Wednesday 5 December 2018

Iguazu Falls

Whoops, this should have been posted last week. It's really important because it is one of the best places that we have ever been to.

The Iguazu Falls are on the border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. We are on the Argentinan side looking at the part of the waterfall called the Devil's Throat. 
Massive, enormous amounts of water pour down a giant horseshoe shape and the roar of the water is deafening. 

We then walked round to a wider section that was so beautiful it took your breath away. 

Even more was to follow and then we stood on a platform over the river right at the top of the waterfall. Scary but we survived! 

To add to the day there was also some great animals wandering about. I liked the raccoons and their babies at first, but kept my distance once I found out how big their teeth were. 
Even the monkeys were nice although I liked the sleeping ones the best. 

Early birthday do with the Halifax girls

Lovely night out last night with the girls from the Halifax. Unbelievable to think that I started working there 38 years ago! 

Sunday 2 December 2018

Buenos Aires day 2

A lovely day today where we wandered around Buenos Aires. 
Firstly we went to a bookshop for a cup of coffee. But this was no ordinary bookshop - it used to be a beautiful theatre called the Ateneo Grand Splendid. 

We had our drinks at the front of the stage with great views of the shop floor and the Royal boxes nearby. 
We then went to the Recoleta Cemetery with its huge memorials to famous and rich Argentinians. 

I liked this small tribute to a lady and her dog who died much more recently than most in 1970.
The most famous plaque is for Eva Peron, Evita, although it is very small and crowds of tourists queued to have their photo taken in front of it. 
Next was a trip to see the Floralis Generica which is a giant flower weighing over 18 tons. It opens up in the day and closes during the night. 

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Buenos Aires

Our ship arrived yesterday and we are staying in Buenos Aires for a couple of days.
We are in a good central area and have walked for miles today. 

Apparently Argentina is thinking of bidding for the winter Olympics in Patagonia so they have put some Olympic rings up in their main Boulevard, called the 9th July. 

It is 12 lanes wide and divided into four sections so it is takes ages to get from one side to the other. 
We also walked past all of the main sights including the world famous Opera House, although there is no show on this week. 

We found the port area and enjoyed a beer overlooking the modern bridge and a great sailing boat. 

On Friday Buenos Aires is hosting a G20 summit and the whole city is getting ready to shut down while it is takes place. It is going to be a public holiday, the subway is shutting and apparently even the airport will be closed, but hopefully our flight on Saturday won't be affected. 

Monday 26 November 2018

Farewell to the ship

And so, farewell to the good ship Orchestra, 
Upon whose sunny decks we have travelled far, 
We have met the captain and his handsome crew, 
And soon we will be off to Iguazu
Falls, which are supposed to be spectacular!

First and probably last attempt at a limerick. 

Friday 23 November 2018

Sailing into Rio

We were up early today for one of the highlights of our trip - a visit to Rio de Janeiro.

The weather was perfect and we were up on the top deck as Sugarloaf mountain, Christ the Redeemer and then the whole city came slowly into sight. 

We sailed right into the bay and the views were incredible in all directions. 

We passed close by to the new Museum of Tomorrow, which was very similar to the architecture in Valencia earlier in our trip. A quick look at Google confirmed that they were both designed by Santiago Calatravo, so just call me Sherlock Holmes from now on. 

Once we docked we were opposite a large warehouse with fantastic murals on it, and we could see lots of joggers out in the early morning. 
We decided to join them, but by the time we got out it was just after 9am and they had all probably finished and gone to work. We ran 5k, but it was 36 degrees in the hot sunshine, so quite hard work. 

Quite pleased with this selfie that I took with the aid of a giant mirror on the top deck. 
Ps, it's pre run and afterwards I looked a purple faced quivering and tired wreck. 

