Monday, 16 February 2015
16.02.2015 - 16.02.2015
Sunrise this morning was predicted for 0655 but with a solid overcast and occasional showers it was never going to be spectacular. Fortunately the slow trip up the tidal channel and the massive port facilities provide plenty of other subjects at which to point the camera. The low ambient light made for some tricky focus challenges. Huge cranes and acres of stored containers spoke of feverish activity - but not today. No doubt due to the impact of the Carnival holidays the wharves were almost totally idle.
We had a leisurely breakfast and sat around in the International Cafe watching the long queues of people going ashore. Most of them would have been on ship's Shore Excursions. We elected to wait until about 1000 before leaving the ship. We had no intention of going into the city but had intended to browse the shops in the Terminal building.
It became obvious why there had been queues for people going ashore, we were all subject to a check of bags and purses by the Brazilian authorities. Can't recall that happening before. We walked the length of the extensive Terminal and were surprised at the almost total lack of shops and vendor facilities. The few shops that existed were close- "for Carnival ??". We bumped into Mary and Donald who were in a long queue. They had been told there was a free shuttle into the city but we hadn't seen a bus in the half hour we'd been there. Later in the day we saw them again. After waiting in vain for almost an hour they had given up. After lunch we spoke to some people who had paid for a taxi into the city and they'd encountered the same thing, closed shops and long queues to the few attractions that were open. The general consensus was that there had been little or no effort to welcome the passengers into the place.
After an early lunch we went to the Theatre to watch the movie. Today's offering was "The Grand Budapest Hotel", a strange film with many parts presented almost as animations with occasional human characters. The story line was most bizarre and on reflection I wonder why I stayed for the whole show.
Enjoyed a very pleasant dinner with Donald and Mary. Donald has caught a cold and is coughing quite a lot. They are a very cheery and resilient pair of old dears. Another sell-out crowd in the Theatre tonight for the vocalist Claude Eric who entertained us with a wide variety of songs.
We've been issued "Passenger Transit" cards which we're required to carry with us when we go ashore. For a good number of passengers Rio marks the end of their cruise.
Tomorrow we're in Rio de Janeiro for an overnight stay.
If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony