Stupid Stupid Stupid Stupid Stupid

Trip Start Jan 04, 2010
Trip End Mar 29, 2010

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Where I stayed
Fazenda Da Iracambi

Flag of Brazil  , Minas Gerais,
Saturday, January 23, 2010

27 and still stupid! Today we got up early to go to Limeira for a beer run and to drop off Iracambi's shopping list at the supermarket because the internet has been down (we have had unbeliveable storms!!!!)  Lara arrived at Iracambi yesterday, a really lovely girl from the US; I took her to work with with me, clearing the forest between the vivero and the water pool because it serves as a trail to view the medicinal plants for visitors and we got to know each other well in the 3 hours we spent working hard in the heat!  It was nice to have some company, last night too - after dinner we sat and chatted with the Brasilians over a few cachacas!  I was a little bit tipsy by the end!  Toni was with us and we had a really deep (far too deep for a friday night) chat about how consumerism is the root of all evil.  He made some really valid, interesting points and made me think a lot about the holistic impact Interserve has upon the environment - supply and demand, a chicken and egg situation! 

I woke up with quite a fuzzy head this morning I have to admit and the worst cramp I have ever experienced in my leg (and a hankering for british tea!), but after my heavy thoughts of the last few days and having finaly made a decision (in one way or another) I floated out of my cozinho and felt at that precise moment that I must have been the happiest girl in the world!  It is a great feeling waking up to the view and the sunshine, a bit soggy underfoot though, thanks to the heavy storms of the last few days!  It really has been absurd!  The rain has failed to cease and even the dining area was covered through with gusts of rain filed wind on Thursday night!  Rivers formed and joined around Iracambi and the lightening shot across the sky in all directions.  At one point we lost power completely and at another I huddled in the kitchen with true fear of the thunder, it was so loud and close!  Last night was more of the same...

So, this morning the sunshine was nice and it looked like a day for an adventure!  After fruit and coffee (the boys had cleared the kitchen of food again), Elisangela, Lara, Ciricio, Rick and I headed off with our packs.  Rick (Hick Hock as I now call him, due to the pronunciation of his name is in Brasilian!) and Ciricio are real jokers and are very young...  They played and laughed and we passed the hilly trek quite happily!  Ciricio has this ongoing joke with Hick Hock... they  poke me with various plants so I think I have creatures on me again and I fall for it every time!  At some points on the road entire parts of the hillsides had come down in the storm and blocked the road and we had to clamber over them, our feet sinking into the mud!  My feet are a total disgrace.  Firstly, they are stripey from the sun catching the parts around the straps on my sandals and secondly my toes and nails are completely orange!  I have scrubbed and scrubbed and the colour doesn't shift.  I may have orange toes forever!

About 5k from town (the walk is around 15k in total) the local taxi pulled up and asked us if we wanted a lift, which we declined, however he waited for us a little ahead and Hick Hock managed to get him to drive us for free!  Awesome, that and a cold beer waiting for us at the bar in Limeira made my morning again!  It was nice chatting to the group and Hick Hock ordered some barbecued meat for us to snack on and even Joao (the little cute Brasilian from the week before at Iracambi who had tried to get me to dance on the tables!) joined us because his mother works at the bar and he was helping her for the day.  We saw Bill briefly, but he was quiet and boarding a bus for Muriae.  After our food and drinks we went to drop the shopping list at the supermarket and the boys bought more beer for Iracambi, my angels!  It's bad, but you work so hard here and it is so hot and humid that it is nice to know you can have a cold beer (actually anything other than water!) at the weekend and the beer here is so light (completely different to english beer), so it is really refreshing.  I am not sure what time we headed off, but it had gotten really hot and humid and I suspected another storm was on its way.  A few km in a big truck pulled in up ahead - this is where the stupid bit comes in!  We jumped on the back.  Not in, literally on, just stepping onto the bumper and holding onto the bar with our bare hands!  And off the truck went...  faster and faster and bumping around on the rocks.  We began to realise the driver had no idea we were there and we began to yell.  My arms began to really ache and I suddenly felt like I was really precariously placed on the bumper; there was no way I was going to be able to hold on much longer!  Don't ask me what possessed me a.) to think the driver did know we were there and b.) that it was a good idea!  I knew at the point that I was dripping sweat, terrified and ready to cry (or fall off) that it really wasn't and so did the others by their faces and worse, the truck drove straight past the turning for Iracambi!  We yelled and yelled and finally he began to slow up; Elisangela and Hick Hock managed to jump off (Elisangela tumbling quite badly), but Ciricio and I were stuck!  I had actually bought my first aid kit with me - just to be on the safe side - but never in a million years did I think that I would need it!  I was beginning to panic, but Ciricio insisted he would stop soon and continued to yell and finally he slowed up enough that we could let go...  Exhale!!!  After checking that Ciricio was ok I sprinted up the hill to Elisangela, all I could think of was her holding her head and it reminded me of my head and how bad it was, even from such a tiny knock!  However, I found her to be ok, a little scraped up, but ok!  I felt/feel so stupid!  I suppose it is easy to get carried away in a place like this where everything is unfamiliar and you don't really know what is normal and what isn't, but it could have been so much worse, such a dangerous, stupid thing to do and I should have stopped it because I am the older, more responsible one!  I don't know why I didn't, but you live and you learn!  Now at least I can say I have held onto and jumped from a moving vehicle and I will never ever do it again!  However, for a few moments, I have to admit it was exhilerating!

The rain came again as we hiked back the distance that the truck had taken us past our turning.  The walk back was really hard in the rain and the cold (because we were soaking wet!) and by the time (which seemed forever and at one point we had to take cover in a family's verrander - bless them for allowing us!) we reached Iracambi we were filthy, soaked and dragging our feet and smiles!  A new girl, Camila, met us in the kitchen as we dived hungrily into the sparce food bin - goodness knows what she thought she'd arrived to...  O comunidade Iracambi though, I love it! 

I've showered now, I'm dry and the internet is back up and running; time to do some work before dinner!  Hick Hock is cooking a traditional Brasilian dish with Lara and I feel I could eat and eat!  Doesn't happen to me often and I love the feeling of having achieved something physical and we certainly have today!  30k and a close call...  good going for one day, even on my record, but I don't think I am going to be able to move in the morning!!!
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