April 20, 2002

    The ship had exceptionally good weather in the past several days as the captain said, and the ship arrived several hour earlier than scheduled to Rio de Janeiro. At 6:30am we began to see Pao de Acucar or the Sugar Loaf, a huge granite butte sticking out into the sea. As the ship coasted along Ipanema Beach, Copacabana Beach and Pao de Acucar, the photo-famous Corcovado hill was clearly seen, which was another very high granite butte, the highest in Rio and much higher than we imagined, with white cross-shaped Christ statue on top. We came alongside the pier around 8am. It was a great 1.5 hour scenery show, and we found Rio de Janeiro the most beautiful city which we had ever seen, especially beautiful when approached from the sea.

    We got off the ship around 9am and met our Japanese-speaking guide, Ms. Ishizaki, arranged by the jeweler, Ben Brothers. We took a car into the city. First we took an "abt" train to climb up Corcovado, through dense wood. From the upper terminal we further climbed up steps for 10 minutes to reach the cross-shaped Christ statue in the fairly spacious lookout platform. The platform was very much crowded, but the 360 degree view was gorgeous.

    Then we drove to the southern-most beach, Barra (Baja) Beach, where the richest people lived. We took lunch at Barra Grill, where various kinds of roasted meat came one after another. Then we returned to Ipanema to visit very large and beautiful Jardin Botanico (Botanical Garden).

    We visited the jeweler Ben Brothers and were hosted by a sales executive Mr. Sydnei Besen. He was found an excellent sales person and we discussed various stones and their prices joyfully. Unfortunately, however, he got another important guest and left. Someone else took his place but this time she could not quote price smoothly. Shig was irritated and requested prompt price discussion. Even though we made our budget clear to her in advance, she recommended a stone and couldn't quote the price for 15 minutes and then quoted the price 10 times more expensive as our budget. This quotation was later found wrong. It was 3 times more expensive. This occurrence made Shig mad and Shig said he would go out. A secretary sensed the trouble and called Mr. Besen back. Smooth discussion was resumed and we bought one jewelry. Then Mr. Bensen said that he was very sorry about what had occurred and that he would like to apologize by giving us a good price if we would buy a second item. He indeed did offer a good price and we took it in the context of discussion. After all, he took advantage of the trouble and we bought what we didn't intend originally to buy. Shig was marvelled at his sales skill and reminded Mr. K. of Toshiba who took advantage of the fire in a customer caused by Toshiba switch box to sell a better more expensive switch box to the very angry customer with an ample profit. We returned to the ship and took dinner alone in order to finish it up quickly. Sue was smiling saying "With all those troubles, I was the winner."

    We went out again for "Samba show" at Plaraforma. About 25 male and female colored dancers performed along the 500 year history of Brazil. We heard and saw Samba rythm on stage for the first time and enjoyed it. Female dancers stepped in one-eighth notes and vibrated the loins in one-32th notes. We had no idea which and how muscles were used to do it. We returned to the ship after midnight.

 船長の説明によれば、過去数日間船は例外的に好天に恵まれたので、船はRio de Janeiroに予定より数時間早く到着した。Rio de JaneiroとはRiver Januaryの意味で、Amerigo Vespucci (Americaの名の由来)が1502年の元旦にこの湾に入り、川の河口と勘違いして名付けたという。 6:30amには海に突き出た巨大な花崗岩の山Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf)が見え始めた。船がIpanema Beach、Copacabana Beach、Pao de Acucarに沿って航行するうちに、写真で有名な白い十字架型のキリスト像が頂上に立つCorcovadoがはっきり見えてきた。Rioで一番高い花崗岩の山で、想像していたより遥かに高い。8amに接岸するまでの1時間半の素晴らしい景観だった。Rio de Janeiroは今まで我々が見たどこよりも最も美しい市だと思った。特に海から近付いた時に美しい。Napoli、Hong Kongと共に世界の3大美港というそうだが、一緒に並べては気の毒なくらい美しい。

 9am頃下船して宝石商Ben Brothersがアレンジしてくれた日本語ガイド石崎夫人に会った。車で町に入る。まずアプト式登山鉄道で深く茂る森を抜けてCorcovadoに登った。頂上駅から更に階段を10分ほど登って十字架型のキリスト像の立つかなり広い展望台に上がった。展望台は非常に混雑していたが、360度の展望が壮麗だった。

 それから一番の金持層が住むという南端のBarra (バハ) Beachに行った。Barra Grillという名のChurrascaria (シュハスカリア)でChurrascoの昼食をとった。色々な種類の焼肉の大串が次々に出てきて注文すると一部を切り取ってくれる。Ipanemaに戻り、広くて綺麗な植物園Jardin Botanicoに行った。

