Maria Rodrigues Amaral

Joined September 2019
  • Day22

    South America highlights

    October 11, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    South America left us with a nice feeling, with the great food, friendly people (especially in Chile) and the beautiful places that we visited. Even if we traveled 32.000 km by plane and car, in the end we have just seen some spots as there are still many places to visit and discover.

    Our highlights were Paracas with the beautiful natural reserve and amazing beaches and a wide variety of birds, Machu Picchu that is a must at least once in a lifetime and Atacama desert that is full of canyons and unexpected fauna. We have seen wild animals (dolphins, birds, alpacas, lamas, guanacos, ostriches and many more) in their own environment which for sure is not comparable with any zoo we have visited before.

    Unfortunately we had also a bit of a hard time with altitude in the first day in Cusco, a delayed flight and a medical emergency landing that led to 9 hours spent in a small airport.

    All in all, South America gave us a great experience and adventure that for sure will remain the highlight of 2019.
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  • Day21

    Surprising city

    October 10, 2019 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    In the middle of Buenos Aires we discovered a natural reserve with an abundance of birds living peacefully next to the rush of the city.

    The city felt a bit under stress as most of the locals were carrying their bags or backpacks in front, like they need to really protect their belongings. We were also advised to avoid specific touristic areas during late evening as they seemed not to be that safe. Somehow all these “advices” and situations gave us a bit of unrest...but everything went smoothly. 😊

    And of course, a steak 🥩 is a must when you are in Argentina... it was really delicious 😁
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  • Day18

    Unfortunately last day in Atacama desert

    October 7, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    As everything comes to an end, this was our last day in Atacama desert and we made the most out of it. We had again nice weather and this time even no wind.

    During the day we visited Laguna Chaxa where we have seen some flamingos and other birds in the middle of the desert...and not to forget about the donkeys that were blocking our way while driving in a canyon. The most challenging part was waking up at 3:30 for taking photos of the milky way and do some stargazing.Read more

  • Day17

    Moon and Death valley

    October 6, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    We were thinking that staying 4 nights in the Atacama desert will be a bit too much. But we took the chance and honestly it would had been nice to have 1-2 days more and see all the places.

    Moon valley was a highlight and also a great spot to watch the sunset 🌅. It felt really nice to be at 24 degrees, with short pants and t-shirt and of course lots of suncream as we wanted to avoid the previous crab experience 😝😁

    This day was full of landscape photos and hiking up and down on sand dunes and canyons. For sure we still need to work a bit on our selfie skills (or maybe just mine) 😁
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  • Day16

    El Tatio geysers

    October 5, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ -5 °C

    What could be a better reason for waking up in the early morning then driving to El Tatio geysers, the third largest geyser field in the world and located at an altitude of 4320m. 😁
    The curvy road was a bit difficult especially due to the condition of the “street” and darkness but it was worth it. Best time to visit this place is before sunrise as there are not so many tourists around and especially as the steam of the geysers is amplified by the outside temperature of -10 degrees.
    On the way back the landscape was beautiful (we could see where we are actually driving) and thus we had good reasons to make several stops...
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  • Day15

    Lagoon day

    October 4, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 1 °C

    One of the highlights of the Atacama desert are the Miscanti and Miniques Lagoons. These two lakes were separated by an eruption of the Miniques volcano.

    The way to this beautiful place at 4140m altitude was full of surprises: we have seen wild ostriches, guanacos and it even started to snow (not the first thing that comes in my mind when I think of a desert).Read more

  • Day13

    Valparaiso - a maze of hills

    October 2, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    We reached this place after a rough and long day as we landed in Antofagasta airport due to a medical emergency. This situation is understandable but in the end we had to spend 10 hours in this small airport without possibility of exchanging money, of having a working cash machine or wifi.

    Valparaiso surprised us with the bohemian and colorful clifftop buildings that are at every turn and exceptionally friendly people. Even if we were tired, we enjoyed discovering the maze of artistic expressions and it would had been great to have 1-2 days more to spend in this place.
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  • Day10

    High altitude experience

    September 29, 2019 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Cusco is a nice city at 3450m altitude, surrounded by high mountains. Arriving at the hotel was a bit shocking as there were guests in the lobby with oxygen masks... luckily we did not have such an experience even if we struggled a bit in the first day with the side effects of high altitude.

    We had a nice time, days were sunny, food was great (especially the alpaca 🦙) and people always friendly... we even got back the Canon zoom lens that we forgot in the hotel by mistake 😳... (that was quite a shock) 🤪😁Read more

  • Day9

    Gateway to Machu Picchu

    September 28, 2019 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Aguas Calientes is the doorway to Machu Picchu and as such, a necessary stop before visiting the Inca ruins. In this touristic and labyrinthine place we found a small and cozy restaurant that had great food and a friendly waiter that gave us advices regarding the local insects (they were quite aggressive during that day).

    There are not a lot of things that you can do in this place that exists for one reason only... catering for tourists that want to strike Machu Picchu off their bucket list. 😳

    After a bit of research on the few activities that can be done in Aguas Calientes, we decided to see the Butterfly House, a conservation project where locals ensure that different butterfly species and humming birds are winning the battle against pollution.
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  • Day8

    Long expected - Machu Picchu

    September 27, 2019 in Peru ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    It took us a while to get there...
    1. Delayed flight as the aircraft had to be changed due to technical issues
    2. Train to Aguas Calientes in the early morning
    3. Rustic bus to reach Machu Picchu

    But we got there and we were lucky with the weather. 😊 The archeological site is impressive...and it was the best decision to go with the last entry time as there were not many tourists. We enjoyed wandering around for more than 3 hours and even made some alpaca friends 🦙😁😊
    For sure it was one of the highlights of our trip 😊
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