Saturday, 21 May 2011

Dolphins, giant trees, John Lennon, long soft golden beaches, and some more dolphins – welcome to Northland 3

By now we had already spent three days up in wonderful Northland and although we didn't want to stress, we did want to visit some other parts of the country as well so after a morning run on the twin beaches and a dip in the sea, we decided to skip the drive up to the most northern part of NZ at Cape Reinga.

Dolphins, giant trees, John Lennon, long soft golden beaches, and some more dolphins – welcome to Northland 2

The next morning was the beginning of what would become one of our absolute best memories from this trip. Memories that we will cherish for ever and can take out to remember whenever life feels a bit tough.
It was the day for swimming with these lovely, big, docile creatures that we both love so much. I have always dreamt about one day swimming with dolphins, but I never thought it would become true. And here we were on one of the few dolphin watching boats that have the permit to also allow passengers to go into the water with the dolphins, under restrictions.

Dolphins, giant trees, John Lennon, long soft golden beaches, and some more dolphins – welcome to Northland 1

After hanging out for a couple of days in feeling-at-home Auckland, we finally picked up our new best friend, John Lennon, and after a thorough check that there were no 'real' bumps (small indentations and scratches do not count for this company) on the car, a bit of paperwork and some screams from me about Lennon being way too big for me to drive – we set out for the most northern part of the northern island of New Zealand: Northland.

As we had just realised a day or so before that NZ in in fact quite a big country, even if the population is at a tiny 4 million, we had decided to spend maximum two days in Northland before heading south of Auckland and hit the rest.

That was the plan that is. A plan that crumbled to pieces meter by meter, or perhaps kilometre by kilometre,

Thursday, 5 May 2011

There is only one Rio

And finally Rio...

Rio had a special feeling on this trip: it would be the nearest place from home, staying with family, speaking my own language, and living the Carnaval.
It was also the feeling of the beginning of the end, the departure from South America, the catching of the only flight we had bought long before starting the trip and a big twist on our travel route before going to 'the other side of the world'.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Moving further North - Curitiba, São Paulo, Paraty

Leaving the incredible Iguazu falls, we decided to do one of our 'favourite' travel combination: 1 night travel by bus + 1 day visiting a new place + 1 night travel by bus.
Well, that was the plan at least...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Water power in Iguazu

The Iguazu falls were one of those places in our list that we didn't want to miss out on, and we made sure we didn't. An old Indian tale says that the waterfall was caused by the rage of a furious god serpent that lived in the river and wanted to have the beautiful bride of an Indian warrior.
Whatever this story is true or not, the waters of the river are still furious and

Monday, 2 May 2011

Swinging and surfing Floripa

After an over night bus ride from the border with Uruguay, there we were in Florianopolis, in the first non-Spanish speaking country of our trip. Brazil the promised land for the best carnival in the world, happy people and great food.
Floripa, the short name of Florianoponis connects with Ilha Santa Catarina, an island renowned for some great surfing beaches and lagoons. Not having ridden any waves since Panama, I was very much looking forward to some action.