Panties and Bras

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For more pictures and maps of South America, see EVENTS.   






 

 

Sights I Have Seen in South America

 

 

 

The Amazon River, in Brazil and Perú

 

This is the Amazon River, far and away the mightiest river in the world.  I lived in Belém, Brazil, at the mouth of the Amazon, for five months, from August, 2005, to January, 2006.  Then I sailed 800 miles upstream to Manaus, Brazil, where I stayed only a week.  In July, 2007, I came once again to the Amazon, to its source, near Iquitos, Perú, where I spent a month.  In August, 2007, I returned to Manaus, remainimg  till February, 2008. In Belém, Manaus and Iquitos, the temperature every day of the year is around 85 to 90.  (See Table below for Belém.)  I just love it.  In Belém, it rains almost every afternoon, for an hour or so, like clockwork, but in Iquitos it rains only occasionally.  The Amazon discharges more water than the next seven rivers of the world combined.  For figures, see this article: Amazon River

Here is the temperature profile for Belém from Yahoo Weather:

 

Month

Avg. High

Avg. Low

January

87.6° F

71.8° F

February

86.9° F

72.0° F

March

86.7° F

72.3° F

April

87.4° F

71.2° F

May

88.3° F

72.7° F

June

89.1° F

71.8° F

 

July

89.1° F

71.1° F

 

August

89.8° F

71.1° F

 

September

89.8° F

71.1° F

 

October

90.0° F

70.9° F

 

November

90.1° F

71.4° F

 

December

89.4° F

71.6° F

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Río de la Plata, between Argentina and Uruguay

 

 

Another awesome river in South America is El Río de la Plata. which is 42 to 75 miles wide at its estuary.  There are no bridges; one must ferry.  A shorter. cheaper way is to go from Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay, and there catch a bus for a two-hour ride.  An alternative way is to go by swift ferry, provided with hydrofoils, directly from Buenos Aires to Montevideo.  The difference is something like $40 against $65.  Either passage takes about 3 hours, but with the hydrofoil ferry, there's no bus to take.

 

 

Mount Aconcagua, near Mendoza, Argentina

 

This is the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere, at 22,841 feet.  I took a bus from Buenos Aires to Mendoza in December, 2006, and I stayed in Mendoza for about 4 days.  From Mendoza, I went on an excursion from the terminal with a party of about 12.  I passed by again in late March of 2007, when I moved from Buenos Aires to Santiago, Chile

 

 

 

 

Iguazú (Iguaçu) Falls, near the Triple Frontier

 

Iguazú Falls are near the Triple Frontier, Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay.  I've been in all three countries for extended periods.  The falls are on the Paraná River, between Argentina and Brazil, near the cities of Puerto Iguazú, ArgentinaCiudad del Este, Paraguay; and Foz de Iguaçu, Brazil.  I saw them from the Argentine side, in March, 2007.  I went up by bus from Buenos Aires, where I was living at the time.  This is a beautiful spot, with millions of butterflies in the vicinity.

 

 

 

 

Machu Picchu, near Cusco (Cuzco), Perú

 

Machu Picchu, Perú is the site of the most prestigious of Inca ruins.  I went to Machu Picchu by train from nearby Cusco in May, 2007.  There is no other way to get there than the four-hour train ride.  Once at the train station there, one must board a bus, which rolls through the jungle for half an hour.  Alpacas, llamas and vicuñas graze on the slopes of this most breathtakingly beautiful spot.  Towering steep green mountains, 15,000 to 20,000 feet tall, rise all about you, and you must tread very gingerly lest you precipitate yourself into valleys lost in the haze below.

