THE MASSIVE UPDATE
Trip Start Aug 09, 2006
53Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Aug 9 to 18 - Wow! That's about all there is to say when you first get here. Got in after the NYC-Panama City-São Paulo marathon, and promptly got hauled off to the bar. Didn't take long for me to like Brasil. My time in São Paulo was awesome, and I was pretty much spoiled the whole time because of the Dunns. The wedding is probably the most amazing wedding I'll ever go to. I think around 40 Americans and 450 Brasilians. Wish I had that picture of Ken and the green hair. And I had heard that the parties go late in Brasil, but man...
Didn't have any Brasil plans other than the wedding, so my schedule was wide open
Aug 18 to September 6 - Arrived in Alta Floresta, refueling once in Rodonòpolis. 5 hours total. Over next two weeks, lived on a fazenda in Parà and one south of Nova Monte Verde in Matto Grosso. My intro to those tiny little bridges that are all over the countryside. Much different than the farms I was used to back in Michigan. Kinda fun corraling the cattle - had a few really close calls, those horns are no joke. Got to try TONS of new food and drink. I could write an entire entry just on the new foods and drinks I've tried. Fruit trees are everywhere so the juice is always good
September 6 to 15- Back in Prudente. Wanted to go to the Pantanal soon, but Independence Day is the 7th, so stuck around for that. And thats about how things went for awhile: ready for next adventure, but there was always a reason to stay. Again, I got spoiled, this time by the Coimbra family. Have 3 daughters and a son who were always taking me around, introducing me to new things, people, and places. Very sweet. Delu took it as his responsibility to show me all the different beers, Vitòria whopped everybody in barrel racing at the rodeo, Fernanda trying to convince me to wear some jewelry (wait until the Pantanal!), and Ruy being my partner in crime, as we both had nothing to do! And again, the party theme reigned supreme. After a particularly big one, I was very sick for 2 days straight (I never get sick) but folks gave me medicine and advice.
September 15 to 20 - OK
September 20 to 24 - 5hr bus to Bonito, home of the clearest water around. Snorkeling, Fear Factor style high tree suspension bridges, gorgeous caves, first mototaxi, and jacarè for dinner! Nice little town, safe, pretty touristy. The HI hostel was like a resort. Traveled over here with the same people from my group in the Pantanal: Rachel, Rachel, and Anne. Decided on going to Chapada dos Veadeiros next, in Goiàs. Meant a bus to Campo Grande, another to Brasìlia, another to Alto Paraìso, and another to São Jorge. But I don't mind the overnight bus rides because it saves money on a night in bed - and the buses are really nice. Stayed a night in Brasìlia, saw a little bit of the town, and I don't dislike it as much as everybody else seems to. You hear a lot about how much it sucks.
September 25 to 30 - Arrived in São Jorge. Took a tour of the waterfalls and the canyons, and the canyon tour is better, mostly because it has waterfalls as well. The waterfalls are so rad because you can swim around, play, jump off of ledges, etc...Just amazing. Had one of those reflective moments where I thought "I am in the middle of nowhere. In paradise. While everybody I know is on the other side of the planet at work." Love this little town and the park is just gorgeous