A Travellerspoint blog

2011 - CARIBBEAN PRINCESS - PUERTO RICO

A CRUISE FROM PUERTO RICO TO SOME CARIBBEAN ISLANDS


View 2011 CARIBBEAN PRINCESS - PUERTO RICO TO BARBADOS on hasbeen's travel map.

ONCE AGAIN, THERE IS DE-ICING LEAVING OTTAWA.

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HERE'S AN ALMOST A PERFECT SHOT OF A DOUBLE, CIRCULAR RAINBOW, WITH THE PLANES SHADOW IN THE MIDDLE

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ON THE WAY TO PUERTO RICO

A STRANGE PLACE POLITICALLY. ONE I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

THE WAY I DO UNDERSTAND IT IS WRONG, BUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS -

IT IS A 'COMMONWEALTH' OF THE USA & IT'S CITIZENS ARE US CITIZENS WHO CAN HOLD US PASSPORTS, BUT THEY CANNOT VOTE FOR THE PRESIDENT

( LIKE DC APPARENTLY, THOUGH I MAY BE WRONG ABOUT THAT TOO )

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COMING INTO SAN JUAN...

MY HOTEL IS RIGHT ON THE BEACH & IS THE CHEAPEST, SMALLEST HOTEL ON THE STRETCH..NOT EVEN WORTH A PHOTO..

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I TAKE A BUS INTO SAN JUAN FOR A WALK-ABOUT AROUND THE FOOT OF THE FORT...

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THERE WERE LOTS OF SPIDERS ON THE ROCKS BESIDE THE OCEAN...

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AND IGUANAS...

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AND TOURIST - VICTORIA & HUSBAND - A COUPLE WHO WANTED ME TO TAKE THEIR PHOTO..

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FOR A TOURIST ISLAND, PEURTO RICO IS QUITE DIFFICULT TO TAKE TOURS IN. I FOUND IT SO ANYWAY.

I DID FIND ONE TO THE WEST END OF THE ISLAND. EL JUNQUE FOREST....

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A NOT VERY GOOD PHOTO OF THE TINY, TINY COQUI FROG -- SOOOO CUTE.

AND ONE OF THE SMALLEST FERNS IN THE WORLD...

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AND INTO SAN JUAN TOWN - LOVELY PASTEL COULOURED BUILDINGS

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NICE BIRDS IN THE SQUARE...

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RACHELLE & NEIL ARE ON THE CRUISE TOO, BUT STAYING IN A DIFFERENT HOTEL PRE-CRUISE. THIS IS IT...LOOKED VERY NICE..

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INSIDE THE FORT NOW...

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XMAS IS APPROACHING...

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NOW I AM OUT TO THE FAR WEST END OF SAN JUAN. TOURISTY FOR THE LOCALS...

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IT SEEMS COCK-FIGHTING IS LEGAL HERE...

AND SPANISH IS THE LANGUAGE... MANY PEOPLE HERE HAVE LIMITED ENGLISH WHICH WAS A SURPRISE FOR ME.

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AND IT'S TIME TO GET ON THE BOAT & HEAD OUT INTO THE CARIBBEAN

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AVOIDING THE PIRATES...

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Posted by hasbeen 17:25 Archived in Puerto Rico Comments (0)

2011 - CARIBBEAN PRINCESS - TWO VIRGINS

ISLANDS THAT IS.


View 2011 CARIBBEAN PRINCESS - PUERTO RICO TO BARBADOS on hasbeen's travel map.

THE US & BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

FIRST IT'S THE US VIRGINS & A CATAMARAN RIDE OUT TO A SCUBA DIVING SPOT.

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THE CAPTAIN...

AND.

THE CAT...

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I THINK THESE MARK THE SPOT WHERE PEOPLE ARE WALKING ON THE OCEAN FLOOR..

AND THESE ARE THE SNORKELERS

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KATHY ON THE CAT..

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LARGE IGUANAS...

