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1 - The Road to Iguacu

2 - Iguassu Falls Nat'l Park

3 - Macuco Boat Safari

4 - Iguazu Falls Rest.

5 - Foz Tropicana Aviary

6 - Rafain Churrascaria

7 - The Road to Noronha

8 - Fernando de Noronha

9 - Sueste Bay Snorkeling

10 - Farewell to Fernando

11 - The Road to Rio

12 - The Hippie Market

13 - Sugar Loaf Mountain

14 - Copacabana Palace

15 - Too Much Gluten

16 - Botanical Gardens

17 - Buzios

18 - Copacabana

19 - Ipanema Beach

20 - Plataforma Show

21 - Corcovado Mountain

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Introduction to Brazil

Impressions of Brazil

Brazil Travelogue

Rio de Janeiro

Iguassu Falls

Fernando de Noronha

Scuba Diving


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Dolphin Cove - Fernando de Noronha Brazil
Dolphin Cove - Fernando de Noronha

At 8:00AM, the phone rings - I answer it and the guy on the other end says something in Portuguese about coffee.  I ask him if he speaks English, already knowing the answer.  I hand the phone to Sandra to see if she fares any better, and she says "Si" a few times, hands me the phone and shrugs.  We assume it was asking if we wanted breakfast - it came included with the room, and we had heard other people outside (there are only 5 rooms), so we deduce that we were probably the last ones to come and eat, so they wanted to see if they could clean up.


We roust ourselves and head over to the restaurant, where we have our first cup of real coffee since coming to Brazil.  Ahhhh.  That hits the spot.  There are also some cold scrambled eggs, some cold meat of some kind, many types of breads and pastries, and fixings to make yourself a sandwich and a sandwich maker to toast it.  There are a few different kinds of tropical juices, and some homemade honey, as well as cereal and milk.  The eggs are nasty, of course, being cold, but the other stuff is pretty good. 

After breakfast, we take a cold shower, and hop in our dune buggy to explore the island.  The weather is in the high 80s and bright sunshine.  Absolutely beautiful. First we head down to the end of the road past the airport to see Turtle Cove.  We are struck by the beauty of the beach and the water.  Absolutely wonderful - much like the Caribbean.  People are already snorkeling at 9:00AM.   Next we drive down a bumpy rock road to Dolphin Cove, where there are historical sites (ruins of old forts which are present throughout the island) and access to the beach, as well as a viewpoint.

Ladders to Dolphin Cove
Death-Defying Beach Access to Dolphin Cove
The road ends about a half-mile from the viewpoint, so we hoof it down the rock-lined dirt trail through the scrub.  Emerging from the scrub we are greeted with sweeping vistas of the azure sea and brilliant white sand beaches below (no dolphins though).  Access to the beach far below is by a series of ladders, set in narrow cracks in the rock.  Sandra says "no way", and we head back up the path after a few photos.

We explore a few more beaches, each down terrible rock and dirt roads, each as beautiful as the last, then stop and have agua de coco (coconut water) for a few minutes at one of the food stands near the beach.  A guy comes up and asks us in his limited English (after consulting with several other people to make sure that was how you said it) if we like fishing - I say I don't know - and then he goes over and starts barbecuing up a fish (ah...not fishing, but do I like fish).

Agua de Coco
Sandra enjoying Agua de Coco at Dolphin Cove

Moving on, we drive through the downtown, taking photos and exploring the beaches, each down a rocky road worse than the last, checking out the local eateries.  Then it's on to the port at the far end of the island to get some gas at the island's only gas station at a cool $4.00BR per liter (about $8.00 per gallon).  We had asked the guy we rented the buggy from about gas, and thought he had said to just fill it and that it took 5 liters.  So, we ask them to fill it.  $145BR ($70USD) later, we figure out the hard way that he probably said it only has 5 liters in it, so to put that much back.  Of course, the gas gauge doesn't work, so we had no way of knowing. 


First we try to give them $20BR thinking it says $14.5BR not $145 and they (not speaking any English) try to explain to us that it is not enough.  Finally we figure it out and with a pain in our stomachs, give them the money and move on down with our now full tank of gas spewing fumes at us as we drive.  Wow - $125 for one day's rental of a broken-down buggy - we're kicking ourselves at this point.

We drive out to the port and check out a few more ruins of old forts and cannons, and take some photos of the marina below.  There are a few restaurants here with nice ocean views, and also maybe three dozen boats or so, mostly scuba diving boats.  It's almost time for our afternoon dive now, so we head back to the Pousada where we'll be picked up by Atlantis in about a half hour.


Less than 5 minutes later, the phone rings, and a lady says something in Portuguese - what I don't know.  I tell her I don't speak Portuguese, and I hear her tell someone what room we're in.  Two seconds later - a knock on the door - Atlantis Divers here to pick us up.  We compare watches, and he explains that the time is one hour later here than in Recife where we set our watches.  Crap!  No wonder the breakfast guy called us - breakfast closed at 9:00AM!  So, we throw on our swimsuits and run out the door.

We're shuttle in the open-sky back of a delivery truck, along with a couple from London and a Brazilian guy. 

Cannons at a Fort in Fernando de Noronha
I forget which fort this is now.  We saw several.
Sandra Diving Fernando de Noronha
Getting Ready to Dive with Atlantis Divers

I'm happy to see one other person on the whole island NOT wearing a Speedo besides me.  We arrive at the dock, and the dive shop asks if we want underwater photos or a video - we say yes, and everyone BUT us loads onto the boat and goes off with the video guy.  We are Advanced divers, so we share the small, fast boat with only the Brazilian, the divemaster and the captain.  The other group of 20 or so people goes off in the big catamaran.  There are to be no videos or photos on our trip, since the only guys with cameras went on the other boat.

By the time we have our gear ready, we're at the first dive site - known as "Bird Shit" according to the divemaster, who speaks good English. 


We look at the white rocks below the bird-filled trees and see that it is aptly named.  We take the plunge....see our Scuba Diving report to read about our dives.  Otherwise continue with our travelogue below:


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