Trip Start Apr 03, 2003
Trip End Oct 01, 2003

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Friday, September 5, 2003

My oh my, where do I start??!!
Well, Im in Brazil right now, and as its been a while since I last updated this travelogue Ive been up to all sorts of mischief!

From Argentina we travelled up to the Iguacu Falls, which were absolutely incredible. So much water and absolutely stunning scenery. We spent a whole day checking them out from the Argentinian side (including taking a boat trip that practically took us right under one of the falls, resulting in us getting completely soaked!) and then made our way north, up through the border to Rio de Janeiro.

What can I say about Rio? Its amazing! I was literally on the edge of my seat (not easy after a 22 hour bus ride, let me tell you) as we made our way into Rio as I couldnt wait to see the big Christ the Redeemer statue on top of Corcavado, which is probably the strongest image I had of anything South American before I actually got there. (Other than Miss Venezuela ALWAYS being the best looking girl with the best costume in the Miss Universe competitions from when I was little!). Anyway, it didnt disappoint me and was just as spectacular when we made our way up the mountain to the base of the statue to overlook the rest of Rio. We also spent the day at Ipanema beach (humming The Girl from Ipanema in my head ALL DAY, which was quite annoying) and checked out all the big bootied girls in their thongs. Which was great because they really do love big arses over here! even the mannequins have these huuuge booties! So as you can imagine Im fitting in rather well, and have even purchased 2 new teensy weensy bikinis so I fit in with the rest of the crowd. Clearly these bikinis will never see the light of day outside of Brazil, but for now theyre great!

We also went out partying in the Lapa district on our first night there, but after consuming only 2 caiparinhas (each made with about 1/4 of a bottle of cachaša!) and feeling the effects of our 22 hour bus trip, had an early night (but dont worry, those of you that are thinking that this doesnt sound like me, Im going back there at then end of Sept and will get my fair share of partying in!!) Unfortunately it rained after a couple of days, so I jumped on a 25 hour bus up to Salvador....

Salvador is quite different to Rio in that the population is mainly of African descent, so there is an amazing vibe up there, with partying in the streets and a much more laid back feeling. There are also people doing capoueira (the Brazilian fighting dance) everywhere which is amazing, not only because its an amazingly graceful thing to watch, but the guys doing it are absolutely beautiful!!!! We also went to a Candomble ceremony, which is the religion many people follow up there. It involved a lot of women dressed in huge hooped white dresses dancing around in a circle in a small room to a constant drumming, and after a while many of them fell into a trance, which was quite disconcerting especially as one of them fell over right at my feet, shaking and screaming and generally looking quite scary. Oh, and this was the day after a crazy women had bitten me in the street after a night out, so my nerves werent exactly ok (I found myself being lunged at by a crazy lady in the street, after I had applauded her for mooning some girls. She took offence and came at me screaming and thrashing her arms at me and then bit my arm, really, really hard. Its a week later and its still bruised and scabby!).

After Salvador me and a couple of Israeli friends got a ferry out to Morro de Sao Paulo, a beautiful island off the coast. The weather was appalling on the day we left and pretty much everyone on the ferry puked, except for me who managed to somehow sleep through the whole thing! After one day of rain the weather came right and we spent 3 days sunbathing on the gorgeous beaches and swimming in the sea. Caiparinhas were consumed with great regularity and we spent many an hour checking out the foxy capoueira boys practicing on the beach....

And now Im in Lencois, further inland where there is amazing hiking and lots of beautiful waterfalls. I will probably head off in the next day or so on a 3 day trek where you camp in caves each night and get to slide down giant natural waterslides, cool!

Less than one month to go in South America now, and Im really looking forward to getting to NZ and Australia. Missing you all, email me with your news!!!
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