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AND SETTLE IN FOR THE LATE NIGHT MOVIE....

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TWO SHIPS SNUGGLING UP CLOSE...

NOW MOVED ON TO THE BRITISH VIRGINS...AND ANOTHER BOAT RIDE...

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LEIGH & HER MUM, SNUGGLING UP TOO.

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KATHY AGAIN.. DON'T SEE WALT BUT HE SHOULD BE AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE TOO.

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TIME TO HIT THE SOGGY DOLLAR BAR....A BIT TOO CROWDED FOR ME, SO I WANDERED ON DOWN THE BEACH..

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THIS IS LESS CROWDED & I SAT IN A HAMMOCK AND WATCHED THE WAVES....

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UNTIL IT'S TIME TO HEAD BACK TO THE SHIP..

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TIME TO LEAVE THE VIRGINS BEHIND....

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Posted by hasbeen 17:24 Archived in US Virgin Islands Comments (0)

2011 - CARIBBEAN PRINCESS - ANTIGUA & DOMINICA

THAT'S DOMINICA, NOT THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

MOVING ON FROM THE VIRGINS to ANTIGUA

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AND YET ANOTHER BOAT RIDE..

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TO ANOTHER SMALL ISLAND

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OUR GUIDE - LOVELY SMILE...

OUR BOAT..

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A SCRAMBLE TO THE TOP OF THE ISLAND....

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THESE PEOPLE WERE ON ANOTHER TOUR - CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST ON THE BEACH FOR THEM

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NOT MUCH ROOM TO PARK...

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RELAXING IN THE POOL AS WE ARRIVE IN DOMINICA...

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HERE COMES THE PIRATES - NOT TOO SCARY...

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A LITTLE BIT OF LIFE ON BOARD...

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I TAKE A STROLL ROUND THE TOWN HERE AS I MISSED MY TOUR. HAD MY TIMES MIXED UP AND GOT TO THE MEET-UP AN HOUR LATE..

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I WAS SUPPOSED TO SEE SOME WHALES BUT THE PEOPLE WHO MADE IT TO THE TOUR ON TIME SAID THERE WERE NO WHALES..

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AND HERE'S WHERE RACHELLE & NEIL HANG OUT. NICE VIEW...

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Posted by hasbeen 17:23 Archived in Antigua and Barbuda Comments (0)

2011 - CARIBBEAN PRINCESS - BARBADOS & PUERTO RICO

AND THE END OF THE CRUISE

BARBADOS IS NEXT UP - NOT EXACTLY A WET WEEK-END IN WALES, BUT CLOSE.

MISERABLE WEATHER..BUT, HEY - IT'S BARBADOS.

TODAY'S TOUR IS WITH A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER. HE IS GOING TO POINT OUT TIPS & SUCH.

I HAVE SEEN HIS WORK ON-LINE & IT IS MOSTLY BLACK & WHITE - VERY NICE.

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FIRST STOP IS IN THE RAIN BESIDE THIS ROW OF TREES..

TOO WET TO EVEN GET OUT OF THE BUS.

BUT THE RAIN DID LET UP ENOUGH TO GET OUT TO TAKE PHOTOS OF THESE BUILDINGS IN A SMALL VILLAGE.

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AND SOME BANANAS...

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WE ARE ACROSS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF BARBADOS NOW.

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SOME STRANGE ROCK FORMATIONS...ON SHORE..

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AND OUT AT SEA...

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THIS LADY TOLD ME TO TELL OUR GUIDE WHERE SHE WAS...

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..AND HERE SHE IS WAVING TO HIM. VERY FRIENDLY

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THAT'S THAT FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHER TOUR - NOT WHAT I EXPECTED BUT A NICE RIDE AROUND.

NOW I AM TAKING A TAXI TO - WAIT FOR IT... NOT THERE YET.

THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE STREET WHERE SIR GARFIELD SOBERS LIVED, OR WAS BORN OR - ANYTHING ELSE.

