Author Topic: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM  (Read 12005 times)

Offline Dawie

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Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« on: December 14, 2015, 01:29:00 PM »
What started as a glimmer of a dream in early May, http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/65992
Nice, but not good enough to just jump in. Then on 5/20/15 comes this post http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/66307 ..... I’m sooo in, I’m gone, I’m there the question is now with who and when. DW gets first choice, I give her some possible dates July August and November and tell her she has 10 minutes to decide because I’m not losing this. She’s out (can we take the kids for the summer?...) but gives her blessing (TG). So I call XF2b, a seasoned traveler, DDF lurker and he can only do after sukkos, Not a problem, even if it’s 100 degrees and Humid. Turns out it worked out amazingly workwise for both of us as we both had deadlines the week before and an empty week (it helps to have 5 months to plan).
So with him onboard I booked us for a Sun thru Fri JFK-IGU. WooHoo!!!
So where do we stay ? Now at that point I didn’t even envision going to the Argentinean side (Barclaycard not going to refund me the $160). After some research it was clear that to go and not spend the extra money on the Belmond was silly, so Belmond it is, on Barclay Arrival+ for Mon and Tues night)

The question was now what about Wednesday? XF2b is more of an urban type of guy although we have him on video admitting that it was well worth it.
So he’s like what about Rio… Now I’d envisioned spending time possibly on the AGR side and the Sheraton for 16k starpoints but he convinced me that we are spending enough time by the falls.
Since we were on a tightish schedule as far as times the Avios options IGU-GIG were not ideal and not nonstop so we found on Kayak for $115.13 each ticket (with paying extra for the front seat) but only crediting 25% to AA( not including bonus) and got the Marriott for 45k for one night (a bit steep but with exec lounge access and ocean view I’ll take it)
Thank G-d the Brazil visa process went smooth, (XF2b is in Manhattan often and offered to do it even though he didn’t need a visa).
The waiting was brutal, but the Yomim tovim and work made it bearable.
Now in order to mollify DW, I bought her US tickets PHL-TLV for a week in ….. yup January, so when the news hit that they cancelled the flight (and we couldn’t get rebooked on LY direct) we had an unhappy camper… To be continued

Finally the week before arrives and it’s time to shop for food, we decided against the Pom route and just do some PB&J and Pringles as MRS AJK puts it. DW beats me to the store and this is the result

IMG_20151124_043724 - Copy by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
3 days or 3 months?

Sunday rolls around and leaving the car in Brooklyn not an issue because alternate side was suspended for the holiday so off we go to the airport. No lines and in 5 minutes we’re in the Admirals Club having a Laphroig, XFb2 works the crowd and gets a stack a vouchers so he’ll be able to sleep the whole flight,… Oh yes and we managed to get a full three seats each on a 2-3-2 on the  767, poor mans lie flat, and better then the business they were offering which was not. Suprisingly there was only 1 DDFer (that we found ) on the flight and another one met up with us on the LIM-IGU from LAX ..
Xf2B pulls out his PJ’s (from recent F flight) and makes himself verrry comfy (I wish I had pics) and 8 hours later we approach LIM.
Andes
IMG_1447 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Pacific Coast
IMG_1448 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
 
We land in LIM and head to the lounge to daven and eat breakfast, on the way there is a massive line for transiting passengers to get fondled by their version of the TSA. XF2b doesn’t queue so we tell the guy directing traffic, we are Oneworld Emerald, he doesn’t speak much English so he say diplomat? Si? Yeah like whatever, and he let us cut the whole line. Except when we got to the end it had all the kids and special passengers, still saved us at least an hour. There are 2 lounges in LIM, next to eachother, one is tiny (the closer one) called Sumac and another one called VIP, much bigger, two floors. Etc
They were both crowded in the morning so we went upstairs, there is a small outdoor area where no-one was, to daven. XF2b tried out the shower, and came back saying they suck as they have no water pressure. They have nice message chairs on the lower level and Lazyboy sofas on the upper level. The Whiskey is nothing to write home about but who is drinking that early…. I know it is 2pm somewhere…

