

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The answers yes now what's the question!


  


We have come across the permanent "yes" answer in many countries. Our first experience was in India. We had gone for a long walk along the beach and it was starting to get dark so we decided to catch the bus back.

Arriving at the bus stop we asked the first person who came past if it was the right place to catch the bus to Baga and were told yes.

The next person we asked did the Baga bus stop here and they told us yes.

Next question was is the Baga bus coming soon and yes you can guess - the answer is yes.

I think we went through a few more questions until I gave it some thought and asked the next person, "what time is the next bus to Baga?" and he said "tomorrow morning".

Needless to say we did not wait but hitched a ride!

TIP
Many people do not like to offend by giving a negative answer so it is better to ask a question that cannot be answered by yes or no - however even today it sometimes takes us a few yes's before we remember this.


Monday, 22 February 2010

Marvelous Montevideo, Uruguay

Trivia -
   Q. Which is the largest Fresh water lake in the world?






TUESDAY 16 FEBRUARY – The taxi arrives promptly at 9am and Romina joins us for our ride into Juan Lacaze, U$120 (£3.70). We take the 10.40am Turil bus, U$149 (£4.50) with a small bus connecting with the big coach on the main road. The journey is very slow as we get caught up in the cycle race and instead of arriving at 1pm get into Montevideo at 2.30pm. Couchsurfer Juan (if in doubt call everyone Juan here) arrives and helps us to find a room. Many of the cheaper places are full as it is still carnival week and we are getting a little desperate so settle

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Mexico camping 2 Chiltepec to Uxmal

Trivia = Other than Mexico what is the only other country with X in its name?

Mexican motorhome camping continues.

CHILTEPEC. PLAYA BELOTTE, Free. Along the coast east of Paraiso,  Just before Chiltepec there is a sign to Playa Belotte.  Parking by palapas in a run down area behind the beach.

PLAYA AZULFree - A much better spot with good level parking directly behind the beach.







PENINSULA EL PALMAR - VIADUCTO RESTAURANT CAR PARK Free.  Beyond Isle Del Carmen

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Iguazu to Buenos Aires by bus

puerto iguTrivia - Where is 'Thatcher Day' celebrated on January 11th 

Puerto Iguazu to Buenos Aires then Uruguay.

Plataforma 10  is a good website for checking out bus services and times within South America


Many buses were full so it may be adviseable to book a ticket ahead of time.

Puerto Iguazu to the Falls - At the bus station they sell return tickets for A$10 but you can just pay on the bus at A$4 each way.

Puerto Iguazu to Posadas - At the bus station most companies were offering us semi-cama seats for A$45 but the office near stop number 8 said they had Flecha bus semi cama for $37.  We left at 10.45am.  Very comfortable bus, plenty of leg room and a leg rest.  Meal was a sandwich, biscuits and sweets.  Hot sweet black coffee and water on tap.  Arrived on time at 15.45hrs.  Not a lot to do in Posadas but handy for getting across in Paraguay.





Friday, 19 February 2010

DIARY - URUAGUAY Colonia Del Scaramento & Juan Lacaze

Trivia question - What is the largest Scandinavian Country

SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY = We tell Oswaldo our new plan and leave around 9am. At the end of the tube we take a taxi to the port, A$7 (£1.20). Buquebus have a ticket office and we buy the cheapest ticket for to Colonia in Uruguay with “Sea Cat” at 11.30am, $146 (£25). We make us of the free wi-fi in the terminal whilst waiting. Departure is very efficient much like at an airport. The 1-hour crossing is extremely smooth and comfortable. Arrive in URUGUAY Colonia del Sacramento at 2.40pm (1-hour ahead of Argentina). Peso Uruguay0 approx 32 = £1. The touristic (old) part of the city is vey compact with shady cobblestone streets and very, a far cry from Buenos Aires. We walk to the tourist office checking out hostels and hotels en route but all are full. It’s carnival weekend and almost all the accommodation is full. The tourist office says the cheapest

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Who is an "Arsehole"?

Trivia - Which country is home to Grolsch lager?

There is much to be gained from playing cards whilst travelling

At the moment one of the most popular and fun games among travellers is "Arsehole" which has many different names.

