Posts labeled with Country ' Brazil'

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On the morning of 10/28/11 I travelled from São Paulo to Bogotá on my way home to Miami. The flight takes off from the second biggest city in the world, and within a couple of hours is flying over one of the most remote areas on the world.

Avianca’s twice daily A 340 flight is about 6 hours.

Vegans who want to save the world – guess what ? Soya farms are eating up the jungle !

Western Amazon.

Down below, Lost Tribes gaze up at the Big SIlver BIrd – too high for their poison arrows to hit.

The cloud cover thickened over the rain forest and we did not see anything the last two hours – missing views of the Colombian Andes until we landed at El Dorado Internacional.

Time to connect for Miami !

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An ideal sailing trip to visit all the Atlantic Islands would take about 12 to 18 months, leaving Iceland in the late spring ,witha first stop in the Azores. By the beginning of the Antarctic summer, the boat would be in the far South Atlantic , visting Tristan da Cunha,South Georgia and the Malvinas ( known as the Falklands by the British), before turning back north to visit the Brazilian islands, on to Bermuda, St. Pierre and back to Iceland.

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2008 saw several trips to the Far South. Above, a forest road in Southern Chile. In March.

Surf in Pichelemu, Chile. March.

Western Argentina highway – March.

Mexico – June.

El Popo Volcano – Mexico , June.

Pie de la Cuesta , Mexico – June.

Pie de la Cuesta , Mexico – June.

Jalapão, Tocantins,Brazil – August.

Jalapão, Tocantins,Brazil – August.

Rafting, Rio Novo ,Brazil – September.

Night forest fire,Jalapão, Tocantins,Brazil – September.

São Paulo,Brazil – September.

Andes crossing – Chile to Argentina – November.

Mendoza, Argentina – November.

Springtime – Mendoza, Argentina – November.

Cafayate, Argentina – November.

Salta, Argentina – November.

Buenos Aires, Argentina – November.

2009 plans include Asia and the Middle East.

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Adventure Travel in Latin America has just gotten 30 % cheaper in the last two weeks. Worldwide economic volatility has has caused flight to the US Dollar from many fearful investors in Latin America. As a result :

The Chilean Peso is now 622 to the Dollar. This compares to 390 earlier this year.

The Argentina Peso is pegged to the US Dollar, but has still slipped from 3 to 3.22 and probably will go lower.

The Mexican Peso was 10 to the Dollar a few weeks ago and is now 13.2 !

Most dramatically – the Brazilian Real was 1.5 to the dollar in August – and is now 2.2 – in effect – 50% more spending power for the US Dollar.

As a long dark and financially dreary winter takes hold in the North – now is the time to enjoy the incredible Nature, Sunshine and Adventure of Latin America. Book now on ArcticTropic Direct Booking.

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Our final day – with the biggest rapids – Class 4! We hike around Cachoeira Velha about 100 feet high and even walk behind it.

The final rapids are like a roller coaster – it is hard to stay in the boat.

Massimo – the Brazilian Kayak Champion – goes over the Class 4 in his kayak.

After a relaxing swim we board the 4 Elementos truck for the 8 hour ride back to civilization – in Palmas.

At night – back online for the first time in a week – I have heard no news since then – so it is interesting to read about hurricanes in the US, as well as the surprising Republican choice for Vice President.

The next morning we are off to the ATTA/ABETA Summit in São Paulo. Details soon, after everyone has a chance to read about the adventures.

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The morning of September 1st dawns like every other – clear and cool. While daytime temperatures soar to near 38 – 100 F , it is about 14 C – 57 F in the early morning.

We pack up – everything . This is “leave no trace” camping. Even the bonfire is built over a screen in the sand – in the morning the ashes are thrown in the river. Other than footprints , that will be blown away by the wind within an hour – no one would know that a camp of tents and cooking /eating areas was there only hours before.

The rapids today are more frequent and more powerful – up to class 3.

We set up camp at a beautiful river beach – but forest fires flare up throughout the night. Some of the crew puts out the fires with sticks.

Dinner was delicious – pasta followed by flambé, with champagne and red wine.

We saw no people other than our crew the entire day.

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This morning the Korubo truck takes us to join a new expedition, with Quatro Elementos – for a three-day rafting trip down the Rio Novo. In that time we will cover only 60 kilometers, but it will be action packed. Two nights will be spent camping on riverside beaches.

Qautro Elementos is another very professional adventure travel company. It is owned and operated by Massimo Desiati – one time kayaking champion of Brazil . Check out the website HERE.

