ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Day 11 to 20

DAY 20 (3 OF 3) – PAO DE ACUCAR, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

We spent almost 2 hours queuing for the two-stage cable car to go up to the peak of Pao de Acucar (about 395m above Rio) for the view of the city. It was a busy Sunday with many local visitors and tour groups. The first cable car took us to Morro da Urca where we could see Baia de Guanabara and a closer view of the Pao de Acurcar. The second cable car went up to the summit of Pao de Acucar, where we could see Corcovado Mountain and the iconic Cristo Redentor off to the west. Unfortunately, it became really cloudy and grey by the time we reached the peak. We were both unprepared for the strong wind and dropping temperature at the peak. It was not the perfect day for photography but it was no doubt to us that Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world from above because of its unique mountainous setting.
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Read other posts on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Day 20.1 – Ipanema
Day 20.2 – Urca
Day 20.3 – Pao de Acucar
Day 21.1 – Ipanema Beach
Day 21.2 – Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura (Portuguese Reading Room)
Day 21.3 – Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil
Day 21.4 – Lapa and Santa Teresa
Day 21.5 – Botafogo and Leblon
Day 22.1 – Museu de Arte do Rio
Day 22.2 – Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 20 (2 OF 3) – URCA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

We took a bus to Urca, the small residential neighbourhood in the shadow of Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain).  Comparing to the tour groups and long queue at the cable car station for Pao de Acucar, the streets and beaches at Urca were extremely peaceful.  The beaches were not the cleanest, but we could get a good view of Baia de Guanabara, Cristo Redentor and Pao de Acucar in a distance. There was a short period of sun break while we were at Urca.  We were hoping that the sun would stay when we reached the peak of Pao de Acucar in the afternoon.  We stopped by Garota Urca, a local restaurant for sandwiches before we joined the Sunday tourist crowd for the famous Pao de Acucar.
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Read other posts on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Day 20.1 – Ipanema
Day 20.2 – Urca
Day 20.3 – Pao de Acucar
Day 21.1 – Ipanema Beach
Day 21.2 – Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura (Portuguese Reading Room)
Day 21.3 – Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil
Day 21.4 – Lapa and Santa Teresa
Day 21.5 – Botafogo and Leblon
Day 22.1 – Museu de Arte do Rio
Day 22.2 – Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 20 (1 OF 3) – IPANEMA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Today was a cloudy and humid Sunday.  Rain seemed coming anytime.  It only took us 5 minutes to walk from our hostel to the famous Ipanema Beach.  On our way to the beach, we dropped by Polis Suco for a quick drink of acai smoothie, a tasty and healthy morning treat. The entire beach was packed with all kinds of beach goers, from surfers, sunbathers, to beach tennis players.  The automobile traffic on Ave. Vieira Souto was replaced with bikers, runners, and joggers, etc.  In the distant west, the Dois Irmaos mountains provided a dramatic backdrop to the beach scenery.
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Previous Destination: Minas Gerais, Brazil, reading from post Day 15.2

Read other posts on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Day 20.1 – Ipanema
Day 20.2 – Urca
Day 20.3 – Pao de Acucar
Day 21.1 – Ipanema Beach
Day 21.2 – Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura (Portuguese Reading Room)
Day 21.3 – Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil
Day 21.4 – Lapa and Santa Teresa
Day 21.5 – Botafogo and Leblon
Day 22.1 – Museu de Arte do Rio
Day 22.2 – Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 19 (1 OF 1) – OURO PRETO TO RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Today we left Ouro Preto for Rio de Janeiro.  In mid-day, we went out for a hearty buffet lunch of regional Minas Gerais food and dropped by a chocolatier for a drink near Praca Tiradentes before the long-distance bus journey to our next destination.  The bus for Rio left the station at 2:00pm.  There were only 6 passengers including us on the bus.  The 7-hour bus ride was pleasant.  By around 8pm, we were approaching the northern suburb of Rio: colourful graffiti at underpasses and building walls, shuttered retails stores, wandering pedestrians, local vendors, busy eateries, large billboards, myriad of lights from favelas along hillsides.  We arrived at Novo Rio Bus Terminal at 9:10pm, almost an hour ahead of schedule.   At the terminal, we hopped onto a radio taxi for our hostel at Ipanema.  A 20-minute taxi ride took us through a series of highways and tunnels to Ipanema where vibrant nightlife at pubs and pizzerias filled up the streets.  It was a totally different scene than the suburban areas we saw when entering the city.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