 

 

 

 

Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

 

Tierra del Fuego is the island at the very southern end of the South American continent, and a province of Argentina.  In December, 2006, I took a 50-hour bus ride from Mendoza, Argentina to Río Gallegos, Argentina, the southernmost city on the mainland.  In Río Gallegos, I boarded another bus that went to Punta Arenas, Chile, where it rolled onto a ferry that sailed the Strait of Magellan to the island.  Arriving in Tierra del Fuego, we traveled 4 more hours to Ushuaia, the capital.  This is really a charming spot, with little green mountains, forests of southern beech, rivers and streams galore, and Ushuaia itself, which is all geared for tourist trade.  It's cold there though.  Even in the Argentine summer--January, February and March--the temperature is in the 50's Fahrenheit, and the sky is always half-cloudy.  Beavers have been introduced to the island, and you can see their dams all over.  Unfortunately, they've felled thousands of trees, which lie tossed helter-skelter about the island.

In the vicinity of Tierra del Fuego, in southern Chile, you can see numerous herds of guanacos, related to llamas, vicuñas, alpacas and, more distantly to camels:

 

 

Herd of Guanacos (Lama guanicoe)

 

Image:Jujuy-QuebradaDeHumahuaca-P3120108.JPG

 

The Quebrada of Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina

 

This site is well-known in Argentina, but probably not very famous outside.  Quebrada is merely a Spanish word for ravine or canyon.  Humahuaca (pronounced: Oomawocka) is the name of the general vicinity and also of an Indian village nearby.  Jujuy (pronounced: Hoohooey) is a province of Argentina, the northwesternmost one, in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes Mountains.  There are other Indian villages in the area too, like Purmamarca and Tilcara.  I visited all three, which are very reminescent of Pueblo Indian villages in New Mexico.  I traveled to San Salvador de Jujuy , the provincial capital,  from Buenos Aires by bus, and went on an excursion, arranged by a tourist agency, with a party of three.  I returned to Buenos Aires by a different  route, busing to La Rioja, then Mendoza, then back across the Pampas.

 

 

 

 

Image:Valle de la luna san pedro chile.jpg

 

The Atacama Desert, in Chile

 

In May, 2007, I traveled by bus from Santiago, Chile to Lima, Perú.  The distance is over 1500  miles, most of which is utterly barren desert.  The Atacama Desert of Chile is the driest place on earth, with spots where it hasn't rained in 400 years .  The continuation of the Atacama Desert is the Sechura Desert of Perú, which extends all the way to the frontier with EcuadorLima itself is in the midst of mountainous dunes extending hundreds of miles in both directions.  Annual rainfall in Lima is about one millimeter.

 

 

 

Image:Buenos Aires -Argentina- 131.jpg

 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

I lived a total of one year in Buenos Aires, in three visits between December, 2004 and March, 2007.  I love Buenos Aires in the summer.  Unfortunately, it gets cold there in the winter.  On my first visit, I lived in the Balvanera District, on Avenida Rivadavia.  On my second visit I lived in San Telmo, on Calle Brasil, and on my third, on Avenida Corrales in Villa Soldati.  I was amazed at the low prices for everything in Buenos AiresBuenos Aires has a subway system and there are plenty of buses.  Shopping in Buenos Aires is out of this world.  I don't know if I've ever been in a city with more stores.  I wonder if even New York City and Hong Kong have as many.  The metropolitan population of Buenos Aires is 13,000,000, more or less the size of Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

Map of Argentina

 

Image:Visao Aerea Copacabana.jpg

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

I visited Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for about 2 weeks in August, 2005.  I came by bus from Asunción, Paraguay.  The picture above shows Copacabana Beach, surely the most beautiful beach in the world.  I lived in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1986 and 1987, and my feeling at the time was that Waikiki Beach could not be surpassed.  So I was dumbfounded to discover that Copacabana surpasses it easily.  For one thing, it is several miles long, whereas Waikiki is only about half a mile long.  I stayed only two weeks in Rio de Janeiro, because it is expensive, for South America.  Besides, Internet is hard to find and costs quite a bit.  So I went to northern Brazil, to the city of Belém, where I stayed five months.

 

 

 

 

BelémBrazil

 

Belém is a city at the mouth of the Amazon, opposite the large island called Marajó.  Belém is the second largest city on the Amazon, after Manaus, and it's the capital of the state of Pará.  The climate is warm and humid.  It rains almost every day in Belém, in the afternoon, but it's sunny every morning.  In 2005, I lived for five months in Belém, at the Hotel Paraíso on Travessa Timbó, near the bus terminal.  I had arrived aboard an Itapemirim bus from Rio de Janeiro, 55 hours to the south.  In January 2006, I sailed on a ship called Cisne Branco from Belém to Manaus, 800 miles upstream. 

 

 

 

 

Asunción, Paraguay

 

I lived in Asunción, Paraguay for a total of nine months in two visits.  I stayed at La Plaza Hotel, on Avenida Eligio Ayala, across the street from Plaza Uruguaya.  The population of Paraguay is mostly Guaraní Indians, and I cultivated the friendship of several young, needy Indian girls, aged 4 to 9, who used to play in the park.  Every day I would give them little gifts of money, and often I presented them with dolls, clothes and other items.  Oh, how sad it was to have to leave!

 

 

 

Image:Stgo Abril.jpg

 

Santiago, Chile

 

 

 

Santiago's Metro

  

I spent only 6 weeks in Santiago, March to May of 2007, because winter was looming and Santiago, nestled in the Andes Mountains, can get cold, with temperatures down to 20º F.  Santiago is an amazingly modern city, with a brand new subway no whit inferior to the Los Angeles Metro.  I lived near the main street of Santiago, which is Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins, named after the national hero.  Santiago is great for shopping, with a fashionable downtown centered on Avenida Ahumada, as well as a sprawling garment district around the Estación Central, the train station.  I arrived in Santiago by bus from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and departed on a bus bound for Lima, Perú.

 

 

 

 

 

Lima, Perú

 

When I left Santiago, I took a 55-hour bus ride to Lima, Perú, where I stayed six weeks in May and June of 2007.  Lima is a fine city and has a good infrastructure, but it is foggy and cloudy incessantly, especially in the South American winter, July, August and September.  You don't see the sun for days on end, and the temperature hovers around 60º F.  This is not exactly a tropical paradise, as I assumed mistakenly it would be.  The Miraflores District, pictured above, is the place for upscale shopping.  For downscale shopping, one goes downtown to El Jirón de la Unión.  In any case, however, shopping in Lima does not compare with shopping in Buenos Aires or even Santiago.

 

Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Perú

http://www.flickr.com/photos/75846617@N00/1322481271/

While in Perú, I took a bus from Lima through Ica to Cusco (Cuzco).  This is a 20-hour ride, including first some hours of desert and then some hours of barren rock.  Eventually, though we entered beautiful green mountains, with hanging valleys, and before we knew it, we were in Cusco.  There I visited Sacsayhuamán, a ruined Inca fortress, but the main attraction was Machu Picchu, four hours away by train, with a switchback up the mountainside.  The Plaza de Armas is so beautiful that I regretted not allowing myself more time in Cusco.  I hurried back to Lima and then went on to Iquitos, though I might easily have spent some weeks in Cusco.  It was warm and sunny there each day.  It tends to get cold at night.  It can get down to 20º F in July, August and September.

 

 

 

Iquitos, Perú

 

I stayed in Iquitos, Perú, at the Iquitos Regenci, on Jirón Arica, during the month of July, 2007.  In June, I had made arrangements to sail the Amazon, from Iquitos to Manaus, Brazil in August, and with over a month left on my Peruvian visa, I figured it would make more sense to go to Iquitos to enjoy the warm sunny weather than to stay in Lima, in the cold and fog.  Iquitos cannot be reached by car, bus or train, so I flew.  Iquitos is in east Perú, beyond the Andes Mountains from Lima, in the heart of the Peruvian jungle.  I loved Iquitos, but there are some definite disadvantages to life there.  First of all, since there are few cars, the city teems with motorized tricycles, like rickshaws, called motocarros.  They are unsightly and unsafe, and create a traffic nightmare.  Secondly, consumer products which come from afar are sometimes scarce and always expensive.  Thirdly, in most cyber cafés, Internet service is intolerably slow.  I didn't take any jungle excursions in Iquitos, having decided to wait till I got to Manaus for such activities.  Above is pictured the Embarcadero on the Amazon.  It was from there that I sailed towards Manaus on August 1, 2007.