About 10 AM we set off down the river. These kids were having a Sunday morning swim – they came from a nearby settlement of 150 people.

We are given safety instruction – helmets, preservers and shoes must be on at all times unless otherwise indicated.

The first day featured a small amount of rapids up to Class 2. Other times it was calm enough swim or drift in the fast moving water alongside the raft.

The cargo raft is transporting the very computer I am now blogging on – an ancient G4 iBook that will soon be replaced. Dry bags are used to protect valuables – but that’s no help if they are swept away downstream.

Late afternoon we pitch camp. At night we dine at a farmers house about a kilometer away from the camp. Everything is made of local ingredients, except for the meat since there is no cattle grazing in the area.

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Day One

On the morning of Wednesday, August 27th we boarded the giant Korubo all terrain vehicle for our 300 km, 8-hour journey into the Jalapão desert, to the Korubo Safari Camp on the Rio Novo. Google Coordinates: 10 35 22 07 South 46 45 27.04 West.

About 2 hours after leaving Palmas, the capital of Tocantins State, the paved road ended. We had a delicious lunch in Ponte Alta, where the dirt roads begin. Brazilian food is heavy – meat, rice, beans, bread, potatoes, farofa, at almost every meal.

After lunch we took a short walk through the town .

About 20 minutes out of town, we were driving through baking hot scrubland. The temperature was about 42 C, 108 F. Although this is “winter” south of the equator, it is the hot dry season. When the rains come in “summer” – December and January the temperature might only get to 33 C, or about 91 F. There is no humidity – so 100 degrees is like 80 in Miami or New York – quite comfortable. By night the temperature drops to the 50s – and to near freezing in June and July.

As we went thought the scrubland there was little shade, the fields were motionless in the heat. At that point we stopped and walked into a field and we could hear water rushing. We walked down a hill and noticed a small crevice. As we followed it the divide became wider and we then climbed down into an underground river. The temperature was at least 30 degrees cooler 25 C or 77 F and there were refreshing waterfalls everywhere.

Back on the Korubo truck we headed out into an absolute wilderness. No towns, or even houses for hundreds of kilometers. The land is flat and sandy, broken by mesas and buttes. Fires race across the land, consuming the thin cover of grass and brush.

At sundown (6 PM) we arrived at Korubo Safari Camp.

Here is a quick tour of the camp. Korubo is completely eco friendly. The Rio Novo is perfectly clean due to no human or cattle habitation in the surrounding terrain.

Water from the river is used for cleaning, cooking and drinking. You can drink directly form the river. There are no plastic water bottles here, unless they are being recycled.

There are fixed tents that never need to be taken down, due to the consistency of the weather.

The shower water is heated by fire, allowing to hot water at the end of each day. Toilets are similar to those on a boat – all waste is dried (far from the camp) and taken to an incinerator in Palmas.

Food is tasty and plentiful. Beer and caiprinhas are served with dinner. Nighttime activity can be gazing at the Southern Hemisphere stars or reading in the tent under a solar powered lamp.

All power in the camp is solar – I even charged my laptop from a solar generator. Korubo may be rustic , but it is run with professional perfection. Check out their website HERE.

By the way , you can avoid 8 hour drive by flying to a nearby airstrip – but that would take away a lot of adventure.

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This morning we climb Mirante da Serra – a tabletop mountain that is about 300 meters high. The landscape here, and all over Jalapão is very reminiscent of parts of West Africa – hundreds of millions of years ago it was all one land.

This is explained by the theory of continental drift – and the very obvious fact that the continents of South America and Brazil fit together like pieces of a puzzle. To read more on Continental Drift – CLICK HERE.

We then walked across the Serra – dry scrub with interesting plants – here we see latex dripping from a tree.

At the other end of the Serra, about 5 km from the climbing trail – there were incredible rock formations, similar to those in Arizona and Utah.

Wasp Nest.

State of Bahia in the distance.

The rest of the day was spent swimming and lounging at the base camp.

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Today we have an all day trip to several springs – water holes that have very strange natural phenomena.

Poço do Fervedouro has an underground river emptying into a hole on the bottom. The effect is like reverse quicksand. It is impossible to swim down more than a meter. Legs disappear into the white quicksand, which is also being forced up.

We then visit Cachoeira da Formiga. The river is known to have diamonds in it – recently a stone of more than 8 carats was found.

ArcticTropic Director

On the way back we stopped for cold beer in the frontier town of Mateiros.

The town has a population of 1800, with a school, 7 Evangelist churches, one Catholic church and 3 bars, all of which do a great business