Basking in Brazil and Checking out Chile
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(Please have the Camp Grenada tune in your head)
Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda.
Here we are at Camp Vina.
It is very overrated,
A stress that we had not yet catered
Take me home, oh mudda fadda, take me home
I dislike Chile!
Don't leave me out in Chile where I might get eaten by a stray
Take me home, I promise I will not make noise,
Or mess the house with other toys.
Oh please don’t make me stay,
I’ve been here 4 whole days.
Dearest fadda, darling mudda,
How’s my precious darling siblings?
Let me come home if you miss me,
I would even let you cook some dinner for me
Every morning, we say Hola,
They throw us white bread, to make us fulla
It is very disappointing,
If only we could have some fruit one morning.
This hostel has bad showers,
They scaled us and take for hours.
It stinks of incense everywhere,
And the broken internet makes us tear hair.
They are always doing painting,
And the smell makes us start fainting.
Constructions started in the hallway,
And now the hostel has no doorway
At the hotel where we were to stay,
Lost our booking to our dismay.
We walked for hours around this town,
With our heavy packs to weigh us down.
There’s a street party every night,
Even after we turn out the light.
There are people everywhere,
And pigeons to poop all throughout our hair.
How will we ever escape this place,
All these dramas are a bit hard case
We hope there’s no problem with the bus,
We just want to get to the airport with no fuss.
Let us explain our South American journey:
Having endured the long bus ride in Peru, a delayed flight from Lima which made us leave at 2.30am (We don’t recommend flying with LAN, all of our flights with them have had problems) we were exhausted by the time we arrived in Sao Paulo on Friday morning, straight to the hostel we went for sleep.
We have discovered young Brazilians are not big on common courtesy. Every night that we stayed in Brazil both in Sao Paulo and Rio, they would (yes it was Brazilians, ironically one of them stayed at the hostel for peace and quiet so she could study, as where she lived was too noisy on the weekends. Hmm yet she went out all every night, bizaare) turn the lights on at 1-2 in the morning and talk loudly, sometimes they were returning from their night out, other times they were just leaving
There is not much to say about Sao Paulo, except that it is the third largest city in the world and everyone gets lost often. It really is just a big city, nothing pretty. We did two free walking tours. The first one was okay, a little strange and the tour guides English was hard to interpret at times. We were shown into museums, strange art galleries and pointed out random things such as a giant stamp collection, a bank, taken into McDonalds (Brazilians love McDonalds there is one on every street corner, and they have just the ice-cream stores everywhere, one mall had a McDonalds ice-cream booth on every level!). They seemed a little concerned that Alex wasn’t taking enough photos, so reassured her it was safe. Suffice to say Liz has a total of 7 photos from Sao Paulo. The following day we went back for more (purely because we had nothing else to do). This time unfortunately they weren’t offering one in English, however they had a young girl tagging along who spoke even less English than the previous lady. We lasted a good hour before we were sick of standing around listening to the guide speak in Portuguese with the young girl unable to interpret much. Ie: "The guide is telling them about why the Japanese came to Brazil." That was it. The only reason we lasted so long is because the girl said to Alex “I hope you have your camera ready as you are going to see some beautiful things today.” And we did think the Japanese area would be cool. We did go inside a museum which had some English signs so that wasn’t so bad, but it really was just a lot of concrete we were seeing.
On Monday, we caught a bus to Rio. It was a very pretty drive, we were glad to be out of the concrete jungle and into the Rio jungle
Friday, we flew to Iguassu where we visited the Iguassu falls. They are truly breath-taking, no waterfalls will ever compare after seeing these, you just want to sit there all day staring at them as there are so many and are so spectacular, our photos do not do them justice
Monday morning, we were up at 4.30am to catch our 6am flight to Sao Paulo zzz. At Sao Paulo airport we made sure we stuck together at passport control and acted very innocent and nonchalant, no problem with our passport mam J. Turns out we needn’t have bothered. They didn’t seem to care that we had no entry stamp, no mention was made and we were just given another exit stamp. Our flight was due to depart at 1pm but it was delayed in boarding (no surprises here, jolly LAN), we just hoped that they would feed us straightaway as we of course had not eaten lunch. After sitting on the plane for 40mins we were asked to disembark, oh oh. They told us they would reboard us by about 4.30. When 3 o’clock rolled around they announced we would get food vouchers woohoo, we were so starving! (We had spent all our Brazilian money) but when 4.30 arrived there was still no word. At 5 they announced the flight was cancelled and we would be put up in a hotel. There were many disgruntled passengers but we gave each other a giant high 5, how stoked were we to stay in a nice hotel rather than a rubbish hostel! They had a free buffet dinner and breakfast, we were still full at breakfast from the previous night’s dinner so weren’t able to enjoy it as much as we would have liked to ;-). The unfortunate thing was we were up at 5am (woohoo a 1 hour sleep in from the previous day) as we had to be at the airport by 7am to book on to our new flight. At the airport we were given a US $200 voucher as compensation, goodness we thought the hotel and yummy food was compensation enough, how stoked were we! When we got to immigration (again without an entrance stamp) we thought it would be no problem so went to different booths. However, this time it was a problem. We were pleased we were able to blame it on the airline and eventually they let us through to the gate
Alex had made friends with two Chilean men at Security who happened to live in Vina del Mar, the little beach town where we would spend our last week of travels, and they offered us a ride, sweet deal, so that was very pleasant to ride in a plush air conditioned car rather than an old bus. We arrived at our hostel and spent the next couple of days recovering from lack of sleep and time zone changes (we’ve had 7 in the last 3 weeks), we checked out the inner township of Vina, went to the markets and found delicious shawarma, we were excited.
On Friday we were super excited as we had booked ourselves into a niceish hotel for our final 2 nights. We checked out of the hostel at midday and walked 4 blocks to our new hotel, only to discover they didn’t have our booking, despite us having the booking confirmation email. No one there spoke English and it was very difficult trying to work out what was happening. After 30mins they got an English speaking man on the phone and turned out the hotel had no spare rooms, this man was from a sister hotel and said they had a room for us which they would give at the same price and he would send a car for us. Thus after an hour in this first hotel we moved 4 more blocks to this next hotel. When we arrived we were told, actually they don’t have a room for us but they could take us to another hotel about 6 blocks away, next to a casino, we told them this was not a draw point for us. By this time we were very frustrated and did a quick google search of where they were sending us and all it had was awful reviews
Here is a summary of our main complaints about this hostel (for a more comprehensive list please email) - when having a shower you must run the tap for 5mins before hoping in, the water is cold, then goes scalding hot, then frozen cold again before heating up, and at this stage can you then adjust the temperature to where you want, but if you go too far, you have to turn all the taps off and try again. It reminded us of the Katy Perry song –You’re hot than you’re cold. In one of the bathrooms the entire tap just falls off every time you move it. They also love incense. The washing machine is right next to our room and sounds like an angry elephant with a hive full of bees in its trunk. We are also on the main street of town, where on Friday night they set up a stage and basically the party has not stopped, we joined it for a little bit, but it’s really not that great
Saturday however, was a beautiful day and after our failed effort of having Friday as a beach day, this was it. We toddled off to the beach along with many others it seemed. It was such a nice time relaxing in the sun after our crazy day yesterday. The water however was like swimming in Lake Wakitipu but with giant waves that would knock you off your feet -But quite refreshing from the hot sun.
Wait a minute, now we’re swimming
Happy bathing, now we’re winning,
Eating ice-cream gee that’s better
Mother father kindly disregard this letter
That’s it for the blog folks. We fly out at 11.35 Sunday night and arrive home 4.30am Tuesday morning. Please form an orderly line outside Auckland airport international arrivals to greet us, ensure your balloons will not inhibit other planes from departing and keep signs within the city council regulations. We are excited about the Queen Street welcome home parade that you have planned for us.
See some of you on Tuesday woop woop woop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!