A Travellerspoint blog

Santiago to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil - Saturday, 7 Feb 2015

semi-overcast 27 °C

We had about a two hour wait in Santiago and then boarded a smaller Lan Chile plane for our 4 hr 15 min flight to Rio.  I am starting to get tired now but there is too much to look at.  Snow capped mountains with a glacier, and extremely high rugged mountains.  Quite magnificent.  Of course, my window is the only fogged up one in the entire plane, so photographing these fabulous mountains is quite difficult.


A lot of Spanish is being spoken and we can't understand a word. The hostie offered me a magazine to read and then realised we were English speakers, and then laughed and said "Well, you could just look at the pictures"! We laughed.

Lunch on our Lan Chile flight was lovely.  I had mozzarella ravioli and Phil had a steak which he said was very tender.  I have never enjoyed airline food so much.  It must have something to do with being Premium Economy!

We arrived in Rio and it was raining. As we were in Seat 1A and 1C, we were the first off and first into Immigration. Then the wait for the bags. I was starting to think that my bag was lost but it eventually turned up - quite wet. It had obviously been sitting on the tarmac for ages.

There were 9 of us (Scenic Tour people) and we are the first to arrive. There will be 40 altogether, all doing Brazil and Antarctica and everyone will be here by Monday evening. Heidi from Scenic met us and we took the 45 minute drive to the Copacabana Palace Hotel - right on Copacabana Beach. The hotel is gorgeous - there is an old, original part and a couple of new buildings. We are in the old part, which we like very much. Our room is gorgeous and spacious and overlooks the beach and the ocean.


We are tired - neither of us has slept very much since we left Australia, Saturday lunchtime. We arrived in Rio at about 6.30 pm Saturday, after 16 hours of flying, but it was all good.

This is a photo of our bathroom; the night time view from our window and Rio complimentary slippers! Good Old Scenic has done it again - the best hotel in town!


After unpacking, as we are going to be here for 5 days, we went for a walk at about 9.30 pm. Rio on a Saturday night, one week out from Carnival, is just buzzing. Dopey me forgot to take the tablet for photos, so you will just have to imagine some of the sights we saw. People are starting to get dressed up for Carnival and are having street parties all over the place.

We found a great little restaurant called Armazem do Leme and Phil had a local delicacy, small sausage and onions. It was yummy. I settled for a small tomato pizza, which was exactly that - a small pizza covered in cheese with three slices of tomato on it. We both had a beer. It is 100% humidity here.

We are struggling with the language - Portugese. Not many people speak English, but we'll get there.

The drivers are crazy. They can do 90 kms on the roads and 70 kms around town, but it looks a lot faster than that to me.

It is now 11 pm and we haven't slept for days, so after I down load this blog, I am going to bed to sleep, sleep, sleep so we can wake ready and refreshed to explore this amazing place tomorrow.

Posted by gaddingabout 17:59 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Sydney to Santiago - Saturday, 7 February 2015

Had a pretty good sleep, woke up and went over to the airport for breakfast.  Back to the hotel for a while as it was better sitting in our room than at the airport.  When we arrived at the Qantas check in area, we were very pleasantly surprised to be met by a Scenic Tours representative, Elizabeth.  This has never happened before and it was very nice.  As were were flying Premium Economy, our check in queue wasn't very long.  Our bags were a bit over the 20 kgs required for domestic flights in South America - 23.3 and 24.9 - but were okay for our Qantas flight as we are allowed 30 kgs each.

The Immigration and security queues were quite long bug moved quickly and we got through without any hassles.  We had to wait about an hour before we boarded and noticed a couple of other people in the area with Scenic Tours bags.  Apparently there are about 30 of us, but we didn't notice many.


When we were seated and the Economy people started walking past us, we saw a couple who had been on the Moscow River Cruise with us last August.  We didn't get to know them very well on the cruise, in fact, we can't remember their names but will no doubt find out in due course.  They recognized us and the guy said hello to Phil.

We boarded and our seats are great - two together on the left hand side of the plane, at the back of Premium Economy.  So much room, it's great.  We both had a champagne to celebrate.  This is a combined effort selfie!


The plane was starting its ascent when water came pouring out of the overhead lockers in thd middle of the plane, and wet the lady sitting across the aisle from Phil.  We pressed the call button for her but no one came because the crew was all strapped in for take off.  Finally, we were surrounded by cabin staff who said this happens all the time because water lies flat in the air conditioner and when the plane takes off, it drips out.  More like flows out!  Anyway, no harm done.

Lunch was served and it was very nice.  I even ate all mine which is something because airline food never really appeals to me.  I had a lovely cold chicken salad and Phil had a beef stew thing and a lovely chocolate mousse for dessert.

I watched four movies during the flight, which is a bit unusual for me, but they were all good.  St Vincent, My Old Lady, The Hundred Foot Journey and The Love Punch.  I read a bit but couldn't go to sleep.  I ate Maltesers, macademia nuts biscuits and a Weis bar.  Naughty!

I took a photo of Mount Cook on the South Island of New Zealand as we were flying past.


Breakfast was really nice.  I had a continental breakfast with a huge plate of fruit, yummy muslei, a muffin, juice and tea.  Phil had fruit and an omlette.

Flying into Santiago is quite stunning - lots of huge mountains.


Arrived safely in the red kangaroo.


Posted by gaddingabout 17:55 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Canberra to Sydney - Friday, 6 February 2015

It begins!

semi-overcast 25 °C

Friday, 6 February 2015 dawned after a very restless night's sleep. It is amazing the things you dream about when there are a lot of things on your mind. We had a leisurely morning, packing, unpacking and repacking, but unfortunately the bags still weighed the same - a couple of kilos over! We picked up the car at 11 am,


had lunch, did a final clear out of the fridge and took it over to Madelena. She got a bit emotional and told us to hurry back. 64 days away is a long time.

We left home at 1.30 pm and had a really good trip but because it was Friday, there was a bit more traffic on the roads than other times we have travelled to Sydney. Half way to Sydney, we realised we had forgotten to empty the kitchen bin, and give some old meat to Madelena for Toby, her dog! A quick message to our daughter-in-law will hopefully solve the problem.

Had an early dinner at Rydges. It was quite nice, but we miss our lovely sea food restaurant, Dank Street Cafe, which is located in the airport. It seems to have closed down and there seems to be some construction going on in its place.


Now back in our room. Cup of tea, shower and into Rydges' fantastic "dream bed" to have a good night's sleep before our trip of a lifetime begins!



Posted by gaddingabout 00:40 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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