Chocolate Inca Dude in LIM
IMG_20151123_101232 - Copy by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

We head to the LIM-IGU flight, a really old and tired bird, 4 hours in a single class plane at least we had an open middle seat. The meals were Stogel from Antwerp and somewhat tasty but looked like #%^3

Over Lake Titicaca
IMG_1451 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Foz and the river
IMG_1454 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

On the ground in IGU
IMG_1455 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

After landing in IGU and breezing thru passport control we tried to find the ATM but no-one gave normal directions. We found out later that it’s in the domestic arrivals lounge, which was dark when we arrived, under the stairs next to the money changers. So we changed so $to R$ and headed out for a taxi. On the meter a taxi to the gate should be around R$16 our guy said his is broken and wanted 20… nunu
It’s a 5 minute drive to the gate, where you are met by Belmond staff in their little office where you wait for the next shuttle to take you to the hotel.
The Hotel is a 15 minute drive from the gate so they have shuttles only every ½ hour.
We made some new friends and head to the hotel.

IMG_20151123_181337 - Copy by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

The Belmond is a colonial type hotel with unparalleled access to the falls, as it’s the only property in the park and impeccable service worth every BarclayA+$.
They have a minhag, I wonder if it’s the same when it get really crowded,  that the receptionist takes you to your room, not like you’d find it easily with out them as the ground are a bit confusing. XF2b thought our room was like a hostel, (Bugsy we ain’t Vegas no more) and then found a massive cricket, luckily Marcelo was still around and he escorted it out. (being a national park they don’t like killing the natives?) After a quick dinner of tuna steaks, we headed out to see the falls, but it was to dark to see a thing so after listening to the roar for a bit we went back up to the hotel to check out the pool and bar. And have a drink with some new friends.
IMG_20151123_183701_edit - Copy by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Offline yakrot

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Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2015, 03:12:36 PM »
So far great job... Looking forward to the rest

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2015, 04:32:37 PM »
Very cool so far, looking forward to seeing the falls.
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2015, 11:20:37 PM »
Nice keep it coming.

Offline MosheD

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2015, 12:20:01 AM »
Nice.
Great to see a trip thats about the dest and meeting new ppl, instead of how you got there.
It feels different

Offline Dawie

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 10:42:02 AM »
Very cool so far, looking forward to seeing the falls.
right after i see some aurora's  ;D

Offline Dawie

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 06:03:05 PM »
We passed on the moonbow (Lunar rainbow) thing because it was cloudy those that went said there was nothing to see.
Day 2
Being the early bird, I was out of bed real early and snuck out to take my first view. We did not have falls view rooms, and but on a clear day you could see the falls off in the distance thru the trees. I went down stairs and walked out of the front door of the hotel and there it was…. Igauzu Falls in its mist shrouded majesty! Awestruck I said the brocho of Oseh Maaseh Berashis.
IMG_1477 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
 I then went to get a tea from the dining room for breakfast. They have a real nice set up and you can sit out side by the pool and enjoy a whole tu b’shvat selection of tropical fruits and other kosher options like cereals. Banana’s are important especially if you drink the water :-P

IMG_1466 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Breakfast (they did not supply the plastic bowl)
IMG_1481 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Time to daven and wake up XF2b in whichever order. After that and some more breakfast, joined by XF2b, we went to the concierge to book the Macuco Safari, which is a 2 hour experience. The reason it is 2 hours is because they “force” you to have a drive thru the rainforest while they regal you with all their tales of bugs birds and trees for those that care for those type things (me?) and if you get lucky maybe even some type of animal. (Believe it or not I didn’t see one Coati the entire morning in Brazil) For the rest of the people on the ride grumbling, would you shut up and get us to the boat already…..(Xf2b, Kees etc.) could be kind of an excruciating journey. Oh wait, you even get to do part of it foot too, but we’ll get to that. Cost of trip billed to the room and we even had them throw in the transfer to the place. (The local bus goes there too but we wanted the hotel thing to take us directly without the peasants)
I digress, so we book for 10:30 which give us +/- 2 hours to do the entire Brazilian side.
Some centipede we saw
IMG_1499 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
We walked the path in about 1 ½ hours and the best part was there wasn’t a soul in sight. Being the park wasn’t open yet we completely beat all the tourists and had the whole thing for our lonesomes.
IMG_1497 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
IMG_20151124_054831 - Copy by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

