Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil....hot and steamy! WTRD 44-46

Saturday, February 20, 2016 - Arrival - WTRD 43

We arrived quite late on Saturday night and arrived via taxi at our accommodation to find my brother already checked-in and in a pretty confused state of mind after being drugged and robbed the night before.  See previous blog for details.  As you can imagine we were happy to be together and in a safe apartment behind a locked gate, locked main door, and triple locked apartment door.  We all tumbled into bed, but as exhausted as we all were, we were quite keyed up and had a difficult time falling asleep.

Sunday, February 21, 2016 - A New and Better Day WTRD 44

Yesterday, Archie had contacted some local friends, and today they picked us up in their automobile to take us around town, primarily to the Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf) Mountain.  Our apartment is in the Leblon district close to Ipanema and Copacabana beaches.

Rio is situated in a beautiful jungle location with tall rounded mountains, many of which are islands in the ocean off the coast.  To reach the top of Sugar Loaf, we took a tram to a 3/4 way mountain, and then a second tram to the top of Sugar Loaf.
First tram to left; second tram to right
The temperature is in the high 90's, and the humidity is at least 60%.  We can feel the steam.  Despite some of the steamy apperance of some of the photos, the views from Pao de Acucar were spectacular.

Archie, Viviani, Leticia

Going back down from the Sugar Loaf

Shanty Shacks with a View
From the top you can see a couple of distinctive valleys.  This is apparently where Rio's impoverished people live, in Shanty Shacks.  We had a great day with Archie's friends and had a fabulous lunch at the Noi micro brewery not far from our apartment.  We ate lightly because we had a dinner meet-up with friends for dinner, but "eyeballed" a dish we hope to return for tomorrow night.

By 6:00 pm we were back in our apartment and tthe thunder was rolling and the sky lit up, then it was poring rain.  Our friends Angela and Otavio, whom we met when we were on the Danube River Cruise to the Black Sea, picked us up in the poring rain on the street corner at the end of our block.  Our street in front on the the apartment is totally closed while workers are frantically trying to complete an underground metro for the Olympics.  Locals have little faith that this will be complete by this summer.

With Angela and Otavio, we went to a nice restaurant, on the lagoon, and spent a wonderful evening visiting, and eating lots of different types of foods that are very Brazilian.  This was very special!  We meet the most wonderful people when we travel.  We move from stranger to friendship very quickly.

Monday, February 22, 2016 - Botanical Gardens and Ugly Monkies - WTRD 45
With no time schedule, we slept in this morning and then spent the better part of the afternoon in the Botanical Gardens where Monkeys play, Tucans and Parrots, fly from tree to tree high above in the jungle canopy.  Here are some photos of our excursion:

Beautiful outdoor fauna.

Really ugly monkeys. These guys have huge teeth and look like they were the models for the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.

Just try to take this banana from me and you will be sorry!
Of course there are unusual fruits and roots

Flowers and geometrically intricate water plants,


and flowers that we have never  before seen.  Not sue, but this one looks like it might eat bugs.

After our botanical adventure, we found a geocache and made our way back to the Noi micro brewery where feasted on coconut filled with a rich shrimp and vegetable cream with rice.  Oh my, it was even better than it looked!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - Up to Christ the Redeemer - WTRD 46

After doing our homework, we decided it would be best to get an early start up to the statue that sits upon the rock mountain at 2400 feet above sea level.   We wouldn't be hiking up but taking a cog train to the top.  Apparently the queues can be several hours long.  The day is less cloudy than previous days, but the temperature will be over 100 degrees today.

We took a taxi to the train.

The train took about 30 minutes to wind its way through around and up to the top through the jungle.

By the time we arrived on top about 10:00 am, the platforms were already packed with people and the temperature was rising.

We are looking down on Sugar Loaf.

Spectacular views.

We returned to our apartment after stopping to pickup a deli lunch, and have been getting ourselves ready for the next part of our adventure.  We leave tomorrow for Iguazu Falls.  Our flight leaves around 10:30 tomorrow morning. But first we are going down to the beach and then to dinner.

All is Well with the Worrall Travel Rs and Archie in Rio.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Not a Happy Birthday - Drugged and Robbed in Rio

Saturday, February 20, 2016 - Update

My brother Archie, arrived in Rio a few days before we did to visit friends, and had rented an apartment in a neighborhood a few blocks where we would share an apartment together.  We last communicated with my brother on Thursday afternoon via Whats App and all was well, except the Internet in his apartment was spotty.    Late the following day, we sent him some change of address information regarding our Saturday accommodation.  He did not respond.

Initially, I thought he was just not paying attention to the messages or the internet wasn't working well. We sent him an email as well, just in case he didn't get the text message for some reason.

Yesterday morning before we left Bariloche, I sent Archie another text wishing him a happy birthday.  The other messages had not been picked up and there was still no response from the change info I had sent him late Thursday.  I was becoming a little concerned.