Rules of the game


We have taught this game to people in many countries and all have found it fun. The rowdier the people the better as many people make a big noise when they win promotion to "President".








Others make fun of themselves when they become the "Arsehole" as Juan in our picture did by presenting himself with a special hat.


Trivia answer - Holland / The Netherlands

Monday, 15 February 2010

Alternative Buenos Aires by night

Our host took us for a drive around Buenos Aires by night. There are many poor people who live on the outskirts of the city and at night come in to collect recyclable rubbish. The arrive in huge trucks then spread out towing massive carts to collect plastic and cardboard. I am talking dozens of these people rifling through the rubbish but doing a good job of making sure things do get recycled.





In Palermo park I was amazed to see the beautiful prostitues displaying their wares, and I do mean displaying with often just a brief G-string. The strangest part was that they were all "chicks with dicks".

Reckon a few tourists could be in for quite a shock!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

DIARY - ARGENTINA Buenos Aires

Trivia question - Which is the busiest airport in the world?


WEDNESDAY 10 FEBRUARY – Mariela walks us to the Fine Arts Museum, free, a pleasant stop for about 15 minutes. In the afternoon we take a taxi to the bus station, A$10 (£1.45). Our San Jose bus to towards Buenos Aires, A$95 (£16) will drop us in a small town so we can rendezvous with our host who lives in Tortuguitas. Whilst comfortable there is far less leg room on the bus. We head through the tunnel and across to Santa Fe and for the whole journey see bad floods on both sides of the roads with many shanty type houses submerged. This trendy continues for much of the journey with cattle wading waste high in water. The food consists of a triple decker

Friday, 12 February 2010

DIARY - ARGENTINA Parana




SUNDAY 7 FEBRUARY – There is a glorious red sunrise beyond the bushy landscape.  We were supposed to arrive at 7.30am but at 8.30am I see a sign to Parana 152km.  A relief in some ways as at least we know we have not slept through our stop.  The scrubby land turns to crop farming as we near the city.   We are being slowed down by road repairs where many stretches are just mud made much worse by the recent rains, all the rivers are flooded.  So much for our plan of breaking our journey into short legs – we could have been in Buenos Aires by now!  Finally arrive at 10.30am and get a taxi to our hosts home.  Mariela lives in a modern apartment and immediately invites us to shower before breakfast of coffee and toast.  The perfect welcome.  It is still pretty hot here but we set out to walk down to the Parana River to check out the Costanera (waterfront).  The city has many trees and parks so it is fairly easy to find shade.  The river is so high that all the waterfront cafĂ©’s are submerged

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

DIARY - ARGENTINA Posadas

FRIDAY 5 FEBRUARY – Catch the Flecha bus, A$37 (6.20) at 10.45am with cama (reclining) seats. It is very comfortable and the price includes lunch with a sandwich, biscuit and sweets. Constant hot and cold water are available, the hot to feed the Argentinean addiction to “mate”. We travel through dense jungle with overflowing rivers. Arrive on time at 15.45hrs in Posadas and soon find our Hospitality Club host Walter. He is with his cousin, 13 year old Ivan. Walter speaks a little English whilst Ivan none. Walter drops us at his home saying he must return to work and from there to night school until 11pm where he is studying to be a lawyer. Ivan is left to look after us. To pass the time we teach him the card game “golf” then suggest a walk around the area. Realise it is not the best part of town when we see a wild horse eating the street rubbish. It is very hot and we soon figure there really is nothing to see so pick up and ice cream and return to the house. On the computer I put on a movie with Spanish subtitles and this sends Ivan to sleep leaving us to watch a few other movies alone. There’s a portable swimming pool at the back of the garage in the open air and sitting in it cools us a little. It is high in the30’s

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

DIARY - ARGENTINA Iguazu Falls

WEDNESDAY 3 FEBRUARY – The Itaipu bus to Argentina, R$3 (£1.10) drops us at the Brazilian border for exit formalities and we get a ticket for the onward journey so we won’t have to pay again. Whilst waiting for the next bus we see kids having a great time “sledging” down the grassy embankment on cardboard, almost daring each other to do it as the bus comes past as there is nothing to stop them at the bottom. The next bus takes us to the ARGENTINA entry point (clocks back 1hr so now 3hrs behind GMT) which is so quick we get back on the same bus to Puerto Iguazu. This is a small town and more manageable with lots of

