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Report on the “RIO RECON” Mission
I’ve been to a lot of cities in a lot of countries in my lifetime, and I would have to vote Rio de Janeiro as one of the most fascinating, colorful, and alluring of them all. I can’t wait to go back! The city encompasses 485 square miles with mountains, rain forests, beautiful beaches along the Atlantic Ocean , and is the home of approximately ten million people. The views are breathtaking. A trip to the statue of Christ the Redeemer (one of the new seven wonders of the world) is a must-see for the thrill and wonder of just being there plus the incredible vistas that surround the statue. As we cruised along sightseeing the gorgeous beaches & million dollar condos of the areas of Copacabana & Ipanema, I had fun photographing the elaborate sand-sculptures and people-scenes. The people themselves are as colorful as any tropical bird of paradise I have ever seen, and “people watching” could easily become a full-time pastime. I visited the Museum of Contemporary Art , designed by well-known architect Oscar Niemeyer, which was built on another “to-die-for” scenic overlook. Driving around Rio de Janeiro tends to give one a new view or concept to the word traffic!! After you experience the roads in Kenya & Madagascar , and the city traffic of Rio de Janeiro , you’ll never again complain about the road system here in the good ole USA !! (or you shouldn’t!!) The city of Rio de Janeiro is exciting, alive with interesting sounds & sights, colors and goody smells, but no city is without its dark side—the slums--but even the slums are different or special in Rio de Janeiro . To my knowledge it is the only city in the world that has organized tours through its Favelas (which I think is a really ‘pretty’ word for something so opposite of being ‘pretty’!). Why on earth anyone would intentionally pay to tour the ‘Favelas’ (slums) is beyond me. I can assure you it will not be part of my tour itinerary. However, it is interesting to me these shanty towns are located on some of the most “primo” property in the world on top of some of the most beautifully scenic hills and must have the most gorgerous views imaginable. (Devine intervention?) We spent two and a half busy days in Rio, giving us a chance to rest from the eight--hour air flight, get a really good feel for the people and the area, and get a tiny taste of a this fascinating blend of humanity, and breathtaking scenics. You could spend three life-times there and not begin to “do” & see everything.
I also concentrated on the wildlife in and around the actual city, shooting two species of monkeys, a group of coatis (relative of the raccoon), as well as the city life. Then I ventured north to the national parks and surrounding areas for four days, and was delighted with the results. As most of you know, I’m pretty careful about our lodging, guides, food, electrical charging capabilities, availability of wildlife for photography (with most size lenses--not just the big ‘bazookas’), transportation & general safety & well-being. I visited most of the available lodges to review all of the above. I found the people extremely accommodating, especially when it came to helping in the making of camouflaged feeders, which attract the birds to our area insuring the right lighting, the right focusing distance, well-being of the camera gear and minimum wear & tear on our own bodies. The accommodations I have selected are very nice, clean, comfortable, (private baths, pool etc.), the food is good, surrounding scenics beautiful & wildlife abundant (tucans, tucanets, an array of tanager species, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and much more).
It was a successful “Recon Mission ” and I’m delighted to announce I will be adding this portion of beautiful Brazil to my itinerary for the Pantanal Tour 2009, which I’ll call the “Pantanal-Rio Adventure”!!! Another newsletter will follow this one very soon giving all the itinerary & pricing details. Please, if you are seriously interested, let me as soon as possible as it is on a ‘first come….basis’ and the interest level is very high.
Don’t forget the January Florida Adventure with the “Pontoon Putt”….details are on my website www.joannewilliamsphoto.com
If you are interested in any of my tours, click on their corresponding link below:
Photo Researchers, Editors, and Publishers:
As stated in previous newsletters, at no obligation to you, send me a “want list” of images you are looking for that may coincide with a trip I’m about to take, or have recently taken, and I’ll do my very best to seek out that subject and shoot it with your request in mind. This may save you some expense, give me a specific mission and possibly a sale of that image. It’s a ‘win, win situation’!
A quick reminder that my library of 35mm original slides houses approximately 75,000 images, and my digital library presently holds over 100,000 (and growing-hourly)!