After 3 overcast and rainy days, we cruised into the South Atlantic blue blue sky today. We consequently spent 5 hrs in and around the pool with everyone else. It was the second sea day in a row. We were in need of some sun therapy. We got it in spades. This felt like our best day yet on board. (Or, how soon we forget how nice the other days were.)
Three days ago we went to the delightful old colonial town of Parati, a few hours south of Rio. We marvelled at the dozens and dozens of party boats in the harbour lined up in rows. We marched into the cobblestone streets and glimpsed 300 year old architecture and culture. The streets without any cars were lined with beautiful little shops, restaurants and bars.
We did a lot of souvenir shopping. We paused at the local beach for a coke zero and weefee which worked well. Strolling back thru the streets we heard lots of bossa nova guitar music in different bars and restaurants. Of course they were all playing classical nylon stringed electric guitars which you can rarely find in Canada.
After yet more souvenir shopping we headed back to the pier for the short tender ride to the ship. Later it was Toscana’s for Italian food, Dave’s favourite. (Lasagana, calamari, parmesagn cheese..)
Monday we docked at Santos, which has to be one of the biggest ports in the world. We saw container ships by the dozens coming and going. This is the industrial heartland of Brazil. Sau Paulo, a city of 12 million +, is an hour away.
The transfer was inefficient. One bus took us from the pier to the terminal and a 2nd from the terminal to an upscale shopping centre. This took an hour.
Not interested in the shopping centre (we forgot to bring any money or credit cards…), we walked 4 blocks to the beach. A long expanse of sand greeted us with towering condo/apt buildings for as far as one could see. A man said to check out the leaning condo buildings and we did. Some unstable soil resulted in some buildings of 12 or more floors leaning on an angle! Needless to say they were all for sale, ha!
We headed back to catch the 1 PM shuttle bus. Well, there was a big crowd as the schedule said the next one would not be until 3 PM (lunch break). People shoved and pushed to get on the 1 PM bus. It was a tumultous time. We spent 1 hour in Santos and an additional 2 hrs on various busses to get the 1 hour. Not our favourite stop for sure. However the sun came out for a few hrs once we were back on board.
The next day we were to tender in to Porto Bello, a small fishing village with many beaches. It was not to be.b The swell was tossing the tenders around like bobbing corks. Safety first, the captain announced that they were cancelling this stop. So, we had an unplanned sea day and it rained all day. Played some bridge and enjoyed the French cuisine in Jacques (canvas back duckling a l’orange, coquille St Jacques and some delicious soupe Marseillaise.
(Marie’s favorite restaurant).
That brings us up to date. Amanha, Rio Grande do Sol – hey gauch!