 宝石商Ben Brothersではオーナの一人で優秀な営業マンらしいMr. Sydnei Besenが出迎えてくれた。色々な宝石と価格を冗談を交えつつ楽しく議論していたが、生憎彼に他の重要顧客が来てしまい中座した。彼の母親が代わりに場つなぎをしてくれたのだが、価格をスムースに出してくれない。重悳はいらついて価格を早く出してくれと要求した。我々の予算は既に彼女に冒頭に明示してあって、彼女は或る宝石を推奨してくれたのだが、値段の提示が再三の催促でも中々出ない。やっと出たら予算の10倍だという。実は後で分かったところではそれは展示会用の高い値段で実際の売価は我々の予算の3倍だった。中々値段を出さずに出たら10倍とは何事か、俺の時間を無駄にした、と重悳は怒り帰ると言って席を立った。秘書がトラブルに気付きMr. Bensenが戻ってきた。スムースなやり取りが回復し、我々は見せてもらった宝石の一つを買った。彼は経緯に対して大変申し訳ないとあやまり、もう一つこの宝石を買って呉れれば大幅に値引きすることでお詫びをしたいと言った。実際良い値を提示したので、話の流れの中で我々は彼の提示を受けた。結局彼はトラブルを利用して我々が元々(欲しくは思いつつも)買う予定でなかったものを買うように仕向けた。重悳は彼の営業の腕に感嘆し、東芝のKom先輩を思い出した。客先の東芝配電盤から小火が起こった時、彼はその機会に怒る客先にもっと高い良い配電盤を充分な利益をもって売ったのだった。船に戻り、早く食事をすませるために今晩は我々2人だけでテーブルについた。スミヱは笑みを禁じえず、「いろいろトラブルがあったけど、結局私が勝者だわ」と言った。

 もう一度外出してPlataforma劇場でのSamba Showに出かけた。男女25名ほどの有色のダンサが、Brazilの500年の歴史を表現する踊りを公演した。我々にとっては実演のSambaのリズムを見たり聞いたりは初めてで、大いに楽しんだ。女性ダンサは1/8音符で足拍子をとり、1/32音符で腰を細かく震わせた。どの筋肉をどう動かせばそうなるのか全く見当もつかない。真夜中過ぎに船に戻った。

April 21, 2002

    At 9am, we met an exceptionally excellent female Japanese guide, Ms. Manda, contracted by the biggest jeweler, H. Stern, established by a Jewish German Herr H. Stern. Ms. Manda was eager about how best she could show us the most exciting things. At first, we drove to the lookout point of Dona Marta, with a gorgeous view of Corcovado and the city. We drove down and walked through the Sunday morning market of all kinds of food. Sue tasted many kinds of fruits. We made a short stop at Copacabana Beach, which was said to be called "beach of middle-aged women". We saw many of those in brave swim suits.

    We walked through Hippie Fair in one of the plazas in Ipanema Beach It was a handcraft tent market held every Sunday. We took lunch in a buffet restaurant near-by and came to the main office building of H. Stern. We were first led to a museum where an extensive collection of ores and jewels was displayed. A middle-aged female Japanese sales clerk hosted us and Sue bought a small item. Then we walked into Ipanema Beach, called "beach of young women". Shig liked this better than the other. We were driven back to the ship with much satisfaction.

    Just before the ship departed, we got off the ship for a two night trip for Iguacu Falles. We learnt that spelling was Iguacu in Portugese in Brazil, with a little tail below "c", Iguazu in Spanish in Argentina, with a stroke above "u", and Iguassu in English. Our bus made time adjustment, before taking us to the airport, by spending time for a city tour. We crossed a long bridge, Ponte Rio-Niteroi, to the other side of the bay, in order to watch darkening bay and Rio. We saw our ship, with many lights on, passing by Sugar Loaf to leave the bay. We had strange feeling to watch our ship leaving without us. We took a late evening flight to arrive at Iguacu Airport around the midnight, and went to bed at 1:50am at Hotel Tropical das Cataratas, the only hotel in the Iguacu National Park in the Brazilian side. "Cataratas" means "falls".