 

 

 

Image:Manaus downtown teatro.JPG

 

Manaus, Brazil

For more on Manaus, see http://www.mecnita.com/events.htm.

 

This is downtown Manaus, Brazil, my location as of August 30, 2007.  This is my second visit.  In the distance can be seen the Rio Negro, flowing from northwestern Brazil into the Amazon, a few miles downstream.  I can see the Rio Negro from my balcony at the Hotel Premier on Avenida Eduardo Ribeiro, right downtown.  My visa is good for two more months.  Downtown Manaus is hilly, with narrow, broken sidewalks, and bazaars absolutely teeming with people.  The locals don't have any conception of cold weather.  It's always in the 70's and 80's around here, day and night, 365 days a year.  Here's Yahoo Weather's temperature profile for Manaus

 

Month

 High

Low

January

86.9° F

73.6° F

February

86.7° F

73.6° F

March

87.1° F

73.8° F

April

87.3° F

73.9° F

May

87.4° F

73.9° F

June

87.8° F

73.4° F

July

88.3° F

72.9° F

August

90.7° F

73.4° F

September

91.2° F

74.3° F

October

91.0° F

74.7° F

November

89.8° F

74.7° F

December

88.3° F

74.3° F

 

 

 

South American Itinerary, 2004-2008

 

You might think that the Pacific shores of South America would be warm and sunny, lush and green.  But the Peruvian and Chilean coast is dominated by utterly barren desert, where it seldom or never rains.  There are mountainous dunes swaddled in fog and shade, often cool even as you near the Equator.  This is due to the Perú or Humboldt Current, which raises and swirls cold water from oceanic depths.  This current also accounts for the great number of fish in the region.

 

 

 

 

The Perú Current

 

 

 

 

 

The Overland Route from Manaus to Buenos Aires

Image Credits:

 

The Amazon River, in Brazil and Perú:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Riverguama1.jpg

El Río de la Plata, between Argentina and Uruguay:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/phil_b/328161025/  

Mount Aconcagua, near Mendoza, Argentina:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Aconcagua_-_Argentina_-_January_2005_-_by_Sergio_Schmiegelow.jpg

Iguazú (Iguaçu) Falls, near the Triple Frontier:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Iguacu-004.jpg 

Machu Picchu, near Cusco (Cuzco), Perú:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Peru_Machu_Picchu_Sunset.jpg

Tierra del Fuego, Argentina:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/luisgranada/215359778/

The Quebrada of Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Jujuy-QuebradaDeHumahuaca-P3120108.JPG 

The Atacama Desert, in Chile:  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Valle_de_la_luna_san_pedro_chile.jpg 

Buenos Aires, Argentina:  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Buenos_Aires_-Argentina-_131.jpg 

Map of Argentina:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/americas/argentina_pol96.jpg

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Visao_Aerea_Copacabana.jpg 

Belém, Brazil: 

http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=511124146&size=m

Asunción, Paraguay:  

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paraguay/254992989/ 

Santiago, Chile

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Stgo_Abril.jpg

Santiago's Metro:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Estacionuchile.jpg

Lima, Perú:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8684475@N02/576548456/

Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Perú:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/75846617@N00/1322481271/

Iquitos, Perú:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rollindust/210346698/

Manaus, Brazil:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Manaus_downtown_teatro.JPG

Map of South America:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/americas/south_america_ref04.jpg

The Perú Current:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Ocean_currents_1943.jpg