THE TAXI DRIVER WAS NOT TOO SURE.

DON'T KNOW GARY SOBERS.? YOU MISSED A TREAT.

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BERTS

DON'T KNOW BERTS? NOT FROM AROUND HERE ARE YOU?

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YOU CAN SEE THE 'HOME OF THE SENATORS' SIGN AT THE BACK, BUT I SAW NO SIGN OF THE OTTAWA SENATORS OWNER. HE ALSO OWNS THIS LITTLE BAR. OR PART OWNS MAYBE.

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GARY SOBERS....CRICKETER EXTRAORDINAIRE....

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AND THE TAXI DRIVER. VERY ANCIENT. AND HIS TAXI WAS TOO.

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A HUMMINGBIRD, JUST HOVERING THERE, POSING FOR ME.

ON A TRAFFIC ROUNDABOUT I THINK,,,

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BACK ON BOARD,

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PICKING UP HITCH-HIKERS ON THE WAY BACK TO THE LITTLE HOTEL IN PUERTO RICO.

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POSING ON THE BEACH.. A MODEL? COULD BE...

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BEACH PATROL..

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I LOVE THIS PHOTO - ONE OF MY BEST, I THINK..

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THIS SIGN IS JUST BY MY HOTEL.. NICE TO KNOW..

IT REALLY WAS A NICE SPOT FOR MY HOTEL.

THERE ARE A COUPLE OF SMALL RESTAURANTS WITH BEACH VIEWS RIGHT NEXT DOOR..

A VERY STANGE LIGHT AS THE SUN GOES DOWN..

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I TAKE A FERRY FROM SAN JUAN TO THE BACARDI DISTILERY. THE FERRY RIDE IS A COUPLE OF DOLLARS AND THE TOUR OF BACARDI IS FREE, WITH A GLASS OR TWO THROWN IN.

A VERY GOOD DEAL.

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THIS IS A BUG. A VERY BIG BUG....

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NOW I AM OFF TO SEE SOME CAVES, BUT SOMEWHERE AROUND THIS TIME, I ALSO HAD A TOUR TO A LAGOON WHERE THE WATER GLOWS IN THE DARK.

IT WAS AT NIGHT & PITCH BLACK SO NO PHOTOS.

THERE WAS TWENTY OR SO CANOES, FOLLOWING EACH OTHER THROUGH MANGROVES TO THE LAGOON. I GOT TEAMED IN A TWO MAN CANOE WITH A JAPANESE GUY WHO DID NOT SPEAK ENGLISH OR KNOW HOW TO PADDLE. SOMEHOW WE GOT DETACHED & I ENDED UP WITH A GUIDE SO I DID NOT HAVE TO PADDLE AT ALL. HE WAS MAINLY INTERESTED IN CHATTING TO THE GIRLS IN THE OTHER CANOES WHEN WE GOT TO THE LAGOON.

AMAZING TO SEE THE WATER GLOWING AS THE PADDLES WENT THROUGH THE WATER. BIO-LUMINESCNCE OR SO I REMEMBER IT TO BE.

A GREAT TOUR.

BUT ANYWAY - BACK TO THE CAVES...

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A WITCH???

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AND THIS SATELLITE DISH FEATURED IN A JAMES BOND MOVIE

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MORE NOT SO GOOD PHOTOS OF A COQUI FROG BUT IT DOES GIVE AN IDEA HOW TINY THEY ARE....

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FLYING OVER PHILADELPHIA MAYBE, OR SOMEWHERE I LANDED BRIEFLY ON THE WAY HOME

THIS MAY BE THE SAINT LAWRENCE OR THE OTTAWA OR NEITHER..

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THE END OF ANOTHER TRIP.

THE CARIBBEAN IS A NICE PLACE TO VISIT BUT AFTER A WHILE ALL THE ISLANDS MERGE INTO ONE.

