Ken and Barbara Stamper

Our Holiday in Brazil and Argentina

We wanted to see as much wildlife as possible and the main sites of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires

Alex met us in Rio and next day took us on a city tour taking in the statue of Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Cathedral. He even took me shopping for earrings. One whole day was enough to do all of this.

GOL flight adequate but we wish we had bought food at the airport. Catering on board was meagre and inattractive.

Your friend met us at Araras Lodge and gave us a guided tour and a cocktail(Caipiri?) a bit too sour for me. We really enjoyed our time there. Our excellent guide was a young man called Tadeu, who persuaded me that I could survive canoeing and horse trecking.

Moving on to the Jaguar House Boat on the Paraguay River we were lucky enough to have three sightings of Jaguars, also Capybara, giant Otters, Caiman and lots of birds. We didn’t expect the “suite” on board to be so basic, but although rather cramped, it had air con. and it served its purpose.

The Iguazu Falls and the Belmond hotel were spectacular. We were ready for some luxury by then and the Belmond had it all. The boat trip under the falls needs a bit of a effort to get down to the boats(and back up again), but it was well worth it and even when we dripped our way back through the hotel foyer no-one looked disapprovingly at us. A splendid hotel.

The Sheraton hotel on the Argentinian side of the falls gave us a pleasant view of the falls from our room and we the guide( Alberto) we had for our walks around the falls was very knowledgeable and friendly. We got the impression that, being the only hotel within the park, the Sheraton doesn’t work too hard at customer service.

We were quite tired when we arrived in Puerto Madryn and a bit shocked at how bare and dry everything looked. The Teretorio was drab and a long way out of town, but we appreciate now that it was near the Eco-centre and town wasn’t very pleasant to walk around with its uneven pavements anyway. We were expecting a private tour to go whale watching but a minibus turned up to collect us. After some hanging around wondering if we were going to have a tour or not, a guide called Lucas, came, in his own car, without his breakfast, and took us to the boat and then drove us miles around the peninsula showing us the Elephant seals, Guanachos and Magellan penguins. The guides all seem to work free lance. It was his day off and we were lucky to get him I think.

We saw lots of Southern Right Whales as well as bottle nosed Dolphins on our boat trip. Even though they were so close to the boat and we took lots of photos, most just show a large head with nobbly callouses.

We spent the few days we had in Buenos Aires visiting the cemetery with Eva Peron’s tomb, the tango quarter and the Tigre islands. The Grand Gala Dinner was amazing. Neither of us was brave enough to get up for a lesson but the food was excellent. Diet tomorrow! The boat trip through the flooded delta was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, though I still don’t understand why the President’s house here has a see through box around it.

This was a complicated itinerary, and making all the connecting flights and accommodation fit together was no mean task, not helped by changes by the airlines, so many thanks Fiona. Everything went to schedule and we had a brilliant holiday.

Ken and Barbara Stamper