The path out in between the two levels was on of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Standing at the foot of the Garganta Del Diablo with cascades on top of me and right under me, I felt so close to g-d and his creation, I literally started crying from emotion, [XF2b- it was the waterfall mist] yeah we got soaked.

IMG_20151124_054836 - Copy by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
IMG_1508 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
We then walked off the walkway and went to the elevator which wasn;t open yet, so we did the stairs (quit grumbling XF2b)

IMG_20151124_061706 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

IMG_1526 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Even the birds come chill and watch
IMG_1530 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Then I made the fateful statement. “What could I possible see on the ARG side that I haven’t seen or experienced in these two hours, thanx dan and Yaalili  etc. for telling me that I need to go to ARG and $160 down the drain”
Insane.
Absolutely.
The best part was XF2b caught on camera emotionally saying “Dawie, I admit it, it was worth it to come here “
Reluctantly we started our trek back to the hotel to meet the transfer to Macuco, about a ten minute walk. We met up with some of our new friends and headed off to the ticket booth, where we were ushered in by the Igauzu Experience crew and on to the ?Jeep? some sort of open topped bus sort of vehicle that had a driver and a guide that prattled endlessly about trees etc in broken English, your typical fare of college interns trying to save the environment. After a ½ drive thru the rainforest we came to the walking part (you can skip, if you aren’t interested or disabled) where you walk 600m thru the rainforest and see another waterfall (Macuco Falls?)
IMG_1543 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
In a day of waterfalls, this is just a cute little thing but what the H, why not, [XF2b did not take the 85 treacherous steps down]. After another couple hundred meters of up and down we get to the boat ride, I got a back seat and XF2b and Kees sat up on the bow. We had some Mariano Rivera lookalike taking picture and vids with a GoPro for them to sell back at the shop, IMG_20151124_083142 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
Was R$100 I think for the videos and pics. We passed because there wasn’t any good footage of us except for someone making an obscene gesture after getting thoroughly drenched after the first pass of the boat under the falls. But I digress, the boat, picks up speed up against the current and goes into the little channel where the Salto San Martín and Salto Bossetti are (The Brazilian boats can’t go in because its ARG) and they stop to let everyone take photos and get set for the shower

Thru the plastic bag
IMG_1559 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Then the boat turns and head directly to this (again thru the bag) IMG_1570 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
O M G words can not describe the exhilaration yet terror of this massive cascade of ice cold (even if it was a very hot and humid day) sheet of awesome power tumbling down on our poor little boat, and there is Mariano and his GoPro faithfully filming it all for the measly R$100 some foolish tourist will fork out. The boat then drifts away with the current and the rev up for pass #2….. by this time I’m a shivering soaking mess of a human huddling under my rain poncho (not sure what the point was) and then boom, again under the falls …drift away then pass #3….. By now the kid next to me is on her knees begging for mercy. I turn and get one last pic (I wont waste your time it shows nothing through the wet bag) and off we zoom back to the dock.
Cost is R$179 per person about $50 and worth every penny. The ARG side (maybe next time, especially due to the peso and blue market is much cheaper maybe even ½ price) but it didn’t make sense in our schedule. Soaking wet, we went upstairs to see the pics and vids, not so impressive except for the obscene gesture, which had us in stiches.
The ride back to base camp was much quicker and no commentary. Back at the hotel we changed and had lunch, Meal Mart specials, Brazilian beer. The dining room was familiar with warming up the food from the many DDF’ers, I think they were surprised it wasn’t a Pom meal. We tipped them after so that they’d be happy to do it for the next group.
After lunch I went up to the hotel tower to take some photos of the falls
IMG_1585 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
We then had the concierge book our taxi for the next part of our journey.