Next Destination: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Continuing on our journey from post Day 20.1

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 18 (3 OF 3) – SUNSET, OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

After lunch, we visited the Museu da Inconfidencia, the main city museum of Ouro Preto. We learnt a great deal more about the history of gold mining in Ouro Preto, the work of artist Aleijadinho, and the incident of Inconfidencia Mineira (a failed Brazilian separatist movement in 1789). At dusk, we wandered in the area near Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis for its beautiful views towards Santa Efigenia Parish.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 18 (2 OF 3) – A WALK TO IGREJA DE SANTA EFIGENIA DOS PRETOS, OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

Before lunch, we ventured out of main square area to Santa Efigenia Parish. After an exhausting downhill and uphill walk, we reached Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, the mother church of the parish. Unfortunately the church was under renovation and public access was not allowed. With the magnificent cityscape and scenery along the way, we didn’t regret the long walk.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

* * *

South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 18 (1 OF 3) – TOWNSCAPE, OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

Recommended by guidebook, a 5-minute morning walk along Rua Conselheiro Quintiliano northest of Praca Tiradentes brought us to a panoramic view of the churches and rooftops.  Without the cars, street lamps, and electrical poles, Ouro Preto would look exactly like a Baroque city back in the 18th century.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 17 (4 OF 4) – RUA DO PILAR, OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

Rua do Pilar, the steep winding street where our hostel is located.

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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 17 (3 of 4) – AFTERNOON STROLL, OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

In the afternoon, we visited two well known churches in Ouro Preto: Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis for its carving by Aleijadinho, and Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Pilar for its 434kg of gold and silver decorations.  After the churches, we strolled around the town under the late afternoon sun.  At dusk, we returned to Praca Tirandentes, the central square of Ouro Preto.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 17 (2 OF 4) – CAFE GERAES, OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

Our favorite restaurant in Ouro Preto, especially for their almoco executivo (set lunch menu).
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 17 (1 OF 4) – OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

Ouro Preto, which literally translates as “Black Gold” in English, was the state capital of Minas Gerais. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, it is considered as the best preserved historical colonial town in Brazil. In the 18th century, Ouro Preto was the centre of the largest gold mining region in the New World. The bustling city was one of the biggest city in the New World, with miners, priests, artists, artisans, and tens of thousands of slaves from Africa. Divided into different parishes each with its own mother church, Ouro Preto was famous for its Baroque churches. After the state capital was moved to Belo Horizonte in 1897, Ouro Preto went through a gradual decline. Today, the 23 well preserved Baroque churches, fine soapstone and wooden statues, winding alleys, and steep cobblestone streets make Ouro Preto one of the busiest tourist cities in Brazil. The city also serves a centre for education and arts in the region.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 16 – (1 OF 1) INHOTIM, BRUMADINHO, BRAZIL

The main reason for our stay in Belo Horizonte was to visit Inhotim in Brumadinho, about 55km from Belo Horizonte.  Inhotim is a open air contemporary art complex.  It was formerly a botanical garden and was transformed into an “artscape” with additions of new pavilions and collections of contemporary art from all over the world.  Inhotim opened to the public in 2006.  Unique in architectural design, each pavilion houses various kinds of artworks from sculptures, photography, paintings, installation art to multimedia displays.  We spent a pleasant day in this “artscape” to check out more than half of its art pavilions and outdoor artworks, admire the diverse variety of plants, and have a great dining experience at the garden restaurant.  We were particularly impressed by the “Sonic Pavilion” by Doug Aitken –  a pavilion designed to amplify and deliver the murmuring sound from 200m deep in the ground to visitors. There were many local visitors and student groups.  At the last pavilion we visited, it was a delight for us to find Canadian artist Janet Cardiff’s sound installation called Forty Part Motet.