Saturday, 6 February 2010

BACKPACKING - BRAZIL using public transport. - Rio to Foz do Iguazu

FROM NITEROI TO SAO PAULO (SAME FOR RIO)
1001 Bus company was our choice.  It seems that within Brazil fares are regulated as all the companies charged the same for this journey.  We were unable to book on line so our friend bought a ticket at the bus station ahead of time.  Price R$84. Many buses in Brazil get overbooked.  At the bus station we had to show our passports before boarding.  We were given a complimentary newspaper and snack box.  Left at 9.20am and arrived 3.20pm.  Sao Paulo bus station easy to navigate.  If you turn left from the bus stand then take a left towards the subway you walk about 200 metres to the ticket office then onto the subway trains.

SAO PAULO  SUBWAY
Very easy to use, buy tickets at the booths for R$2.70 per journey including connections to other subway

Friday, 5 February 2010

A dam fine day out

Trivia question - what are the only 2 landlocked countries in South America?



TUESDAY 2 FEBRUARY – Over breakfast I suggest maybe we should spend the morning over in Paraguay visiting the dam as they have free tours. Gathering information is hard but it seems we are better to complete border formalities as we are going beyond the border city. We leave our bags stored at the hotel and take an NSA bus, $3.70 (£1.35) towards Ciudad Del Este. We hop off to complete the Brazilian exit formalities and rather than wait for another bus walk over the bridge and into PARAGUAY. They are not

Thursday, 4 February 2010

GENERAL TRAVEL - Playing cards

Trivia - What gets its name from the Latin phrase meaning "sea in the middle of land".

We always travel with 2 packs of cards.  There are so many games you can play with them including patience for 1 if you are killing time.


In each country it is fun to learn a traditional game, this way if you see people playing your know what is going

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

DIARY - BRAZIL Foz do Iguacu

Trivia - Which is the second largest dam in the world?





MONDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2010 – You wouldn’t believe it, for the first time our bus gets in early, 6.15am instead of 7.00am.  Consequently nothing is open on arrival at the long distance bus station other than a cafe.   With no information available we figure we will make our way to the local bus station to connect with the bus to Argentina.  Boarding the bus we suddenly come to a high turnstile at the side of which is someone taking the money.  Balancing our bags whilst bouncing down the street I ferret around for the money to pay, R2.20 (£70p) pp.  Next we realise we cannot pass our bags through or under the turnstile so much to the amusement of the other passengers I squeeze through then Steve hauls the bags over to me.  At the bus terminal we soon find the stand, just outside, for the buses to Argentina.  We are both exhausted so after what feels like an hour waiting an no bus to be seen we consider stopping in Foz and visiting the Brazilian falls today.   Just down the street we can see “Pousada Sonho Meu” where they have nice rooms with TV & Air-con, a swimming pool and buffet breakfast.  The price should be R$120 (£42) but we negotiate the room for R$80 (28).  After a quick freshen up we take the bus out to the falls.  Entry for foreigners is

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

GENERAL TRAVEL - Peru - Food glorious food

Trivia - Which U.S.A. state has the most border with other states? 

 A pictorial food diary of Peru

Anyone for a choco bum biscuit?












Tipon, roast guinea pig











Monday, 1 February 2010

DIARY - BRAZIL Maringa

Trivia - Which city is in two continents?


FRIDAY 29 JANAURY – I usually wake when I hear Abigail arrive and chat to Kilda but today find I wake at ¼ to 10.  Abigail has been out since 5am getting in line to get her son Gabriel a national identity card so he can go to a different school.  Only 80 are issued each day whilst 1000’s wish to apply.  She arrives back around 11am having been the first to get one.  I join them for a drive to the new school to register.  Kilda takes me to a couple of fruit and veg markets to explain the different produce.  She buys some “xuxu” which Abigail will puree with flour and bake in the oven.  Another person in the store obviously speaks English and understands what is happening because at the checkout she asks Kilda why she is buying “xuxu” for us as it is like a “hole in the wall” and tasteless compared to others things she could have