Posts Tagged ferry

Areia Branca to Canoa Quebrada

Posted on May 9, 2013 by 1 Comment

From San Miguel de Gostoso, we made the fairly uninteresting drive along the back roads toward Areia Branca. Other than a quick beach stop at the beginning, there weren’t many highlights. Lots of lowland muddy salt flats and a pretty ugly salt industry.  And, the farther we get into Ceará state, the more animals we see in the road – mainly goats and donkeys – and they are everywhere. A little unusual compared to the southern states.

IMG_1632 IMG_1638

Someone had recommended Areia Branca to us – I can’t remember who. We’re still not sure why. We arrived at night, and for us, this was just a one-nighter at Praia de Upanema.  The next day, we hopped on another ferry across the Rio Mossoró and kept cruising.

From there, it was another long day’s drive to Canoa Quebrada. More animals all over the road and lot’s of empty towns.

DSC_9990 DSC_9999 DSC_0018 DSC_9987 DSC_0006 DSC_9995 DSC_0014 DSC_0024

Canoa is a pleasant touristy town in the dunes.  The thing to do here – like many places along this coastline – is to hire a bugeiro and hit the dunes. I have a hard time paying somebody to drive me around in an old VW, so for us, this was a place to eat lots of camarão and wander the quiet streets at night.

DSC_0028 DSC_0034

Tags: , ,

Filed Under: Brazil

Ferry to Pipa

Posted on April 23, 2013 by 7 Comments

We love ferry rides.

DSC_9743 DSC_9751 DSC_9756 DSC_9759 DSC_9773 DSC_9774 DSC_9778 Taking a ferry south of Natal

Tags: ,

Filed Under: Brazil

Back to the Coast

Posted on December 1, 2012 by 3 Comments

We made a quick stop at the Minas Sunday market on the way out of town. A wheel of cheese, lemons, and flips flops. All for about $5 USD. Gotta love a Sunday market.

We back-tracked a bit and drove to the coast. This time detouring around Punte and hitting some gravel that took us to Puebla Jose Ignacio. This is fancy-pants territory.  The entire town seems to have been pulled from the pages of Architectural Digest. Sotheby’s and Christie’s real estate offices await you at the town entrance. We didn’t dare attempt to dine at the lone cafe, but instead gawked at some of the houses and checked out the nice beach. We were wrong earlier… this is Carmel.

A bit farther up the coast and we hit the Laguna Garzon ferry. The old bridge is long gone, but a 15 hp panga strapped to a barge will drag you across the gap for free. Lot’s of wide open coast on this stretch and plenty of places to pull over and have your own beach for the day.

The only up the road is that Laguna de Roche is a dead end. So, you have to drive up and around the lagoon to get to La Paloma.

Ferry Land, Part 2

Posted on February 24, 2012 by 4 Comments

We drove back to the ferry office about ten minutes earlier than they told us. At this point, we were expecting to be checking in twice a day for the next four days or so.  No one on the waiting list had gotten on the previous ferry.

I ran into the family I met earlier and they told me that they were going to get on. He was so excited (this was his 3rd day of waiting).  He instructed me to go check the list.

I went into the office and saw that my name was still on there, number 33, but  a few names had been marked off. A few minutes later, the man that runs the show on ferry loading gathered all the wait-listers around and starting yelling off names on the list so fast I think some people missed there own names. Within seconds, he had gone through the first page (20 names). By the time they reached my name, I was only the third person called who was present. He told us to go buy our tickets! This all happened before the time they even told us to be there, so I’m glad we were early. The ferry hadn’t even loaded a single car.

So an hour and a half later we were backing Red Beard onto the ferry. Some major trucks must not have showed up because at least 6 of us didn’t have reservations. Our lucky day.

The rain continued to pour, so after exploring the boat we decided that we’d head back to the bus. There was only a small waiting room and it smelled wet.