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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 15 (3 OF 3) – BRAZILIAN CHURRASCARIA, BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL

After the museum visit, we walked to Praca da Savassi, the primary shopping district of Belo Horizonte.  The area was crowded with shoppers and people dining out.  We settled for a local churrasco (grill eatery) at a side street.  We picked a table on the street, and had our first Brazilian grill meal.  The grill meat was made on charcoal, and it tasted really good.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 15 (2 OF 3) – MUSEU DAS MINAS E DO METAL, BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL

It was already 4pm by the time we checked in at our hostel in Belo Horizonte. We quickly took a bus out to the Praca da Liberdade at the heart of the city. More than half a dozen of the historical buildings at Praca da Liberdade have been transformed into museums. Known as the Curcuito Cultural Praca da Liberdade, this program has turned former headquarters of the state government into a hub of cultural institutions since the end of 2000s. Today, the state government of Minas Gerais is relocated to a new site with a number of buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Today, we visited one of the museums in Praca da Liberdade.  Nicknamed the Pink Building, the former home for Secretaria do Interior and then Secretaria de Educacao has become the Museu das Minas e do Metal (Museum of Mining and Metallurgy). We had about 45 minutes to tour the museum. We came here primarily to see the new additions and historical adaptive reuse design by Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. We were surprised to find that the original historical building was also quite engaging, so as the interactive display of the permanent exhibits. We wished we could have more time for the visit.
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Previous Destination: Brasilia, Brazil, reading from post Day 13.2

More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 15 (1 OF 3) – SANTUARIO DOM BOSCO, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

After all the Niemeyer projects we saw yesterday, the Santuario Dom Bosco (Sanctuary Dom Bosco) was the only non-Niemeyer building we visited in Brasilia.  Built in early 1960s, this magnificent church was designed by Carlos Alberto Naves.  The modernist exterior has done well to conceal the magnificent interiors.  Approaching from the street, we did not expect the true beauty of the interior until we stepped in a side door located at the base of one of the Gothic arches.  With 80 columns at a height of 16m, the four outer walls of the building provide the maximum wall area to showcase fantastic stained glass window made of 12 shades of blue.  The stained glass windows were designed by Claudio Naves and manufactured by Hubert Van Doorne.  Apart from the stained glass windows, we were also overwhelmed by the 3.5m giant chandelier at the centre of the room.  It was made of 7400 pieces of Murano glass.  Weighted 10 tonnes, a massive block of pink marble forms the altar of the sanctuary.

Sanctuary Dom Bosco was the last building we visited in Brasilia.  We spent about an hour at the sanctuary before heading back to our hotel, grabbed our backpacks, and hopped onto a bus for the airport.  Our next stop would be Belo Horizonte, the state capital of Minas Gerais. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

Next Destination: Minas Gerais, Brazil
Continuing on our journey from post Day 15.2

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 14 (5 OF 5) – CONGRESSO NACIONAL, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

The Congress Nacional (National Congress) is perhaps the most iconic architecture in Brasilia. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the National Congress houses the seat of the Senate and the Chamber of the Deputies, and offices of the federal government. No English tour was available today. We could only join a Portuguese tour to visit the interior of the building. We saw the main media hall on the second level, a tunnel with displays depicting the historical timeline of Brazilian politics, and the seat of the Chamber of the Deputies. The tour was way overcrowded with many groups of local visitors. Many were particularly excited when they saw display of state flags during the tour. After the tour, we thought the tour at Itamaraty Palace was way more interesting than the visit of the Congress.
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Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 14 (4 OF 5) – PALACIO ITAMARATY, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

The Palacio Itamaraty (Itamaraty Palace) is the headquarters of the Ministry of External Relations.  Again designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the building was completed in 1970.  Since then, it was used primarily to receive foreign guests of the government.  We took a 45-minute English tour that led us into the main lobby on the ground level with a spiral staircase, and a reception dining room and rooftop terrace on the second level.  National treasures since independence and modern sculptures dotted the interior of both levels.  We also visited the semi-indoor garden on the ground level planted with species from the Amazon.
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Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 14 (3 OF 5) – CATEDRAL METROPOLITANA, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

