So as you saw from our last post, we were able, without cost, to extend our stay here and we’re so glad we did. However, as blessed as that felt, I felt less blessed as a day or two later I received ‘the runs’ and a poor stomach. The first time since December in Manaus that I felt ill; that time we *believed* we had caught Corona from Vivian’s extended family members. Although I didn’t show many of the symptoms this time around, it can still play havoc with your paranoia - especially when you have flights booked in the same week! That would have been catastrophic for us, health aside. The logistics and expense would have been unimaginable.

Look how much closer to Nicaragua and other countries than Colombia's mainland itself! 

So San Andres is an island that Christopher Colombus himself is said to have visited between 1492 and 1500. In the late 16th century the Dutch used the island as a safe haven from pirates and smugglers but the first real settlement came in 1628 when the British arrived. Did our former Empire know no bounds!?

Admittedly it is pretty cool to hear the older generation speak English in that famously well-known Caribbean accent.

Who has heard of Medellin? I’ve since learned that Medellin is where drug lord kingpin Pablo Escobar operated in and founded his infamous cartel. He was also eventually killed there too. Notoriety aside, the city has grown in popularity over the years and has established itself as one of the main got-to-go-to cities in all of Colombia.

With several days already spent in Cartagena, we booked our flight to Medellin but I can tell you it wasn’t to locate Pablo Escobar’s former stomping ground, it was for a very different reason.

Colombia! I know, right!? Who’d have thought we would end up here!? Certainly not us and probably not you. Whilst we’re actually really glad to be here, it wasn’t stress free and that was just getting here! You see, we had to book another flight at Panama airport to depart from out of a country we hadn’t even arrived in yet. We were better prepared this time but it still hurt to have to do this. Predefined times and dates are a traveller’s nightmare. Still, we gave ourselves two weeks to get a feel for this country in whatever way we could.

You perhaps didn’t expect to hear from me this week. I didn’t intend to write but then I thought there are a couple of topics that I can provide updates on. Hospitality in the city remains active but with obvious restrictions in place. Swimming pools, gyms, even breakfast/restaurant areas are closed. Breakfast is provided in bags to take to your room. Is that the same for hotels back home? I really can’t remember. Ordered food must be collected in the lobby, then taken to the rooms to be eaten, no exception. Face masks to be worn in the public areas. Other than that, you are as you are.

We arrived in Florianópolis with feelings that I would describe as indifferent. Neither good nor bad. Very unlike me when visiting a new place. Reaching an island like this, an island that many Brazilians themselves would love to visit, should evoke bundles of excitement. Instead weather on arrival and indeed the subsequent forecast suggested it would be pitiful for our stay and it pretty much was. You see, people come to ‘Floripa’ to enjoy the beaches and we ended up visiting ZERO.

The Argentinian side has SIX walkways (circuits) to navigate due to its larger surface area whereas the Brazilian side has just one. Admittedly there was appeal in knowing we would not be able to even consider these 6 circuits due to being able to get into Argentina. I mean, it’s scorching today for starters. 36 degrees! We had only been walking a short while and already our rucksacks were cleverly disguising our sweat-soaked backs. At least with just the one single trek circuit in Brazil, it was accomplishable and supposedly within an easy 30 minutes (of actual walk time). Yes, please.

Several days ago we arrived in the city of Foz do Iguaçu. We came here for one main attraction -  Cataratas do Iguaçu (the falls) but we’ve enjoyed so much else that we thought we should split this post into two smaller parts, not one overly large one.

Getting here wasn’t easy. Distance is the biggie ravelling in South America but we knew this and so does everyone who comes to this continent. The Serra Verde in Curitiba and the falls in Foz do Iguaçu both reside within the state of Paraná, yet there’s a distance of up to 12 coach hours between them!

As Vivian alluded to in her previous post, the temperature is much cooler here which suits us perfectly. That said, today we received an unexpected surprise in the form of 32 degrees which we haven’t seen for over 10 days. It came outta nowhere as only the night before we were rain-watching from our apartment window.

So today’s adventure was one of the two sole reasons I thought-up for venturing further south into Brazil. Not that we had a plethora of options available to us in this Covid-ridden existence we are all enduring. And I’m delighted to say it went splendidly.  

Hello everyone! Vivian here.

It was with a heavy heart that we had to say goodbye to the city we had spent a whole month in. We had become accustomed to the Rio good-life but it was time for a new destination.