Home > Cargo Ship Journey > Brazil, Uruguay & Argentina

Brazil, Uruguay & Argentina

6 to 10 December 2010


First bridge our ship went under - Vittoria, Brazil

The beautiful 'Lady' at the port bar!

We reached Vittoria in Brazil at around 1600 hrs by navigating around the river for an hour and passing through the first – very high – bridge our ship went under! Vittoria looked beautiful from the ship and we spent 4 very short hours there – at 4 bars (at the Bermuda Triangle!) and drank Caipirinha’s and an entire bottle of Cachaca! I don’t remember getting back to the ship but was told next morning that they dropped me off and went back out til 0430 partying in the ladies’ bar just off the port! That’s where Craig met his muse – he took some pictures of this girl he really liked and even told her she was beautiful. The next morning, Andrea told Craig that the same girl was actually a man! Here is a photo….

We sailed from Vittoria early in the morning and reached Rio Da Janeiro the next day. Saw the famous Copacabana beach in the evening where people were playing volleyball, jogging and exercising. The waves were so huge that they would have pulled you under if you dipped your toe in the water! After Copacabana, we headed Santa Teresa which is a hilly neighbourhood full of bars and restaurants. Unfortunately as we were getting there, one of our party took a turn for the worse and I escorted him back to the ship stopping the taxi 2-3 times so he could visit the Banos!

Looking out at Santos

After Rio, we didn’t expect to be wowed much and until we got to Montevideo, this was true! We stopped in Santos next and wandered around the old part of the town and had a lovely lunch in a Cantina run by a Brazilian couple who lived in South London til a year ago!

Leaving Santos by boat was interesting in that we got to see pretty much the entire island as we sailed south. Santos is huge – it’s the biggest port in S America and
one that serves Sao Paolo, which in itself is one of the top populated cities in the world. AS we had limited time, we only saw the old part of the
town around the port area, which, though charming in an old tumbling down kind of way, was a little grotty. As we sailed out, we went past the
obviously richer part of Santos full of architect designed houses, swanky bars and fast cars – called Gonzaga.

Market in Montevideo

As we left Brazil for our next stop – Montevideo in Uruguay – there was a definite feel of the journey coming to an end as after Uruguay we get into Argentina and even though we stop in Zarate on the way, the stop after would be Buenos Aires. I had hoped to spend more time in Montevideo but the ship’s schedule meant we only had 4 or so hours there. It wasn’t so bad though as the port is right in front of the city centre and could walk straight out into it. Montevideo had such a lovely feel and people were so friendly – definitely a place to go back to. Montevideo is named after a little hill – barely large enough to be called even a hill – which when the explorer who first set foot there thought looked like a fried egg! The old town has lovely colonial buildings which lead up to Plaza Independencia – the centre of the city and the square that divides the old town from downtown. We nearly missed the cathedral. Walked past it a couple of times looking for it but as its a square modernish building, I didn’t expect it to be a place of God or to be called the city cathedral surrounded by much more ornate buildings! ATM machines in Santos give and option to dole out local pesos or US $. It’s a good place to hoard up US$ before getting to Aregntina where you cannot take out US$ from ATMs – in fact in BA ATMs seldom allow more than about a thousand Arg $ in a day (xe = Arg $6 to £1).

Meeting another Grimaldi ship on Rio Piranha

We left Santos and sailed to Argentina. First stop Zarate. This is a tiny place on the Rio Piranha and our ship – which was the largest thing on the narrow river – snaked around for 3 or so hours before we got to Zarate. There was an exciting moment when we passed another Grimaldi ship and they honked at each other. All the passengers from both boats came out and waved merrily at each other!

The third officer asked us whether those without vehicle wanted to get off in Zarate given it’s only about 1 hour from Buenos Aires. We jumped at the chance, though didn’t actually get out of the ship until around 8pm!

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