Offline Dawie

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 06:05:10 PM »
Very cool so far, looking forward to seeing the falls.
i'm not gonna sit around waiting forever
and maybe after you see my photos you'll "shtitz" me a real camera

Offline Joe4007

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 08:14:56 PM »
Great TR. Thanks for taking the time.

(Believe it or not I didn’t see one Coati the entire morning in Brazil)
I don't  :P
Standing at the foot of the Garganta Del Diablo with cascades on top of me and right under me, I felt so close to g-d and his creation
Feeling was mutual.

I didn't quite follow; Did you end up going to the Argentinian side?

Offline AJK

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2015, 01:22:06 AM »
Gotta make it down there one day. Thanks for sharing!
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline Dawie

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2015, 12:02:05 PM »
Great TR. Thanks for taking the time.
I don't  :PFeeling was mutual.

I didn't quite follow; Did you end up going to the Argentinian side?
Patience.... I did (I mentioned it in the Igauzu trip forum)

Offline Dawie

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2015, 12:02:49 PM »
Gotta make it down there one day. Thanks for sharing!
one day you and dan have to make a list of places you HAVE NOT been

Offline Dawie

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2015, 06:27:05 PM »
As previously stated I was really vacillating on the ARG issue and then on Motzei Shabbos I decided to just pay the $160 for the ARG visa and worse comes to worse I wont use it. Seeing as that we had time now and the very important fact that the IGR side is 1 hour behind IGU side, we decided to push for ARG as we figured we’d get a good 4 hours in the park. The taxi driver met us at the gate and the Belmond guy there helped us bargain a bit with him for a ride to the ARG Park, stopping at a money changer for peso’s, and the casino on the way home to get back some (or all) of the money spent on the trip. We definitely could have done better but quickly settled on R$280 for the 6 hours (4 in the park, the drive there and back, waiting by the casino and money changer)
He was very good with the passports on the way in and out (knew the rules)
So we stopped at a money changing place (spoke no English) right before  the Brazil- Argentina border called Frontier Turismo and Cambio that will give a decent rate for ARG Peso not the best but good (we got almost 14 which is a blue rate as the official rate was 10) there is also a shop there that has curios and other touristy stuff for decent prices its on Av. Mercosul, 400 - Jardim Veraneio , on the left side of the street.
We changed some dollars into Peso. It’s important to note that if your changing exactly enough to get into the park that you also include the 12 peso for the cab to get into the National park area so for 2 people it would be minimum 532 peso needed to spend the day in the national park. Soda was 35ARS. (you can pay in USD or BRL too for drinks) We were very luck as we ended up changing $40 into 540ARS and had enough for everything and even some change for the kids collections back home.
The taxi then took us to both crossings and was a breeze with both of my visa’s in order. We skipped the duty free, which I believe is only on the way to ARG for lack of what to buy (not shlepping either) and time.
The whole trip is about 45 minutes each way.

The spot on the bridge where the green and yellow (brazil) stripes turn to blue and white (Arg).
IMG_1592 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

ARG
IMG_20151124_114948 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

We arrived at the park, paid the entry and headed to the train to start at the furthest end of the park and the star of the show the Garganta Del Diablo. The train meandered along at a slow pace stopping at the Cataratas Station to pick up a whole school of future Messi’s (at least they thought so) making it a crowded experience. (only drawback, so next time I’m gonna rectify it by staying in the Sheraton and getting an early jump)
I think all the coati’s that we missed in Brazil showed up in Argentina, I guess the food was better there.
IMG_1646 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
Finally the train arrives and disgorges the myriad of gawkers that will be robbing us of our peaceful viewing and we start along the ¾ mile of walkway over the river to see the devil up close and personal.

I need to stop and thank Dan, Yaalili and Yehoshua for pushing the ARG issue, as seeing the falls from this angle and later from the Paseo Superior was another yet completely different amazing out of body experience and I must say you absolutely cannot go to Igauzu without seeing both sides. Although the jury is out on which boat ride is better.

