More of Brazil

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

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Monday, September 22, 2003

Well, Brazil continues to be one of my favourite countries in South America, as Ive visited so many beautiful places in the last couple of weeks.

I did a 3 day trek in the jungle in Lençois to see Brazils highest waterfall. At 380m high it was pretty impressive (see pics!) The walk through the jungle was absolutely stunning and we slept in caves and shat in the woods! Brilliant! And were constantly entertained by our cool guide Chema, a local guy with a japanese symbol tattooed onto his forehead. Chema was constantly stoned, but still managed to clamber over the huge stones and up the muddy trails in his flip flops far easier than I could manage with my old biddy´s knees and constant oohing and aahing as I hauled my fat arse up and over the rocks.

After Lençois I travelled for 45 hours (ouch) down to Parati, a lovely little colonial town south of Rio. I chilled out for a couple of days and meandered round the town before heading back up the coast and out to an amazing island, Ilha Grande.

Actually checking the ferry time instead of just thinking about it would have been the sensible thing to do, but of course I didnt, so just as the bus pulled into the ferry terminal the ferry was making its way across to Ilha Grande, and I was stuck in Angra (not the nicest of places, especially as it was raining). Fortunately I ran into some Israelis who were negotiating for someone to take us over to the island on his private boat, so we were on our way in a matter of minutes.

Arriving onto the island I was greeted by an Australian couple who were having a few beers on their balcony overlooking the dock, so I arranged to come back and join them after I had sorted out a hotel. It turns out they were from Brisbane, so I mentioned that I had a very good friend from Brisbane. And wouldnt you believe it, but they went to school with my friend Donna!

So I spent the next few days hanging out with my 2 new friends and we sunbathed and visited Praia Lopez Mendes together, supposedly one of the worlds Top 100 beaches, which was very nice indeed, and gave me a chance to once again don my teeny weeny bikini and work on the tan (which is coming along very nicely!)

After a week on Ilha Grande I returned to Rio and caught up with my 2 Aussie friends. Watched the sun set over Rio from Sugarloaf mountain (stunning!) and spent a few hours checking out the locals on Copacabana beach (all the while humming Barry Manilow´s Copacabana!). We then decided that we needed to eat, and I was eager to check out a Brazilian churrascaria, so off we went.

Oh my god. I have never eaten so much meat in all my life.
A churruscaria is a restaurant where they have a buffet of salads, veges and potatoes and the like, and about 10 waiters who pass by your table with different cuts of meat on skewers. They stop by your table and offer you meat and you have it sliced right off the skewer onto your plate. Any sane person would realise that its not wise to accept every bit of meat offered to you. However what with me being a greedy pig, I just couldnt say no!
It wasnt long before the meat sweats set in. Brigham took it one step further and got the meat cramps and had to pace the restaurant whilst fighting the urge to puke. And then we rolled out the door and back to the hostel where we all had to lie down in order not to be sick. I swear Im not going to eat meat for a week!

Yesterday we went to a football match at the Maracaná, the famous football stadium in Rio. Unfortunately the visiting team was not particularly good so the attendance was pretty low, so the stadium appeared to be empty. The game was ok, and Flamengo drew 1-1, much to the digust of the rowdy fans, who shouted ´Puuuuunta´(whore!) at every missed opportunity.

Later that night we went to a favela club. The favelas are the dodgy shacks where the poorest people in Rio live. This club was featured in the movie, City of God which came out a few months ago. We were taken to this club in minivans and escorted to a private section where we had bodyguards to keep us safe! The vibe was amazing, and the locals were going crazy! I tell you, Brazilians can move! They grind and shake their asses and apparently there have been a few cases of girls getting pregnant just from dancing..... well of course I had to get me a piece of the action and helped along by a few ridiculously strong caiparinhas decided that I was going to shake my ass with the rest of them in the club downstairs. Well, from what I can remember a good time was had by all, and the hangover is still going strong, despite it being nearly 4pm! Dearie me....

So today is my last day in Rio. Im off to Santiago tomorrow for a day then Im off to Easter Island for 4 days, before heading onto NZ.

Cant wait to get to Easter Island and of course see everyone at home in NZ. Take care all! See you soon!
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