 9amに我々2人は非凡な日本語ガイドの万田夫人に会った。最大の宝石商H. Sternと契約している。H. Sternは、ユダヤ系独人H. Stern氏が創立したという。万田夫人はどうしたら一番上手に最も面白いものを我々に見せられるかに腐心していた。最初にDona Martaの展望台にドライブした。Corcovadoと市内の素晴らしい景観が楽しめる場所だ。下ってあらゆる種類の食材の店が出ている日曜朝市を歩いた。スミヱは色々な種類の果物を試食した。Brazilでは買わなくても試食させてくれるらしい。短時間Copacabana Beachに停車した。ここは「おばさんの浜」と言われているそうで、勇気ある水着のおばさんが沢山居た。

 Ipanema Beachにある広場の一つで行われていたHippie Fairを歩いて見た。毎日曜に開かれる手工芸品の市だ。近くのバイキングレストランで昼食をとり、H. Sternの本社ビルに行った。最初に原石と宝石の膨大なコレクションの展示場に導かれた。重悳が好奇心から色々質問したが若い男性の説明員はあまり答えられなかった。中年の日本人女性の営業がテキパキと相手してくれてスミヱは小さい宝石を買った。それからIpanema Beachに出て歩いた。ここは「お嬢さんの浜」だそうで、同じ勇気でも重悳はこちらの方が気に入った。車で送ってもらい、大変満足して船に戻った。

 船が出航する直前に下船してIguacuの滝への2泊の旅に出た。滝のスペルは、Brazilではポルトガル語でIguacu("c"の下に尻尾)、滝を共有するArgentinaではスペイン語でIguazu("u"の上にストローク)、英語ではIguassuと書くそうだ。バスは我々を飛行場に連れて行く前に、市内観光で時間を潰して時間調整した。Ponte Rio-Niteroiという長い橋を渡り湾の反対側Niteroi市から暮れゆく湾とRioを見た。我々の船が沢山の電気を点けてSugar Loafの側を通り抜けて湾を出て行くのが見えた。我々が乗っていない我々の船が出航するのを見て不思議な感情を持った。夜遅い飛行便でIguacu空港に真夜中に着き、Brazil側の国立公園内で唯一のホテルTropical das Cataratasに入り、就寝したのは1:50amだった。Cataratasは滝の意味だ。

April 22, 2002

    The bus left the hotel at 7:30am, crossed the border into Argentina, and drove into Iguazu National Park in Argentine side. We walked to Estacion Cataratas, took a narrow gauge train and walked again on the catwalk on the river to reach the rim of the most spectacular falls, Garganta del Diablo (Devil's throat). Extraordinary amount of water was falling with great roar to the depth from where we stood. It should have been an ideal photo spot, but in reality, it was the most difficult because spray from the falls was blown up as mist and constantly fell upon spectators. Shig tried various angles of photos and was much drenched. Interestingly, Sue had a camera with a smaller lens more immune to spray, and could take good pictures without spray spots. We took the narrow gauge train again back to Estacion Cataratas and walked on Green Trail and the upper circuit catwalks, to watch northernmost falls near-by, Adan y Eva (Why Adam and Eve ?) and Bossetti. There was another spectacular view and we took many pictures without being drenched this time. We walked back through a dense forest on Green Trail to our bus. On our way, we saw many kinds of butterflies, every one of which was new to us.

    We returned to the hotel for a buffet lunch. But Shig made full use of after-lunch recess time to explore the Brazilian circuit from the hotel to the observation balcony by half-running, to see Devil's Throat again, this time from a middle height between the rim and the river. We all took the bus again, changed to a trailer open car to drive into the jungle downhill, and changed again to jeeps to climb down to the riverside. There we got on a motorboat. We were given choices of a "wet boat" and a "dry boat". We wanted to watch the falls from the spots as near as possible even if we might get spray inevitably to some extent, and chose the wet boat. Indeed we could take good pictures of falls from the water level. Then we learnt that our understanding of being wet was too optimistic. The boat purposefully came under falls and dived into the rapids. Everyone on the wet boat got shower several times and got drenched to the skin. The "wet boat" was not of inevitable spray, but of "purposeful water play".

    On our way back to the hotel, the guide offered us the opportunity of helicopter ride over the falls, and, of course, we took it. The views from the helicopter was wonderful in order to view the whole scope of the falls at a glance. Any camera could not capture the whole scope, but Sue was successful to capture a rainbow on Devil's Throat.

    Towards the sunset time, we went down by a lift to the Brazilian circuit balcony, which Shig visited in the afternoon, for another look at Devil's Throat. On our way back to the hotel, Sue chose and Shig followed to walk back to the hotel along the Brazilian circuit rather than taking the bus. We two walked along the spectacular views of the falls in the sunset time.