Even with the pushing and pulsating hordes of humanity jostling for their selfies the old lady was putting on quite a show.
IMG_1612 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
Pictures cannot encapsulate even a fraction of it
IMG_1614 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
 [ Invalid YouTube link ]
IMG_1623 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
We then headed back and saw some nice looking birds and butterflies, one actually parked on my cap for a bit and some Brit came over and commented “you know you’ve got a Butterfly on your hat”, “part of the design” I replied.


Can you spot the bird
IMG_1634 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr


We were early for the train so I took the time to get a Mincha in while dodging Coati’s and large lizards
IMG_1638 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

The train arrived and took us to the next stop, the Cataratas Station where the Upper and Lower trail start. We decided on the Upper one. #1 it was shorter and XF2b was getting tired (also walking in $400 shoes because his running shoes got soaked on the boat).
The Upper trail is meant to be more up close and personal and scenic and 1/3 of the distance.

 Except for maybe this part
IMG_1674 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Some photos and videos from the upper trail.
IMG_1669 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
[ Invalid YouTube link ]

IMG_1676 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

It took us longer then I thought to finish the trail and when it came time to start the lower one, XF2b said I’m on my own and I chickened out, it was just too long and I was too tired to run the mile. (I’m not Roger Bannister and it was 100 degrees out). It was fortuitous anyway because the train broke down and everyone had to walk back to the entrance and we arrived just before 6pm IGR time.

The cabbie was waiting and off we go to the casino to make our money back.

IMG_1691 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

 The Casino is right before the border on the way out and is a very underwhelming place. The slots take ARS, USD and BRL and are old time junk especially when you lose everything you put in. (some are marked for ARS only) 
We headed to the roulette wheel and blackjack table and walk out with enough to cover the day expenses with some change and head back to the Belmond.


Sunset from the tower
IMG_1698 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
IMG_1700 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
Supper was dried salami, mayo and crackers followed by some Brazilian Beer. At this point we couldn’t even walk straight so after going down to the falls in the dark we skipped the moonbow again, even though the conditions were perfect.
So back to the poolside bar for some more beer.
Thus ended a glorious day.   (coming up GIG)

Offline Dawie

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2015, 06:29:24 PM »
Or so I thought as I spent the night in the bathroom….was it the spray from the falls? Salami? Ice cube in the tea? Beer? I’ll never know, but it was frightening thinking I have to get on plane tomorrow and have a long cab ride to the JWM. Ok I have some bananas and pepto, now where do I get immodium. Front desk at 5am had some brazillain type of alka seltzer…. Not gonna do it… Anyway we ended up going to the airport a bit early (1030 shuttle for a 1pm flight) to find a pharmacy… for all those that care there is NO pharmacy in the airport (contrary to popular opinion). (and not much of anything sans a small café and in the Int’l part its even worse, but the do hae the de rigueur H Stern.) To make a long story short although a bit queasy I survived as the bananas and pepto held up.
Lesson Learned
You don’t need to be in the airport before an hour before the flight. (and the wifi only works for three unless you pay)

IGU-GIG
IMG_1720 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr 

Nice to see Moshe the DDF’er again who missed his flight and is now joining us for the next part of our journey. (saved him big time on the cab…)

Falls from JJ3186
IMG_1725 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
Apologies for those that saw it in the other thread

Approach to GIG
IMG_1731 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Upon landing in GIG we stopped at a booth to ask about a cab to the Copacabana, we were told R$110 in cash (R$130 if we paid by CC), we then found out that it’s a ripoff. Well not quite there are two or three types of cabs basically blue and yellow. The Yellow’s are cheaper but only if there is little traffic, because even if you agree on the price at some point they can override it with the meter?  Later I saw this from TA http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g303506-s304/Rio-De-Janeiro:Brazil:Taxis.And.Rental.Cars.html