PUERTO RICO IS WORTH ANOTHER VISIT THOUGH, BUT I WOULD HAVE TO RENT A CAR. TOURS ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN & PUBLIC TRANSPORT TOO DIFFICULT OUTSIDE SAN JUAN.

Posted by hasbeen 17:22 Archived in Barbados Comments (0)

2012 - STAR PRINCESS - IGUAZU FALLS TO RIO DE JANEIRO

THIS IS A PRE CRUISE EXCURSION TO BOTH THE BRAZILIAN & ARGENTINIAN SIDES OF IGUAZU FALLS


View 2012 PRINCESS = RIO TO SAN FRANCISCO on hasbeen's travel map.

STARTING OUT FROM OTTAWA

I TOOK THE EARLY BIRD BALOON FLIGHT AND PASSED OVER THE EQUATOR ON ROUTE TO SAO PAULO FOR A CONNECTING FLIGHT TO IGUAZU FALLS

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SAO PAULO - what a lot of houses

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THE JOURNEY HERE WAS ALL QUITE UNEVENTFUL

with only a small delay.

The guide picked me up in a van & we stopped at a swanky resort to pick up an elderly Mexican couple who would be my companions on the tour of the Brazilian side of the falls.

Its not too far in the van before we stopped at the entrance. There is a nice presentation to watch while waiting for the guide to get our tickets. Then he picks us up again & we head for the falls, passing a little wildlife on the way.

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Coming up is a seemingly endless progression of Waterfall views. I have seen Niagara & Victoria falls & this compares well with both.

AMAZING.

And it was not even at full flood.
I joked to the Mexican guy that someone has the job of getting up early & turning the tap on. Later I found that was not too far form the truth in that the flow is controlled from up stream for the hydro power

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A rare shot of me, taken by the Mexican guy.

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Next day I am off to the Argentinian side.

( and if I had realised how close I was to Paraguay, I would have popped in there as well ) The guide picked me up promptly & we went off to find the other passengers on the tour. Two girls of Indian ancestry from London UK & a lady travel writer who moved to Australia from Birmingham, UK. So with me also being originally from the UK, a proper British outing but a mixed bag of accents.

I cannot make my mind up about which side gives the best view, but this side is a lot wetter.

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And another plane ride to RIO..

and a glimpse of the

Coppacabana

from my bedroom.

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RIO DE JANEIRO - RIVER OF JANUARY

In the cab from the airport we passed a bit of water I said to the driver 'RIO De Janeiro' and pointed at the water. He shrugged. I later found out, there is no river of January here. You will have to read up about it to know the story..

My hotel is right on the famed COPPACABANA so I head out and turn towards the left where there are some hills passing all this.

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I did it again. Some kids were fishing & I asked to take their photo but they insisted they take mine. He could have walked off with my camera. Mind you, I would have his fishing pole.

Note the T shirt. Morphs from the Canadian flag to the Brazilian. Some guy who works for the Canadian Embassy here gave it to my wife when she was on a trip with Mr Chretien - the Canadian Prime Minister. Name dropping, I know!!

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Maybe COPPA means Copper! It could be apt here.

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Then it's time for a climb up the SUGARLOAF Mountain

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a look at the sights along IPANEMA BEACH

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AND THE FAMED GIRL FROM IPANEMA or maybe her sister...

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THEN THE TRAIN TO CHRIST THE REEDEMER ON TOP OF CORVOCADO MOUNTAIN

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And back down again, with the monkeys entertaining the crowd waiting for the train. I am not on my cruise yet but meet a couple here who will be on it also. I must have met a dozen people who would be on the cruise later.

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By now it is evening time and though Carnival has not yet started, the locals are gearing up for it as you can see...

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I sat here for a bite to eat overlooking the Coppacabana. Sardinas - Sardines, little fish. You can eat a can of twenty. - right. Here I get five on a plate. Large & delicious. Maybe Sardinas means something else. Had it with a fresh coconut that a guy machetes the top off & adds a straw.

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More beach shots...

