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‘Up North’ in South America – Rio to Quito via Manaus

Our Trans South America crew of 2013/2014, Scott & Leslie, have kindly written a brief blog of some of the highlights on our Rio to Quito, via Manaus section. The trip spends 6 weeks in Brazil and then another 7 weeks in Venezuala & Colombia before coming to an end in Quito, the capital of Ecuador and the gateway to the Galapagos Islands. Read on to hear what they had to say. After yet another epic Rio Carnival and a few new additions to our FRIDA truck family, we headed for the exotic beaches of the famous Brazillian coastline. Taking in the breathtaking scenery whilst meandering through the likes of Itaunas, Prado, Caraiva – with Brazils top 2 most beautiful beaches of praia do Esprelho, and praia do Carumbau. Well needed RnR for a couple of weeks (having started the trip 16 weeks earlier in Quito!). Western bound for the magical landscapes of the stone country of Lencois. Quaint coffee shops and bars, a rockclimbers heaven and an endless choice of 1 day adventures to be had. Over the next few weeks cruising the contours of the mountains. Never failing to spring surprises on us around every corner. Working our way to Belem to board the mighty Amazon River, for a 5 day cruise to Manaus. Hanging out in hammocks and taking in the views.   A definite highlight of our tour was swimming with the Pink River Dolphins, on a day tour out of Manaus. Dolphins, literally cuddling your legs and playing with such affection, it was hard to leave the water. Feeding giant fish, 2 metres long and hanging out with tribal people and native wildlife like Sloths, Anacondas and the like. A must do tour! 2 days north of Manaus to Venezuela and on to the Carribean coast. Henri Pittier N.P, for more beaches saturated with some of the worlds finest chocolate farms. Angel Falls, flowing top to bottom, sleeping in hammocks in the jungle lodge and enduring crazy dugout boat rides through what could only be described as a photographers mecca. More action packed days followed as we met up with Alan Highton (aka the lightening man ), Alan led Frida and our group into Los Llanos. Los Llanos was everything and more than we could have possibly wished for. On one occasion the vehicle stopping abruptly to leave us staring at a dried out waterhole seemingly full of nothing. Our fearless guide soon proved otherwise. After gently prodding the soft ground for 2 or 3 minutes, literally the earth started to move around us as 6 or 7 anacondas, two or three meters in length, merged from their hollows and intertwined themselves within the shockingly excited group standing extremely still. After playing a while, we headed a couple of kilometres away to a half filled watering hole. What happened then was astonishing, a quick walk of the bank and an dangerously accurate plunge into the water, presented a 3 minute dual. A predator of pure muscle versus skill and courage. The end result being a giant female anaconda measuring 5 meters. An absolutely awesome sight never to be forgotten. A couple of days later experiencing the phenomenen of Lightening in our private hammock space of Catatumbo Lake (aka Lightening Lake). Yet another awesome adventure. Colombia next, Coffee shops and plantations everywhere. Some people meeting the infamous Roberto Escobar brother and business partner of Pablo Escaobar. Medellin for a spot of paragliding, Taganga for a quick scuba dive and an adventure out to Tayrona national park. All in all, Colombia’s beauty is world class, friendly and definitely not to be feared. The last couple days into Quito Ecuador via a shopping frenzy at the Otavalo markets, ensuring any loose change was well spent. An exceptionally breathtaking tour full of adventure and beautiful people, both on and off the truck. Scott & Leslie If you are interested in taking part in a trip to see these amazing places, we still have some availability on our upcoming departures as follows: Quito to Quito- Trans South America – 29 weeks, starts 31st October Rio to Quito via Manaus – 92 days – starts 19th February Rio to Manaus – 42 days – starts 19th February Manaus to Quito – 50 days – starts 2nd April Check out these trips and all of our South America trips here.

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  1. Kevin Robinson says

    It was the most awesome trip, visiting some of the most amazing and exotic places, like Angel Falls, an adventure all of it’s own. Each day brought to life new places, filled with new cultures, friendships, experiences, sights and tastes that will never be forgotten, loved it! 🙂

  2. admin says

    Thanks for your comments Kevin! We’re so pleased you enjoyed the trip so much. Looking forward to seeing you on a truck again in the future!



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