South America

We are currently on Queen Victoria working our way around The continent. We boarded and set off on Jan. 21 from Fort Lauderdale. Getting to that point was pretty fun, except for driving through Atlanta at 5:00 on a Friday afternoon. Don’t ever do that. It took us an hour to go seven miles.

We stayed with our friends Jim and Keith in Port Saint Lucie, Florida and had a fabulous time at their beautiful home. Then we drove to Boca Raton an stayed with Theresa and Fred at their awesome home. These people know how to retire! The weather was perfect.

On board QV, we met up with two couples who we got to know on our world voyage two years ago. It’s so great to see them again. They are all more seasoned travelers than we are, so we learn a lot from them. Getting familiar with a new ship is interesting. We are also running into other people we met on our previous trip. It’s like old home week.

In Old San Juan, We set off on foot and saw a repurposed old prison that still had some cells and original features. Next there was this beautiful Fuente Raices, La Princess Fountain. When we got up to the castle, we’d been moseying our way up hill for three hours. So we proceeded to go up hill some more (!) until we got to the right street. At this point We could see the other castle. Then we headed down hill which took us 10 minutes! We found a local cafe and had a wonderful meal of mofungo. After that we sort of limped our way to the ship. It was a wonderful and tiring day. It was beautiful!

The day after San Juan was Robert Burns day on the ship. After dinner we had this little program. All of the readers were Scottish so we didn’t understand any of it 😂. But it was fun and there was lots of toasting, with scotch of course.

Barbados was our next stop. We took a trip to a sugar cane plantation and rum distillery. They claim it is the birthplace of rum. Our trip involved a train ride on a small train that used to circle the island. This is the only bit left. The engine had to be turned on a turntable and Mike volunteered to help. For that, we got to ride back on the engine! Yay Mike! We toured St Nicholas Abbey and the grounds and had rum punch. Barbados is a beautiful island with mansions standing next to shacks. Unfortunately, we discovered on our return that Bridgetown is “closed” on Sunday. We found a restaurant and then walked back to the ship. the heat and humidity just about did us in, but our day was interesting, informative, and fun..

We sailed up the Amazon River for two days to Manaus which is this huge city in the rainforest. It’s somewhere between 900 and 1000 miles from the Atlantic. About two million people live there. We took a riverboat ride further up the Amazon and had a walk into the rainforest on this rickety bridge. We saw no monkeys because it was too hot for them. Who is the smarter species? We saw termite nests and giant Victoria water lilies, lots of egrets, and a kapok tree that is about 300 years old. Part of our excursion was by motorized canoe. It’s a very green place! People along the river live in houses on stilts or houses that float. Flooding can be quite high.

On another trip we saw a sloth and more Amazon scenes.We have now moved on to other parts of Brazil. Another blog will follow if I can find internet strong enough to write and send it! It’s not so easy on the ocean. Hot and humid is our weather every day with some rain showers thrown in. It’s lovely !