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until it's almost time to go to the ship

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Carnival starts the day the boat leaves. A really bad bit of planning on the part of Princess who had a bit of a struggle keeping up appearances on this cruise.
Embarkation was chaos ( as was disembarkation in SF ) Lines like you would't believe all snaking in different directions. Lots of moaning in line. We had to fill out some form for something & it asked how many children I had. I mentioned to another passenger that I had none when I got on the end of the line, but who knows by the time we get to the ship.

My tours to get here were all arranged by my travel agent & were faultless. Spot on again Nisreen.

CRUISE OUT OF RIO IS UP NEXT....

Posted by hasbeen 03:25 Archived in Brazil Tagged christ_the_redeemer 2012_trip2 Comments (0)

2012 - STAR PRINCESS - CRUISING OUT OF RIO DE JANEIRO

A GREAT SUNSETTING DAY


View 2012 PRINCESS = RIO TO SAN FRANCISCO on hasbeen's travel map.

THIS MUST COUNT IN THE TOP TEN PORT SAILAWAYS

Leaving Rio is just stunning. Photos can hardly capture it at all.

Heading out to sea, Christ the Redeemer can be seen in the distance. Sugarloaf looms over the ship's starboard bow. The sun going down behind

Words cannot describe it

Passing Bridges, Planes, Dry Docks, Shanty Towns & the odd, lost, Carnival goer.

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MONTEVIDEO URUGUAY IS NEXT

Posted by hasbeen 03:15 Tagged rio 2012_trip2 Comments (0)

2012 - STAR PRINCESS - MONTEVIDEO

A RIDE TO A HACIENDA FOR A BARBECUE & SOME FOLK DANCING


View 2012 PRINCESS = RIO TO SAN FRANCISCO on hasbeen's travel map.

URUGUAY. Admit it now

You really don't know much about Uruguay, do you?

It's a fact. Only Italy, Germany & Brazil have won the WOLD CUP more times than Uruguay !!!!

One less than England, France, Spain, & the Netherlands - combined .!!!!!

THAT IS TRULY AMAZING.

It's also a surprisingly long way from Rio to Montevideo - 2187 KM by sea

Anyway - on we go

Today I take a tour into the countryside to visit a Hacienda for a ride on a tractor ( Whoop de do! ), A look at a beach. A Barbecue. Some dancing. A look at farm life & the animals & a slow ride back to the StarPrincess.

A quick check to see the cabin is ok & I am seeing straight

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And on to the Hacienda, where the coals are warming the food up niceley

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Hopefully, these aren't on the menu.

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A quick trip to the beach & a taste of some local fruit juice. Very nice if a bit lonely looking. Where are the beach umbrellas?

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Ooops! Did it again..

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The owners son & grand-son...

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The owner, working hard at cranking something....

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Dancing - which even I enjoyed. Cannot imagine why!

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The owner - looking a little Sheepish?

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A passenger trying her hand at milking..

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...and Sheep shearing. The idea is for the whole lot to come off in one sheet..

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Done it. Well done.

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People were lining up to choose between a ride on a horse or be dragged by a horse around the field on a blanket of leather. Neither appealed to me & this lady was keeping out of the way too.

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Beautiful horses....

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Back to Montevideo & some street life

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Leaving Montevideo. A lady I worked with called it Monty Video.

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It's very close to here the German Pocket Battleship the Graf Spee lies under the ocean. There is an anchor on display but I missed it going out on tour & coming back.

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A surprisingly very enjoyable, day out, considering there were no expectations at all.

The people at the Hacienda were very cheery & pleasant.

The dancing girls were very pretty & actually looked as if they were enjoying themselves. Even the animals looked like that. No mis-treatment here.

Had a try of everything on offer at the Barbecue & it was all very tasty.

Buenos Aires next. Being from the UK, I am not sure what sort of reception I will get there.

Posted by hasbeen 11:30 Archived in Uruguay Tagged hacienda Comments (0)

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