If you like variety, this is certainly the holiday for you! We started on a high – Rio de Janeiro in the sunshine. Fabulous views, wonderful beaches, dreadful traffic jams. Two days later, the traffic was just a memory. After a brief boat ride, we were on the car-free Ilha Grande – more lovely weather, more beautiful beaches, and quite a bit of hiking through tropical undergrowth. Oh! And then there were those deadly but delicious cocktails…….
Returning to the mainland, we endured a rainy day as we travelled south to Paraty, a quaint old town on the Brazilian coast. Huge cobbles and huger puddles made exploring the town hard work – but never mind – the sun came out the next day, and we all climbed aboard the local bus to go to Trinidade, a ramshackle little town, from where we walked over beaches and headlands. It was Sunday, so the locals were out in force, but Alf, our Leader, knew a quiet corner well away from the hordes. It was certainly one of the highlights of my holiday, swimming in the big Atlantic rollers whilst imagining the folks back home in the November fog!
Onward again, this time by plane, to see Iguacu Falls – firstly from the Brazilian side, then, on the next day, from the Argentinian side. The Falls are amazing – stunning, wonderful, terrifying. So was the tropical downpour that engulfed us on the second day! It’s a good thing there is a large cafe – we spent a goodly part of the day within it, sheltering from the storm.
Luckily the weather cheered up for our next stop – three days in Yacutinga Lodge, way out in the jungle. If you like birds, insects and wildlife, this will gladden your heart – if you’re a city person (and I am), don’t worry, there are experts around to keep you safe. And the food, is great too.
Our journey ended with three days in Buenos Aires. There’s a lot to see and do in the city, though it lacks the scenic magnificence of Rio. After the official tour, I enjoyed a visit to the Casa Rosada – the Argentinian seat of Government. The next day, Alf took some of us to Tigre, a river resort one hour’s train ride from the city centre. Others caught up with their shopping – the hotel was right in the heart of the city, so very handy for everyone.
On the final day, I took a stroll in a park near the hotel – blossom on the trees, blue sky, a lovely spring day in the Southern Hemisphere. How sad to leave it all, and land back in the late Autumn the next morning. My only consolation – browsing the 2011 Ramblers’ Worldwide Holidays’ brochure to choose the next adventure.