When we changed planes in Buenos Aires, I tried again.  Still no response.   I messaged our check-in contact in Rio to see if Archie had checked in.  He had checked in, and I was somewhat relieved, but still a little uneasy that he had not contacted us himself to let us know.

We arrived at the apartment around 10:30 pm by taxi from the airport.  As soon as I saw Archie, I knew something was wrong.  Long story short, he had gone out for a walk Friday by himself, stopped to watch some beach volleyball from a little beach bar. 

Bad News
He and another guy struck up a conversation in Portuguese.  They ordered a beer, and the next thing Archie remembers after a couple of sips of the beer is waking up in his apartment sprawled fully dressed on his bed, with the contents of the safe (money, credit cards) gone!  His cell phone, driver's license also gone!  

Good News
Archie is alive with all his body parts!  The thief left him his tablet, passport, and clothing with the exception of his ball cap. What's App only works on a phone, and that was gone.  

But he did get the emails when the Internet worked.  He checked into our new Airbnb while still in a groggy state of mind, not knowing how he got back in his apartment and how the safe had been opened.  The Airbnb checkin assistant was kind enough to lend him $25.00 so he could get some food until we arrived.

Archie spent most of yesterday afternoon filling out a police report, cancelling debit and credit cards, and trying in vain to remember what happened.  He has since learned about the "sleeping cinderella" drug he wa slipped, used not only for date rape, but apparently to relieve single travelers "willingly" of their possessions.  

We reason that without any bruises or suspicions being aroused of a big unconscious guy being drug through the streets of a good neighborhood to his apartment, Archie must have "sleep walked" with the thief to his apartment, opened the safe, himself,and passed out on the bed. Crazy.  We are just grateful, he is alive and the thief left him his passport and tablet (some compassion-anyway), and that we arrived with cash to share.

So it was a terrible birthday for Archie, but he is physically in one piece, and we are together now in Rio.

Worrall Travel Rs in Rio

Goodbye Argentina, Hello Brazil WTRD 40-43

Saturday, February 20, 2016, Worrall Travel R Days (WTRD) 40-43

Happy Birthday Archie!  See you soon in Rio!  And Hooray for Garyn, Jessica, and Imogene, expecting another family member September 2016!

As I write this quick blog, we have just settled into our seats on a 737 headed for Rio De Janeiro.  Upon recommendation from other travelers, we have had our bags securely wrapped to thwart would-be thieves that work the baggage in Brasil.  But let me backtrack a little to catch up.

Tuesday, February 17, we left El Calafate and flew to San Carlos De Bariloche. Upon our arrival, we climbed into our little red volkswagon, Avis rental car, and drove to the Airbnb that we had booked many months ago.

The house is owned by Tuny, a lovely Argentine woman and excellent artist, high on a hill overlooking the beautiful lake Nahuel Huapi.

Bariloche is built on the western shore of the lake and became a haven for many Germans and Nazi sympathizers before and after WWII.  Since then, there have been many other European immigrants, but the town and region has a distinctive European Alpine flavor.

We are warmly greeted by our host when we arrive around 6:00 pm.

Tuny speaks little English, but her two adult children, Tomas and Loli, whom we had the pleasure of meeting speak English very well.  Even though Tuny's English is limited, she made us feel most welcome with joyous hugs and kisses. We felt like honored guests throughout our stay.

The first two days of our stay were overcast, cloudy, windy, and rainy.  It was perfect for two weary hikers looking to rest, catchup on laundry, mail, and reading.  And what a beautiful setting.  We did manage a visit to the Bariloche tourist office and a drive in the afternoon of day 1 , and trip up to the local ski area and into town for dinner on day 2;

and on day 3 when the sun came out we drove to the north east side of the lake to a quaint community of La Angostura.

We ate lunch at a brew pub,

visited some of the local shops, and wandered down to the lake where we sat in the sun, read, and enjoyed the view.

Returning to Bariloche Casa late in the aftenoon, we spent the rest of our day, packing, drinking Argentine Malbec, and visiting with Tuny.

This morning, we bid our farewell to Tuny with much appreciation for her kind hospitality.  We certainly hope our paths will cross again someday when we speak better Spanish and Tuny speaks better English.  We look forward to and expect a visit from her daughter Loli and her Dutch boyfriend Gerard this coming June. 

So now, we are in the air flying to the third leg of our trip - Brazil. Leg 1 - Antarctica, Leg 2 - Argentina/Patagonia.  Leg -4 Chile and Easter Island, Leg-5 Peru, Leg 6 - Ecuador and Galapagos Islands.

If you haven't checked the older blog posts, you might want to recheck them now that they have had photos added.  Http://worrallwind.blogspot.com.

All is Well with the Worrall Travel R's 35,000 feet in the Air.