Wintertime in South America

Monday started out hot, leaving Orlando for New York I thought it was hot in Orlando until we touched down in JFK to 98 degrees. The northeast was going through a record breaking heat wave. Lucky for me my time in New York was going to be short since I was headed south to South America, Sao Paulo Brazil to be exact where it is now winter. Cross the equator and the season flip from the northern seasons.

The never ending city, Sao Paulo Brazil

The Never Ending City, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Heading to Sao Paulo, and saying it is winter does not mean that I will be seeing snow or anything like that, but the weather is a nice change from muggy Florida or the heat wave that the United States northeast was going through. This trip we found Sao Paulo foggy when we ended up arriving early Wednesday morning, with the temperature only getting to the mid 70’s during the day, this was a perfect temperature for walking around  Sao Paulo. Evening saw the temperature drop to the low 60’s to high 50’s which was just perfect for having dinner with friends at a outdoor restaurant. What more could you ask for, here we sat ,ate an unbelievable steak, drank and had good conversation while 3000 mile back home they were suffering in the heat.

Nice 12 Dollar Steak in Sao Paulo Brazil

Nice 12 Dollar Steak in Sao Paulo Brazil

The next benefit about wintertime in South America is the flying, the weather is usually a lot calmer, fewer thunderstorms. Yes there are still the normal thunderstorms that sit year round along the equator, yet as you get farther south it is fog that is more of a problem than the thunderstorms.

Headed  from Sao Paulo back to New York we were routed farther east than we normally go, for the most part it is almost a straight line going from Sao Paulo to New York. This night there was a weather disturbance south of Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. So we were flight planned from Sao Paulo to Belem Brazil, which is pretty much the most eastern part of Brazil then to Barbados which is almost the farthest island east in the Caribbean, from there we followed the chain of islands up over Guadeloupe and then up to Antigua before we made the turn north and headed straight for New York.

Leaving the lights of Sao Paulo behind, it is impossible to tell where this huge city starts and ends, we headed up to Brasilia. Flying over the relatively new city of Brasilia is amazing from 36 thousand feet, the city is so well laid out with straight lines and streets and boulevards making sweeping curves in tandem, Brasilia is a very neat site to see from the air.

Next we headed up to Belem, sitting on the Atlantic coast and about 60 miles upriver from the mouth of the Amazon River you could make out the lights of the city giving a tracing affect of the Amazon River as it empties in to the Atlantic. Even though this was in the middle of the night you still got a impressive effect of how large the Amazon River is.

Following the northeastern coast of South America and leaving Brazil then French Guiana behind it was onward to Barbados, with the lights of the island and the surrounding dark Caribbean Sea it looked like a small constellation sitting in the middle of the gigantic black universe.

Approaching the island of Guadeloupe from the south, the butterfly was clearly visible, the way the island is shaped from the air it looks like a butterfly. This night again it looked spectacular in a moonless night against a dark Caribbean Sea.

Leaving the lights and island of Antigua, it was a turn north into the dark waters of the Atlantic only to be broken in a couple of hours to the sunrise over the eastern Atlantic and the start of a new day.


Travel: My Endless Summer

One of the great things about walking on the beach is the tranquil atmosphere and being able to just let the mind wander. I had one of these moments the other day as I walked the beach here in Long Beach New York. As I walked on this warm sunny day I reflected on the past month, how I spent the days , and where I had been.

Long Beach, New YorkLetting my mind wander and reviewing the month I was reminded of a old movie that my Dad had taken me to see see as a kid, to this day when I look back I don’t understand him going to this type of a movie for it seemed to go against everything that he believed in as I knew through the years of my growing up. Yet the film pretty much defined who I grew into, what I was looking for in life, and this starting at age 7 from watching a movie.

The movie or I should say documentary that my Dad took me to in 1966 was “Endless Summer”. The movie directed by Bruce Brown was based on 2 Southern California Surfers, that given enough time and money, they could travel around the world looking for the perfect wave, following the seasons they could make their life a Endless Summer.

What made me think of this movie on this warm May day on the beach was how my last month had gone, in reality just a glimpse of my past 50 years. Thinking of where I had been just in this last month brought a smile to my face.

Sao Paulo Cathedral I started the month with a flight to Sao Paulo Brazil, yes this was a working trip if you want to call it that. Since one of my loves of life is flying, I really don’t think of flying as a job, it is more of a way to get to the next destination, the next party, a mode to see the world. Arriving in Sao Paulo  one could not ask for better weather, May technically is fall in Brazil, even though the weather does not change much throughout the year other than the amount of rain. Three days in Sao Paulo, enjoying the food, subway surfing, exploring and meeting new people. This trip also saw a day trip to Rio de Janeiro. Who could ask more than spending a day in Rio.

A quick trip back to New York and a couple of days off at home in sunny Orlando, Florida, a little catching up on the Beachcomber Pete website and it was time to head out once again, time goes by fast when you are busy, or is it just fast when it is enjoyable and interesting?

Next stop via New York was a 11 hour flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina, again perfect fall weather, remember they are below the Equator, opposite from the States. Two days over the weekend enjoying the sites that Buenos Aires has to offer, great meals, catching up with old friends and even making new ones. In between days saw a quick day trip to Montevideo Uruguay to soak up some sun and you got it, another great meal.

Again a couple of days off in Orlando saw more warm weather, a day in Ormand Beach with dinner and good conversation with a old friend in Daytona Beach. A little more work on the website and then it was off again.

This time it was two days in Long Beach New York, unbelievable warm weather, comfortable yet nice meant perfect days for walking and enjoying the beach. Who would think that just 20 miles away sits the largest city in The United States, New York City and here is this picture perfect beach.

Greenwich Park London Two days on the beach and it was off to London, spring time on this side of the Equator. Spring time it was, again 2 picture postcard days in London meant great days to be spent outdoors, Saturday enjoying the sights and people of Camden Town and the Camden Market, evening brought a gathering of old friends and again some new acquaintances. Sunday with clear skies and temperatures in the low 70′s made the day perfect for walking in Greenwich and enjoying the park. Finishing off the day with a boat ride up the River Thames under cloudless skies was the perfect way to end a stay in London.

So as I walked the beach on this day, once again reflecting on the past month, the thought of the movie came to me, it might be the search for the perfect wave for some, or just the search of a new or enjoyable experience for others that I have realized that how I have spent these years since viewing that movie back in 1966, I have made my search in life for my own Endless Summer.

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