The Catedral Metropolitana (Cathedral of Brasilia) was the first building that we could get in for a visit. Built in 1970, the cathedral is circular in plan with 16 hyperboloid concrete structures and a unique 2-layer system of stained glass windows. Encircled with a shallow reflecting pool, we entered the building via a ramp down from the forecourt that went beneath the pool. Once we got inside, the sheer volume of the building, its marble finishes, elegant curves, and the magnificent stain glass windows created a wow effect upon us.
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Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 14 (2 OF 5) – EIXO MONUMENTAL, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

Along the central axis of the Pilot Plan, Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer located the most significant buildings of the Brazilian capital on the Eixo Monumental (Axis of Monuments).  All the iconic buildings of Brasilia were intended to be seen as monumental objects rising on vast open land.  Almost all of them were designed by Oscar Niemeyer.  We spent most of the day checking out the buildings in the eastern section of the axis, including the following buildings west to east: Teatro Nacional (National Theatre), Biblioteca Nacional (National Library), Museu Nacional (National Museum), Catedral Metropolitana (Cathedral), Palacio do Itamaraty (Itamaraty Palace), Palacio da Justica (Palace of Justice), Congresso Nacional (National Congress), Praca dos Tres Poderes (Plaza of Three Towers), Palacio do Planalto (Planalto Palace), Panteão da Pátria Tancredo Neves (Pantheon). Image
Teatro Nacional (National Theatre)Image
Biblioteca Nacional (National Library)Image
Museu Nacional (National Museum)Image
Catedral Metropolitana (Cathedral)Image
Govenment Buildings
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Palacio do Itamaraty (Itamaraty Palace)Image
Congresso Nacional (National Congress)ImageImageImageImageImage
Praca dos Tres Poderes (Plaza of Three Towers)

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Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 14 (1 OF 5) – PILOT PLAN, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

Enlisted on the World Heritage list in 1987, Brasilia is the only modern city recognized by the UNESCO for its unique city planning and architecture.  In 1956, President Juscelino Kubitschek decided to move Brazil’s capital from Rio de Janeiro to an interior location, a symbolic gesture to move away from Brazil’s colonial past to a central location closer to the hinderland away from the Atlantic coast.  Lucio Costa, an architect and urban planner, won the planning competition for the new capital – Brasilia in 1957.  Partnered with Oscar Niemeyer (architect responsible for most notable buildings) and Roberto Burle Marx (landscape architect responsible for many parks and gardens), the planning and architectural design were developed in a short period of time, and the new capital was officially inaugurated in 1961, 3.5 years after the start of construction.  Named as the Pilot Plan, the layout of Brasilia is the only example of Modernist city planning realized in full scale.  In aerial view, Brasilia looks like an airplane or a bird with open wings.  All federal buildings are located along the central axis known as the Axis of Monuments.  Residential quarters are organized in different sections at both “wings” of the plan.  At the heart of the plan lies the Central Bus Station, wrapped with the Hotel and Banking Sectors.  Efficiency of automobile traffic and strict organization according to specific functions of each city zone were the main features of Costa’s plan.  Brasilia reflects the Modernist fascination for the machine age and the rise of the automobile culture in mid 20th century.  Everything was planned in a monumental scale that could only be appreciated when traveling by a car.  For pedestrians, however, crossing a multi-lane roadway or walking on a poorly lit sidewalk during nighttime has always been a nightmare, especially for today when Brasilia’s population of 2.7 million inhabitants has greatly outgrown its designed capacity of 500,000.
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Brasilia Bus Station
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Brasilia Bus Station
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With limited traffic lights, crossing a road in Brasilia is a nightmare for pedestrians.
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Hotel Sector
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Distant view of the Axis of Monuments

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Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 13 (2 OF 2) – FIRST IMPRESSION, BRASILIA, BRAZIL

