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Trip Report Rio to Santiago via Patagonia

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As I posted on my planning thread (http://www.fodors.com/community/south-america/need-help-urgently-with-planning-eight-week-trip.cfm ) I'm a mid sixties, solo, female traveler, headed to South America for the first time. I took early retirement so I could travel, but I've been concentrating on Europe and Asia. Now that I'm seriously thinking of moving back to Europe from the US, it's high time I headed south - while I'm still on this side of the Atlantic.

I'm starting in Rio, and then flying south to Patagonia via Iguazu, Montevideo, Colonia and Buenos Aires. I'll work my way back north by boat and bus, criss-crossing the Andes, to finish in Santiago. I'll be posting here, and also blogging, so if you'd like photos with the text, go here: http://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com/

Right now I'm in transit, hanging out in the Admirals Club in Miami airport. My inbound flight pushed back ten minutes late because it took so long to board, and my outbound flight is just as full. I don't remember now why I wound up with an eight hour layover - probably trying for cheaper tickets - but it justified a day pass for the club.

I rarely get any sleep in economy class, especially with a completely full flight, so I may not be too energetic tomorrow. I'm staying in an apartment building five blocks in from Copacabana Beach, and hope I'll be up to walking down to Ipanema and Leblon.

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