Another data point, we were told not to use ATM’s in GIG as they are rife with theft and cloning issues.
We got to the JW Marriott and were checked in promptly by Renan. The place was also swarming with US Navy sailors in dress whites as the USS George Washington just docked in a scheduled port visit and the JW got to host some of the big hockers.
We had originally booked a revenue room and were able to switch it for points and with the Marriott metal, they threw in Executive lounge access. (Haven’t seen XF2b this excited since his wedding). The room had a bit of a musty smell, but also a nice Brazilian tropical one, it was also a bit small but the view…..OMG

IMG_20151125_135221 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
IMG_20151125_135237 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

After unpacking and hitting up the lounge for some goodies (more banana’s and cashew fruits)  and drinks we went looking for a money changer, a pharmacy and some food.
At the pharmacy we got some immodium (TG the package remained closed) and some sildenafila (wait, is this a family friendly show?) at $2 a pill….. lets just say they make good gifts for the boys back home.
Still can find a money changer that’s open. We stop in to Shelanu Kosher, he offered to change if we cant find anything and they weren’t open yet anyway as they only open for lunch and the close till 7pm (everything in GIG is open till late, it’s totally normal for people and kids to be eating at 10pm) Shelanu is a bit difficult to find, its on the second floor of the Clube Israelita Brasileiro Rua Barata Ribeiro, 489 like basically in some shul’s ezras noshim. So we went back out to try our luck. We walked past Deleite down Anita Garibaldi, checked it out and the airline meals they were making… passed one shul, nothing going on then on the way to a mall down the block we passed a shul, was a surreal experience, I was not looking for one, per se and had forgotten momentarily about Mincha but as we walked passed the guard opened the gate and I look up and it’s a shul
(My minimal research did not find much in the way on Mincha/maariv options… I guess godaven doesn’t have it all)
The Copacabana Shul – Kehillat Yaakov on Rua Capalão Alvares Da Silva otherwise now as Rabbi Staubers
IMG_20151125_155942 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
http://www.sinagogadecopacabana.com.br/
So Hashgacha Pratis get us a Mincha Maariv and a shiur in Portuguese. They offer Shabbos meals for anyone interested, just contact the rabbi.
After that we went back to Shelanu for Dinner http://www.kolelrio.com.br/index.php/shelanu/

The obligatory DDF picture
IMG_20151125_171504 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
IMG_20151125_171943 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Was a decent meal, Roger was very friendly and changed money for us. There were 2 couples there when we were there. One a local Brazilian and one a young DDF couple on a five week, in between jobs, tour of brazil. (oh to be young again) As we came in actually Roger was trying to give them a quick crash course on what’s kosher in Brazil (there is a Kosher store down the block from Shelanu), so we mentioned that the shul has meals. When the other couple heard that, they insisted that the travelling couple come to them for shabbos!! Mi K’amcha Yisroel. We then offered them to come back to the JWM with us and join us for drinks in the lounge and relieve us of most of our kosher food. (10 meal mart meals, biscuits, granola bars, applesauce etc etc. ) They should be good for a few weeks now….
After seeing them off, we headed out for a night on the Copacabana with the sailors.
There is a street Shuk type area on the Beach that has nice bargains on all types of things ranging from clothes and curios, touristy things and gifts. You can bargain and the prices are decent (especially if you end up having to buy something in the airport) the sand castles are something spectacular (one of the artists got pissed when we didn't pay him and took a picture) and the vibe is hopping.

IMG_1796 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
 IMG_1745 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

Not even a goal or a close call
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Day4
Sunrise over the Copacabana
IMG_1757 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr

The next day went went to daven back at Shtauber’s, I did try some other places but again nothing doing, and even Shtauber’s started 15 minutes late. They had some breakfast out for the visitors. Sweet rolls, cross bun type of thing, wafers, fruit juice including cashew fruit juice. We then headed to Sugarloaf Mountain, was a bit foggy, but that added nicely to the experience. We went straight to the top and we had the place pretty much to ourselves. Xf2b got the bartender to give him 6 oz of scotch (for some people, it’s breakfast, and it was some rebbe’s yahrzeit and thanksgiving and 5pm somewhere, but tell that to my AA leader). We even met the old Menahel of the Harnof Supersol…..
The taxi was about R$15 each way.
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We asked for a 1pm checkout and they gave us attitude so we HUCa’d and got the 1pm but the card automatically cuts off at 12 if you don’t go down and renew, so no last refill at the lounge. That was it, one last wave to the bucher that went off the derech, high atop Rio… taxi back to the airport was around R$60 and when we got there the local TAM line were insane. TG for status. No local lounge so we hung around the airport till boarding. Got a few daf in… and a gift for DW. (I know dumb place for it)

