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Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Thursday, March 24, 2005

We have made our way a few hours south to the small town of Bonito. A booming ecotourism destination in Brazil, with several caves, waterfalls and rivers with incredibly clear water, where you can float downstream for hours watching all sorts of exotic fish. Bonito, another place I have wanted to visit for quite some time. So I had to come here, as I don't want to miss too many of those must visit places of mine. So far on the trip I have done quite well, but due to timing and other circumstances, there's a few places I have wanted to go that I haven't made it to. For instance, Cuba, San Blas in Panama, Medellin in Colombia, the Colombian islands of San Andrés and Providencia, Merida, Los Llanos and Los Roques, all in Venezuela, the Rupununi Savanna, Kanuku Mountains and Kaieteur Falls, all in Guyana, more or less the whole coast of Brazil from Belem to Florianopolis, to name the big ones. I guess I'll never run out of places to go on future trips.

I am still struggling a bit with a bad stomach, so we have a few quiet days in Bonito. I've been more or less fine on the whole trip, so it is typical that it should happen when a friend is visiting. We stay at a nice and friendly backpacker hostel on the outskirts of town. Mostly playing cards or just chatting. We meet Aske and Toke, two funny and friendly 20 year old Danish guys on a four month trip around Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. To be only 20, they are both extremely open minded and seem to have quite a bit of life experience already. I try to compare them to myself, when I was 20, and realize how little I probably knew in comparison. South America, where is that? I didn't know what to study, and was mostly occupied with parties or saving money for a yearly 14 days piss-up in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. Sounds familiar? Well, it was all fun back then (eh, looks like it still is).

We miss out on the caves and waterfalls (next stop is Iguazu Falls, and what can really match it except maybe Victoria Falls?) However we manage to do a day trip to Aquario Natural Baia Bonito, and it is truly impressive (although there's supposed to be even better rivers in the area). I have never seen such visibility under water, it's an incredible place for snorkeling.

My head is empty and I am low on ideas. Hopefully I have some more interesting stuff for you guys in the next entry. At the moment you will have to live with all this random stuff instead.

Quiz! Where, in 2005, can you park your bicycle without first locking it? The answer my friend is Bonito, Brazil. I didn't think such a place still existed, even in my tiny hometown, the bike would be gone in minutes. At least we didn't have any problems with our rental bikes.

Quiz (someone asked me)! How many kilos have you lost so far on the trip? Actually I just weighed myself in a shop here in Bonito, and that you typically loose weight on a RTW (Round The World) trip is not just a myth. It stopped on 74 kilos (I used to weigh 82 kilos), but then I have been a bit sick the last few days. So if you are looking for a diet that works, come and join me down here.

Quiz (someone asked me)! What does the "Surfing Hippos" in the title of your blog refer to? I once watched a program called Megatransect on National Geographic. It follows Mike Fay's incredible journey, where he and his team walked for 456 days in order to survey wildlife in the jungle of Congo and Gabon in central Africa. The journey ended on the coast of Gabon in the "Land of the Surfing Hippos", an incredible sight. Watching the program, I once again learned that there's some amazing places out there, and they are all within your reach if you just get out of that previously mentioned "rusty armchair". So just go for it, when it's something you really want to do and you are lucky enough to have the opportunity.
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