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Salvador de Bahia

Yesterday we arrived in Recife, Brazil. We docked quite far away from the city and we decided to stay on the ship for three reasons - firstly we were being a bit lazy, secondly we wanted to use the WiFi, and thirdly we had been warned that it was quite a dangerous place.
Our lovely dinner companions did venture out and came back hot and tired and said that we hadn't really missed anything. 
Today we decided to do better though and the ship docked at Salvador de Bahia, another large city on the Brazilian coast. 
We made our way to the queue for information and a friendly, bossy, elderly lady told us that she wanted to speak English today and that we would be her companions on her walk around town! 

We couldn't refuse and she was an Argentinian lady who spoke many languages, greeting everyone that we met on the journey. There was dozens of armed police around the ship, tourist area and market, and in this photo she is saying hello to three of them. 
We joined the queue for an elevator ride up to the main tourist area, and she jumped the queue with us close behind, said something to the ticket officer and we were on our way up. 

At the top was a square and we don't know what this building was, but it had a beautiful ceiling that she videoed, all the while telling us strange tales of her family, her trips all over the world and other stories that we couldn't follow. 

We eventually left her in the market as she was keen to barter with the traders, but she gave us her phone number with strict instructions that if we get into trouble in Buenos Aries then we should call her immediately. 

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Five days at sea

We have sailed from the Canary Islands to the tip of Brazil over the last five days, and now we are here I don't know where the time went.
I have taken a few photos to try to sum it up. 

This is the low tech map near to the reception desk with a tiny red boat showing our progress. 

Frigate birds that hovered overhead for the last two days. I actually saw a seagull catch a flying fish and then get attacked by a frigate bird who terrified it into dropping the fish and then ate it himself. Exciting bit of nature there. 

Crossing the equator ceremony which involved a lot of splashing about, kissing an octopuss and having tomato sauce poured on their heads. We carefully kept our distance on this one. 

Sitting in the bar with a bottle of wine listening to our favourite tango band. 
Onwards now to Brazil. 

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Scary walk on La Palma

Today we arrived at La Palma, one of the smallest of the Canary Islands. It is very similar to Madeira in that it is very hilly and green.

We found a walk that took us up through the town and then over to a great viewpoint. 

On the way an up angry dog nipped Darren's trouser leg, and as we carried on walking we heard more and more dogs barking, then charging up and down trying to attack us from behind metal fences. 
It made a very nice day into a bit of an ordeal at times, but we carried on anyway. 

As we started back down we had to walk along a very overgrown levada, fighting our way through tall green weeds, 

but it was all worth it in the end and we got down to the pretty town of Santa Cruise, which I think is known for it's lovely balconies. 

A large glass of wine on the seafront and then a nice siesta and I am nearly good as new. 
We are now settling in for five days at sea, and out of contact, until we arrive in Brazil. 

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Cactus on Gran Canaria

Out last port of call was Lisbon and we went out for a morning run with the plan of seeing the sights after a quick brunch.
The weather had other ideas and it rained as if Noah was planning upon making another appearance. 
Instead we sat and watched from the top deck of the ship. 

Today we are in Gran Canaria and caught a bus to the Botanic Gardens. 
Daz was a bit impatient with my camera and I had to run to get a photo with the giant cacti, but he relented and let me pose for the second shot. 

We were also in good company as lots of spiders had wound their webs all over the top of the spiky cacti. 

Saturday 10 November 2018


We started the day with a longish run around the coast of Cadiz. Cadiz used to be a small island, but it is now connected by a causeway and a couple of bridges to the mainland and I was hoping that we could run around the circumference. 
We didn't manage all of it, but we did quite a lot, so then we felt rather pleased with ourselves and just had a lazy rest of the day. 

It is a lovely place and our aim for the day was very easy, just coffee at an outdoor cafe and then sherry in the main square. 
Unfortunately, I forget to take my purse and Daz onto had ten euros with him. 
This being Spain though and very reasonably priced, we had two coffees for a total of three euros, two sherries and olives for 3.60, two wonderful cocunut cakes and then two marzipan biscuits and still went back to the ship with 20 cents in my pocket. 

You really do have to love Spain!