The journey was to last 6 hours, and that included offloading at one port,and driving 20 minutes to another ferry to Parque Pumalin. Of course, the ferry left an hour late.

After schoolwork, Bode was given all-day video game access. He never left the bus again.  Red Beard was still in camp mode so our clothes were in the passenger front seat trying to dry out.

I spent the time trying to catch up with the blog and photos. That is until my butt actually fell asleep.

Jason and I got out to stretch our legs, and were amazed at about 50 waterfalls on the fjords around us. Too bad it was still dumping rain or we’d would have been able to take some decent photos of some of them!

“Radiohead is terrible music.”

– Bode


Ferry Land

Posted on February 23, 2012 by 3 Comments

If we wanted to get a boat from Chiloe to Chaiten, it would be at least two more weeks. So, we decided to head north and backtrack several hours to Puerto Montt for our 6th time.

From here, another few hours south of Puerto Montt, we took a ferry from Caleta La Arena to Caleta Puelche. Now on the famous dirt Carretera Austral, we continued on to Hornopiren.  This is it: Patagonia. Nothing will be easy from here south.

Although it was late in the day when we reached Hornopiren, we decided to stop by the ferry rampa to see about ferry logistics. Surprisingly, they were open and only merely smirked when I asked about the boats for the next few days. Two ferries cross daily, they can hold 20 cars each, and they are booked up for the next 8 days. They only run in January and February, and it’s getting really close to the end of February.

There was a waiting list, so I signed up as lucky number 33.  If you are on the waiting list, you are expected to show up an hour before the departure and just wait.

It was pouring, so we decided it was a nice time to camp. There is a little campsite in Hornopiren behind the gas station with 4 sites and we had it to ourselves. No signs or anything – we just lucked out when we found it.  Good thing, since cabanas here are booked with people waiting on the ferry and going for $100 USD a night.

Our spot had a covered table, so it wasn’t nearly as bad as I make it look in the photo below.  A guy in a nearby cabana spotted us and actually came over and offered to help us if we needed anything- hot water, shower etc. I think he pitied us, but we were fine.

There were many discussions about what to do next. The problem was, we just didn’t know how likely it would be that we’d get on a ferry.  Jason calculated the cost and time of going north and crossing back into Bariloche, Argentina– and both would be significant.  We decided we would wait a day, try to learn more from the others waiting, and decide the next night.

At 8:45 the next morning, we just left Bode sleeping in bed and drove to the port. The ferry is scheduled to leave at 9:30, and at 9:35 cars and trucks with reservations were still lined up waiting to get on. Eventually, each was loaded backwards and tied down. The rest of us waiting just stood in the rain, compared space left on the boat with the number of cars still to go on. There was lots of head shaking and ‘mal‘s going around. I buddied up to a family and learned that this was their 3rd day of waiting.  They said sometimes a few extra cars get on, sometimes none. We have to assume that many people give up waiting and go home, with their name still on the list. There was no way to tell how many people were truly waiting, but outside in the rain at 10:30, when the ferry finally left, I only noticed about 10 people.

I headed back to the office to make sure I was still on the list for the 2 pm ferry. Inside was a woman claiming she was next on the list (at number 14). She had waited 4 days.

We went back to the campsite and made some lunch. Then, headed back into town to see what supplies we could get. I went into 6 stores and only came out with eggs, bananas(!) and rubber boots.  I didn’t mind waiting 4 days, but it was supposed to continue raining and if I was to wait outside twice a day for 2 hours I wanted to at least have dry feet.

The rain continued and we realized that every screw in the top from the solar panels was now leaking into the van. Everything is becoming a soggy mess. But, if you want the rainbow, ya gotta put up with the rain.



Ferry Fun

Posted on July 30, 2010 by 2 Comments

We stopped by San Jorge to check out the ferry schedule to Ometepe and as luck would have it there was a ferry leaving in 20 minutes. Another boat ride!



This one was pretty easy. For about $20 USD, we could ship the bus and all four of us over to the island. Since we were still a little paranoid after the break-in, we found a perch right above the bus and took a seat where we could see it.

Every single person on the ferry went by the bus and took a gander. Some folks pressed their noses against the glass, some folks used the mirrors to check their hair, some were just drawnd to lean against it. I’m pretty sure that every single person on the ferry put their hands on the car at some point. I never knew how much attention it got when we weren’t around and this was a bit of an eye-opener.



Ometepe is an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua formed by two volcanoes. We hadn’t planned on ferrying over that day so we were a little out of sorts when we arrived. We found a place next to the water with a good view of the biggest volcano.

We swam in the warm lake and then whipped up some dinner. Doug was introduced to the wonders of Cavender’s Greek seasoning and we enjoyed a peaceful evening next to some mooing cows.  


I spent some time with my new friend that I named Elsie (pictured) and tried some long exposures using my thoroughly emptied wine glass as a tripod. All in a day’s work.

Tags: ,

Filed Under: Nicaragua

Canada: It’s Aboot Time!

Posted on October 8, 2009 by 8 Comments

Or…  The Storia Victoria.

The 8:20 ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, B.C. requires that you get in line and park your car at 7am. We’re not morning people, so this was a challenge. There is nothing like having to get up really early to ensure you don’t sleep well. We bundled up, got some coffee and sat in the van for an hour and half in the ferry parking lot. No firewood allowed into Canada, so we added ours to the workers’ truckload of it. I’m sure that the workers take the truck to the other side of town and sell it to the Olympic NP campers.

Finally, they started loading. Oops, the car won’t start. Jason mentioned he’d read not to wait for the ferry with the radio on, that it would drain your battery. Now we know that is true. We must have a short or some other electrical issue too, as the radio shouldn’t drain the battery in an hour. One more thing for the list. Luckily, the nice folks working there had a portable battery jumper thing. Must happen all the time. Still, we got the eye rolls… dumb Californians in their hippie van.

DSC_4226 DSC_4230

DSC_4239 DSC_4232

A fairly quick trip across the straight with no whales spotted.

We had made the decision to head to Canada late the night before. We originally thought we were going to go to Seattle (which we will probably still do), but our  hot springs friend said it was a better ferry/customs experience from Port Angeles than from Seattle and he was right. Customs was a breeze, though they did question our van making it up from California.

We realized after about 10 minutes in BC that we were not quite prepared to be in another country. Our GPS did not have Canadian maps loaded on it (shouldn’t “North American Edition” include Canada too?), we had no money and couldn’t find an actual bank, and our cell phones weren’t working.  Oh well.

Anyway, the night before we had gotten a comment from Anne-Marie in Victoria asking if we were headed her way. Why yes we were…

She works for the Legislature at the Parliament building – the beautiful building in all photos of Victoria.  We were to meet her there for tea. That’s right, we get off the boat, get a special tour of the most gorgeous building in Victoria, and have tea in the private legislature dining room. Nice way to get introduced to a new country! They do this for everyone, eh?

Anne-Marie is planning an extended trip with her teenagers next year. Her plans sound incredible: India, Cambodia, Italy, and a bike-barge trip that sounds awesome. I want to go!

After tea, we walked around Victoria some more, hit their Chinatown and got some dim sum. In true tourist-town style, there were buskers everywhere, currency exchange counters,  and multiple ice cream shops on every block. We got back in the van and did the scenic drive around the town before heading up the eastern coast of the island. We were still unsure of our plans once we hit Nanaimo: either ferry to Vancouver or go across the island to Tofino.

Before dark, we were all exhausted so we stopped at a motel “with sea view” and called it a night. We went to bed thinking Vancouver, but in the morning we had a suggestion to see Salt Springs Island. That’s pretty much how the trip is going – a daily decision on where we are headed that changes hourly until we get somewhere.

DSC_4278 DSC_4275

DSC_4276 DSC_4272