Friday, January 25, 2008

amazonian cruising

Hi! Susie here and it's been a few jam-packed months since our last post so thanks for swinging by! We spent most of December on Hapag Lloyd's exquisite ship "MS EUROPA" cruising the coast of Brazil and the Amazon.

Embarkation at the Port of Rio de Janeiro naturally called for our first caipirinhas of the journey and serendipitously they were the most delicious ones of the entire adventure. Expertly made by a very friendly and talented carioca he ensured that we were in fine spirits upon boarding the ship.

During the days at sea I clocked a few hours pool side and soaked up some Brazilian sun. I have to say the strength of the sun rivals that of the Aussie rays.

True five star plus (!) hospitality ensured that we wined and dined like royalty; I don't think I've consumed so much foie gras or saddle of wild Australian boar in my life! A daily 3PM ritual took place by the pool and I think the picture says it all....

Days at sea melted into nights of die Festlichkeiten!

We were greeted by some Brazilian Carnival dancers at the port of Salvador, our first port of call.

The hypnotic beats of the drummers called us out of our cabins to explore the colourful colonial town.

We cruised north to the towns of Recife and Olinda. Olinda is a beautiful colonial town a few miles from the more metropolitan Recife with many beautiful churches and a view that inspired its name.

An outdoor coffee stand had its own in house pet, a chatty parrot who mimicked my laughter, much to my amusement. He was uncannily accurate!

The town of Belem also known as the "mouth of the Amazon" introduced us to the intense, pungent colours of the rivers' flora and fauna. Sloths, piranhas, monkeys were truly from another world.

The trip ended with a concert on land at the historic and jewel-like Manaus Opera House.

Soaring equatorial temperatures and what felt like 2000% humidity made our last night a memorable one, as did meeting some of our Brazilian fans...

Thanks for reading and check back soon!