Showing posts from January, 2014

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Moon Over Rio

I heard so many warnings: “Be careful, there's so much crime in Rio de Janeiro.  People get robbed in broad daylight”. Another passenger said, “My dad was an army guy, but he won’t ride the cable car to the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain. It does not look safe”. The warnings gave me some trepidation, but as someone obsessed with the beach and the sea, I was not going to deny myself of the experience.

Ever since our family friend from Brazil, Daniel, introduced me to Brazilian music and brought pictures of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches to our Thanksgiving dinner many moons ago, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has intrigued me and now I was about to experience it first-hand. It was early dawn when we arrived in Rio de Janeiro. Almost instantly, the startling beauty of the Rio de Janeiro skyline captivated me. The seascape induced a feeling of mystery,  I could not help but wax poetic.

Later that day, we made our way to the Corcovado Mountain train station.  The beautiful orange …

Chiloé, Chile: We Think the World from Chiloé

I wasn’t surewhat I wasseeing - a graffiti or a muralpainting. Our buswaszipping through a relativelybusycitystreet in order to get to the'Palafitos', a stiltvillageordwellingsbuilt on bodies of water, one of thefamoustouristattractions in Chiloe. I was on a tour in Castro, thecapital of Chiloe, a picturesqueisland with rollinghillsandviews of the sea andmany woodenchurchesdeclared as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

We passedthesamecorner with thepainting on our way back from the Palafitos.  At that time our buswasstopped in traffic, so I hadmoretime to seethepaintingandreadthewords, “Pensemos el mundodesdeChiloé, noChiloédesde el mundo”.  I tried to translatethewords, but my translation did not amount to something, perhaps due to my limitedknowledge of the Spanish language.  But I pondered upon thephrasewhile our busmade its way outside of Castro for a 30-minute drive to Delcahue, a sleepy pastoral village.

Our guidegave us a littleinformation about the island and Del…

The Chilean Forest: Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park and the Petrohué River/Falls


Torres Del Paine National Park, Southern Patagonia

I had a mixed feeling of excitement and apprehension when I left Punta Arenas for the flight to Puerto Natales. I was excited because the day that I had been waiting for finally arrived - the highlight of my trip in South America, a visit to Torres Del Paine - among the top of my list of places to see before I die. At the same time, I was afraid that the travel operator would cancel the trip that broke my bank due to the bad weather.

Our travel coordinator called out my name last to board the 9-seater Cessna. Ushered to the small plane, I took the last seat, close to the exit door. The exit door had a latch that looked thinner than the latch on most trunk luggage. The combination of the exit door that looked as if it were about to fall off and the streak of rain on the window did not help alleviate my apprehension. We were flying low over the green valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains to Puerto Natales where we were to board a motor coach for another 2 ½- hour drive to Torres D…

Scenic Cruising: Cockburn Channel, Glacier Alley and Beagle Channel