It was about 9pm when we arrived at our hotel in Brasilia’s Sector Hotelerio Norte, a hotel zone in the north wing of the capital city. After check-in, we went out for a walk, hoping to find something to eat. Such a big contrast from the Pantanal! At Sector Hotelerio Norte, we were embraced by modern hotels and service apartments. We were quite surprised to find that other than hotels, nothing else really existed except a convenience store at a gas station and a busy McDonald’s restaurant. It looked like that McDonald’s was the only place that one could go outside of a hotel for a meal in the hotel zone.
We woke up the next morning and were delighted to find that the football stadium was not far away from our hotel. It reminded us of all the construction works we saw since we arrived in Brazil: airport expansion in Foz do Iguacu, Cuiaba and Brasilia, train line construction in Cuiaba, beautification of public space pretty much everywhere in Cuiaba and Brasilia, etc. The nation seemed to be gearing in full speed for the upcoming World Cup 2014 and Olympic Games 2016.
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Previous Destination: Pantanal, Brazil, reading from post Day 9.1

Read more on Brasilia, Brazil
Day 13.2 – First Impression, Brasilia
Day 14.1 – Pilot Plan, Brasilia
Day 14.2 – Eixo, Monumental, Brasilia
Day 14.3 – Catedral Metropolitana, Brasilia
Day 14.4 – Palacio Itamaraty, Brasilia
Day 14.5 – Congresso Nacional, Brasilia
Day 15.1 – Santuario Dom Bosco, Brasilia

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


Day 13 (1 of 2) – FAREWELL PANTANAL, BRAZIL

Today was our last day in Pantanal.  We know we would miss this memorable 4-day experience.  In the morning, our guide Flavio took us for a morning walk near the lodge.  We stroll on a trail that took us through a forest to the edge of the lodge premise and back.  Along the way, Flavio stopped frequently to listen to the sounds of birds and animals, and helped us to spot their locations.  If not Flavio, we would not have had seen so many wonderful wildlife in the pass 4 days.  During this last stroll near the lodge, we saw some capuchin monkey, a tepu lizard, and again our beloved hyacinth macaw.  After the walk, we rested a bit at the lodge, packed our backpacks, had lunch at the dining hall, and bid farewell to Pantanal to conclude our 4-day trip in Pantanal.  A four hour drive took us back to Cuiaba Airport where we took a Brasilia-bound flight to continue our journey.DSC_7030OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAImageDSC_6974DSC_6979DSC_6987

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

Next Destination – Brasilia, Brazil
Continuing on our journey from post Day 13.2

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


Day 12 (4 of 4) – NIGHT OF CAIMANS

After dinner, I (Calvin) went alone to a water pond about 1 km from the lodge to photograph caimans.  Inspired by a photo from a National Geographic magazine, I longed for a chance to take some night shots of caimans.   Because of the heat during the day, caimans normally will only come out of water or mud during nighttime.  Tonight was lit by a full moon.  I didn’t even need to turn on my flashlight when finding my way to the pond.  I stayed at the pond for about 2 hours, photographing the caimans as close as I could get before scaring them off.  It was such a memorable night.  ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

* * *

South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 12 (3 OF 4) – AFTERNOON WALK AND EVENING SAFARI, PANTANAL, BRAZIL

To avoid the heat, our afternoon hike didn’t start until 3pm.  We walked through a forest, passed by many capybaras and caimans, and crossed a grassland before reaching a water pond where animals usually come for a drink.  As we crossed the grassland, it was hard to imagine that during wet season, this vast piece of lowland would be submerged under a few feet of water.  At the waterhole, we saw toucans, a tortoise, many waterbirds, a deer, a tapir, coatis, and a rare irara.  Before we headed back for dinner, we also did a night safari near our lodge.  We were again lucky to see two tapirs, a nine banded armadillo, and two tamandua anteaters.
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Read other posts on Pantanal, Brazil
Day 9.1 – Trail of Waterfalls, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 9.2 – Stone City, Chapada dos Guimaraes
Day 10.1 – Pantanal
Day 10.2 – Transpantaneria Highway, Pantanal
Day 10.3 – Pousada Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 10.4 – Rio Claro Boat Tour, Pantanal
Day 11.1 – Morning Safari and Forest Walk, Pantanal
Day 11.2 – Rio Claro, Pantanal
Day 12.1 – Morning Walk, Pantanal
Day 12.2 – Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pantanal
Day 12.3 – Afternoon Walk and Evening Safari, Pananal
Day 12.4 – Night of Caimans
Day 13.1 – Farewell Pantanal, Brazil

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought