Rock climbing with monkeys!

Trip Start Dec 27, 2009
Trip End Apr 24, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Espirito Santo,
Monday, January 18, 2010

We are still hanging out in Vitoria with Claudia but we did go to Vila Velha yesterday. Vila Velha is the next town over where they have nicer beaches than here in Vitoria. We went on a hike with Claudias husband, Ricardo, during the hottest part of the day (it was stupid, I have no idea why we did it). He told us it would a be a short hike to get a good view a Vila Velha. What he did NOT tell us was that we would literally be climbing up the face of the mountain to get to the top. It was the closest I have ever come to serious rock climbing in my life. It reminded me of the climbing wall at camp except WITHOUT all of the harnesses and safety devices. It actually ended up being pretty fun..and challenging. At first I thought, no way am I going to be able to do this...but then it wasn't so bad once I tried. The reason I am posting this entry is because we saw MONKEYS!! They are like squirrels for us in the US. There were so many monkeys on the hike, it was amazing. We took some good pictures and videos that I wanted you all to see.

Other than the hike and the beach, we have been taking it pretty slow here. Our plan as of now is to go to Rio on Wednesday. We are staying in a hostel (in a 12 bed dorm) for one night then relocating to an apartment nearby. We found an American woman on craigslist who owns 2 apartments right next to each other 1 block from Ipanema beach. She lives in one and rents out the other. She charges $75.00 a night for a full apartment with everything included. It was actually cheaper for us to stay there than in a hostel (it is high season right now...everyone is on vacation here so prices are high and hostels are packed). We plan to stay in Rio until Monday then we are heading to Ouro Preto (in the state of Minas Gerais). After Ouro Preto we will go to nearby Belo Horizonte then back to Sao Paulo. After spending a weekend in Sao Paulo, I am hoping that we make it to this Eco Ashram about 4 hours outside of Sao Paulo to volunteer and do yoga for a few days. We have also decided to spend Carnaval in Votuporanga...pretty much the go to spot for people who live in the state of Sao Paulo. It should be a lot of fun. After carnaval we will spend some more time with my host family and slowly make our way to Argentina. I have never been to the south of Brazil so it should be nice to explore a new part of the country. And of course we will be stopping at Iguazu Falls.

So that's the plan. It will probably change because I hate plans but Eli is happy now that we have some kind of structure for the next few weeks. We miss you I will post some monkey pictures. Tchau for now!
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