 バスは7:30amにホテルを出て国境を越えてArgentinaに入り、Argentina側の国立公園に乗り入れた。Cataratas駅まで歩き、、軽便鉄道に乗り、川の上に作られた桟橋状の遊歩道を歩いて、滝のうちで最も見事な「悪魔の喉」Devil's Throatの縁に到着した。我々の立つところから驚くべき量の水が轟音とともに深みに落ちている。写真を撮るには絶好の場所のはずだが、実際には最も撮影しにくい所だった。滝の水しぶきが吹き上げられて霧となり見物客に常に降り注ぐからだ。重悳は色々な撮影アングルを試みズブ濡れになった。面白いことにスミヱはレンズの小さいカメラを持っていてしぶきがレンズに掛かりにくいため、写真面にしぶきのスポットが無い良い写真を撮った。また軽便鉄道でCataratas駅に戻り、森の中のGreen Trailを歩き、Upper Circuitという名の遊歩道を行き、北端の滝Adan y Eva (なぜアダムとイヴなのかなあ)とBossettiを間近に見た。ここも見事な景観で、今度は濡れることなく写真を沢山撮った。緑濃い森のGreen Trailを通ってバスに戻る途中で多くの種類の蝶を見かけたが、全て初めて見る蝶だった。

 ホテルに戻ってバイキングの昼食を済ませた。重悳は昼食後の休憩時間をフルに利用して独りで観光に出掛けた。ホテルから半ば走るようにしてBrazilian Circuitという名の遊歩道を歩き、Devil's Throatを今回は滝の上縁と川面との中間の高さから眺める展望台まで行った。午後の観光は、皆で再びバスに乗り、トレーラ型のオープンカーに乗り換えてジャングルを下り、更にジープに乗り換えて川岸に下りた。そこでモータボートに乗った。"Wet Boat"と"Dry Boat"があるがどちらにするかと聞かれて、止むを得ず或る程度水しぶきが掛かっても出来るだけ近い位置から滝を見たいと考えて"Wet Boat"を選んだ。確かに水面から滝のよい写真を撮ることが出来た。 しかしそれから我々の「濡れる」程度の認識が甘かったことに気付いた。ボートは態と滝の下に入り、激流の中に突入した。全員が数回シャワーを浴びたようになり、ビショ濡れとなった。"Wet Boat"とは止むを得ず水しぶきが掛かるのではなく水遊びのボートだった訳だ。

 ホテルに戻る途中でガイドが、滝の上を飛ぶヘリコプタに乗れるけどどうしますかと言った。勿論我々はその機会を逃がさなかった。ヘリからの眺めは素晴らしいもので、一目で滝の全体像を掴むことができた。カメラでは全体を撮ることは出来ないが、Devil's Throatに掛かる虹の撮影にスミヱが成功した。

 日が沈む頃エレベータで重悳が午後に来たBrazilian Circuitの展望台に下り、Devil's Throatをもう一度見た。ホテルに戻る際に、スミヱはバスで帰るのではなく、Brazilian Circuitを歩いて帰りたいと言い、重悳も従った。二人で日没と競いながら滝の壮大な景観を楽しみながら歩いた。

April 23, 2002

    We got up at 3:30am, got on the bus on 4:45am to take the 6:05am flight. After one stop and one transfer, we landed at the airport of Salvador de Bahia at 11:40am. A bus picked us up and drove us to the ship. We arrived at the pier at 12:45pm, and the bus tour at 1pm was about to leave. Sue complained that there was no time for rest or even lunch.

    Salvador was the first capital of Brazil, and the main port to "import" slaves from Africa. There remained the old town built in the Portugese era and we walked around there following the guide. The old town was one of the UNESCO world heritages. We were glad to see it but we could not enjoy much because of fatigue and hunger.

    Fortunately it was a "Casual" evening. We had an enjoyable dinner with Mrs. Darlene Davies Boggs, and Radisson staffs, Martin, Jamie and Dana. Darlene's husband was said to be an executive of Caterpiller in Peoria, Illinois, where Shig visited as a graduate student in University of Illinois. Both Sue and Shig took pasta dinners.

 3:30amに起床して4:45amにバスに乗り6:05amの飛行機に乗った。途中で1回着陸し、Rio de Janeiroで飛行機を乗り換えて、Salvador de Bahiaの空港に着陸したのが11:40amだった。バスが待っていて、こちらに回航している船に戻った。埠頭に着いたのが12:45pmで、1pm発のバスツアが出発直前だった。スミヱは休む暇も昼食の時間も無かったことをグチった。

 SalvadorはBrazilの最初の首都で、またアフリカから奴隷を「輸入」した主要港だった。ポルトガル時代に建設されたOld Townが今も残り、復元修復が進んでいた。我々はガイドに従ってそこを歩いた。Old TownはUNESCO世界遺産に指定されている。見られてよかったが、疲労と空腹であまり楽しめなかった。


'02/ 4/25 Iguacuの滝    世界一壮大な滝は水しぶきが緑に映える美しい所だった。

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