Today I had a meeting with Nicole a worldwide traveller. Her passion is photography, especially landscape and architecture photography. She travelled to a lot of countries in the world. I decide to do an interview with her about her last trip to Brazil.
Could you tell us something about your last trip
As Brazil is a huge country and I only had 3 weeks I visited the south. I wanted to see Curitiba as Volvo has a factory. I didn’t see it but made a wonderfull train ride to a nice Portuguese city. The train went slowely through the last remaining Atlantic forest and even drove over a bridge made from Belgian steel, something to be very proud of. Hereafther the waterfalls of Foz de Iguaçu. Really amazing, you wonder were all the water comes from. I have seen Victoria falls but these waterfalls are really the best. The best part is in Argentina where you walk over a bridge for about a kilometer and see the Throught of the Devil. I also had a helicopter flight over the waterfalls.
First time I was in a helicopter. Really great and great pictures. Next was a stop in Bonito where you can float in crystal clear water. The most I enjoyed was the Pantanal where I stayed in a farm. On the way I met the gauchos, real cowboys who bring horses and cattle to other farms. They have their own kitchen and stay overnight in farms. The best of the Pantanal is the wildlife : cayman and lot of different birds. I’m still impressed by the beautiful blue ara and hundreds of parrots. After a flight from Campo Grande to Sao Paulo I visited Paraty, another beautiful Portuguese city near the coast. A trip by a scooner was very relaxing ; eating on board, having a glass of caipiniera and swim near beautiful beaches. Also a stay at Ihla Grande was a must see. No vehicles and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And Brazil would not be Brazil if you have not been to Rio de Janeiro. Amazing city, the contrast between rich people and hundreds of favellas. I visited one. My father was electrician and if he would have seen all electrity cables, he would go crazy. It is still not really safe to visit them. The governement try to clean up the favellas but criminality is still high according to the guide. You see a lot of photos from the Christ statue who takes care of the inhabitants of Ria. Well, in real it’s even more wonderfull. The statue itself is really big and the view over Rio is amazing. Also the view you have from the Sucar bread hill is magnificant. I can say it was a trip full of surprises.
What is your greatest weakness?
I really like to walk but I feel that climbing is my weakness. Pity because I’m a person who always wants to go to the top
Are you travelling alone?
In Europe I do but out of Europe I prefer to travel with groups. More because it’s organized and you don’t loose time by finding out everything yourself. But I book with travel agencies where you have the freedom to do what you want. They just arrange transportation and hotels and give you advice of what you can do.
Have you been in America?
If you mean North America, I have only visited New York. Great city, lots to see and I liked to watch how the New Yorkers live. I really would like to see the Grand Canyon one day.
Wich country you prefer to travel to in Africa?
I visited some countries and I really liked Namibia and Botswana. Namibia because of the diversity of landscapes : canyons – sand dunes – coast – Etosha National Park where it is easy to see all wild animals at the pools at nighttime as there is mostly not much water. Botswana for the wild life. Every one talks about Kruger National Park in South Africa which I also visited, but after you have been in Etosha and the Okavanga, it did not impress me much
What about Morocco?
I have been a couple of times in Morocco. It’s a very colorfull country. In Marrakech you feel the oriental mood. But I most like the desert and the berber villages. I have stayed some time in one of the villages, people are more friendly than, let say, in Casablanca.
What is your next trip?
I wanted to go back to Brazil or to Ethiopia in autumn but as I still go to my photography school, I don’t want to miss a lot of lessons. Think I will go to Senegal and Gambia. I want to hear the drums and maybe have the opportunity to do some African dances. I used to follow a course African dances in Ghent.
What is your greatest trips you have done?
Hard to say, every country has his own beauty. I liked the desert in Australia but most I like Asian countries. Thailand was supurb but I think the most beautiful was Sumatra, still so pure, meeting gorillas and walk on volcans. I would like to go to the smaller islands of Indonesia to see the comodovarons
Which tips you like to share with other Travellers?
Don’t be afraid, follow your heart. Learn from what you see. Sometimes it is hard to see poverty, but those people always smile. Be greatfull you have the opportunity to travel
Which camera you take with you during your trip?
I have a Nikon D5100. There are better ones than mine, but still it is a good one. I have a 18-55 mm lense, a 55-300 and a 85 mm more for fotographing smaller things. If I had a lot of money I would like to buy a 800 mm and go to Africa and wait for hours until a lion or whatever animal cross my path.