Leaving GIG
IMG_1802 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
IMG_1803 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
We had the front seats on the GIG-IGU flight, was uneventful
When we landed in IGU, XF2b said what are we gonna do for 3 hours now, I’m going to the city. A bit much for my nerves, so I said I’ll wait here. So XF2b finds a local Brazillian XPlat FF named Joe working for an Israeli Co. that is in the same predicament and wants to go find something to eat so they go off together to town while I get another few daf in.
Sure enough with 30 minutes to spare they come back and on we go, skip the massive line. We had a blocked middle seat for this flight (one class) Joe offered us to come up front with him (these bulkhead seats the armrests went up) but some Sumo sized dude needed it more.
4 hours later we arrive in Peru, raced thru the security recheck and headed to the lounge. They were both jam packed. The showers still sucked.
Did some last minute duty free. Said hello to the DDF’ers. Then something weird, they were making everyone open the suitcases again and they nicked my Inca Cola and water bottle. Not sure why I cant bring that on the plane. Whatevers
We got the ghetto lie flat again and warned the stewardess, if we are sleeping don’t wake especially if it’s a borenstein meal. Aside for the massage and acupuncture  I was getting from the 2 year old behind me, we slept most of the way and arrived back in JFK
IMG_1814 by Dawie Van De Merwe, on Flickr
A bit late but exhilarated after an awesome trip.   And the car was still there……
Thanx to all those that helped with advice, planning and overall making the trip happen
Dawie and XF2b

Offline Ergel

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2015, 11:43:13 PM »
Awe.some.
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline zow

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2015, 12:53:46 AM »
Loved it! Too much fun. (No such thing, of course). Shabbat shalom!

Offline bklyn

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2015, 01:18:08 AM »
What started as a glimmer of a dream


Dreams do come true 8)
Fantastic TR!
Thanks for sharing :)

Offline Dawie

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2015, 12:52:44 PM »


Dreams do come true 8)
Fantastic TR!
Thanks for sharing :)
Couldn't have happened without you...!! Thank You  :)

Offline Dawie

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2015, 12:59:26 PM »
oh and i do want to add one more silly thing to the TR
In  the JWM lounge i was still feeling a bit queasy so, i said lets have a look at direct GIG- NYC flights and skip the GIG-IGU-LIM-JFK Superflyer special 
They had seats but you couldn;t book the actual seats as they where all Premium seats and only assigned later or at the airport
We could have left later and arrived earlier too! for only 20k AA. In the end we decided to continue the adventure as is, for a number of reasons (of which at least one turned out to be wishful thinking)
BUt we did have the ghetto lie flat which we wouldn;t have on this flight
Does anyone know a workaround to be able to book an actual seat in this situation ?

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Dawie and XF2b SouthBound. TR of IGU and GIG via LIM
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2015, 04:26:59 PM »
Great TR and pictures.  It's interesting that your weather in IGU seemed to be a bit overcast/cloudy/ while the weather in GIG seemed better. We had the exact opposite: stunning weather in IGU and rain, mist and clouds the entire stay in GIG. Oh well, there's always next time.

Gotta make it down there one day. Thanks for sharing!
You really do. It's absolutely gorgeous.

I need to stop and thank Dan, Yaalili and Yehoshua for pushing the ARG issue, as seeing the falls from this angle and later from the Paseo Superior was another yet completely different amazing out of body experience and I must say you absolutely cannot go to Igauzu without seeing both sides. Although the jury is out on which boat ride is better.
You're welcome!