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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


Hot and Cold in Cabo Frio

November 4th, 2009 by sunflowers

I had heard that there was good diving just north of Rio so I took a bus and headed up to Cabo Frio. Cabo Frio has one of the whitest sand beaches I have seen, cold water and warm people. Thanks to Vitor and his family for letting me stay.

Cabo FrioCabo FrioCabo FrioCabo Frio

Cabo FrioCabo FrioCabo FrioCabo Frio

Posted in Brazil | No Comments »


I Love Rio

November 3rd, 2009 by sunflowers

I would love to live in a city like Rio. There are fresh fruit stalls on every corner. Great beaches, warm weather, bicycle paths, greenery everywhere and friendly people. All London has is the bicycle paths. Guastuav a friend of Bernados wrote out a list of things for me to see and eat on my last day. It was like following a treasure hunt with gems of food and drink. Plus the obese are listed up there with pregnant and old people for seats on buses and on the metro carriages are reserved for women during rush hour.

RioRioRioRio

RioRioRioRio

RioRioRioRio

Posted in Brazil | No Comments »


Christ Redeemer and the Slum

November 2nd, 2009 by sunflowers

The next day I went to two of the places most people connect with Rio. The statue of Christ looking out over the city and the favela which is the name for the slums that are interspersed all through the city. I have read reviews of the favela tours online that they can be controversial but no body seemed to mind a bunch of tourists tramping through their neighborhood and most were really friendly. All the favelas are controlled by various gangs. We were in the biggest in Latin America called Rocinha (pronounced hocinda) and run by the ADA. We did see someone walk by with an AKA 47 but the most dangerous thing was the motorbike ride to the top as my driver was determine to be the first up.

Afterwards I went to the Christ statue with a lovely couple from Alberta who gave me an update on the gas and oil industry in America. Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy so the views weren’t what they could have been.

RioRioRioRio

RioRioRioRio

RioRioRioRio

RioRioRioRio

Posted in Brazil | 1 Comment »


Don't rain on my gay parade

November 1st, 2009 by sunflowers

The next day I went to the gay parade which was more like a carnival as they didn’t have groups of people with matching themes instead it was a bunch of big trucks with loud music and even the rains didn’t dampen the enthusiasm.

RioRioRioRio

Posted in Brazil | No Comments »


Samba School

October 31st, 2009 by sunflowers

On Saturday night I went to the Samba School where they practice for the carnival. I really don’t know how people move their bodies that fast. I two girls trying to teach me and I thought by three in the morning (it didn’t start until 11pm) I might have it but I expect I was just jumping up and down with excitement.

RioRioRioRio

RioRioRioRio

Posted in Brazil | No Comments »


Middle Class Bag Lady

October 29th, 2009 by sunflowers

For those who are planning to attend the Olympics in 2016 you should start saving your pennies now. Rio is expensive. A bed in a 12 bed dorm is $20US and $30US in a 4 bed dorm. The first internet cafe I went to was $6/hr (I have since found $3/hr). So I am couch surfing but my host wasn’t home until after work so I wondered around Rio with all my bags feeling like a bag lady but I was also getting free wireless on Copacabana Beach so I was a middle class one.

Still it was worth it. Bernardo had a lovely flat, a cool flatmate and welcoming friends.

RioRioRioRio

Posted in Brazil | No Comments »


Ripped Off in Rio

October 29th, 2009 by sunflowers

Try not to arrive in a strange city late at night by yourself. I though I was going to get to Rio about 7pm and the bus didn’t arrive until 10pm. On the way my fellow passenger repeated how dangerous Rio was so after walking around the bus station in the pouring rain for 45 minutes looking for a local bus I finally decided to take a taxi. I asked the price and was told 30 Reals. I was really nervous when another guy got in the taxi, particularly as I have had a bad taxi experience in London. Getting to my destination I was happy until he wrote me a receipt for 66R. I handed over the money which he then pocketed and showed me two fives and started yelling I hadn’t paid enough so with my defenses low I handed over another 50 Rs making my 116 R (68US) one of the most expensive twenty minute taxi rides in Rio.

Posted in Brazil | 2 Comments »


Me and The Tank

October 28th, 2009 by sunflowers

I know it is a bit late but I have finally found a name for my bike. I took it for an oil change (free of charge courtesy of Ricardo who has the cleanest bike shop I have ever seen) and he said that he worked for Suzuki for 12 years and that he had never seen a DR650 with any problems and that they were tanks. Which made me realise my bike is a boy and his name is ‘The Tank’. Thanks to Ricardo for naming my bike and baptising it in oil. Richardo’s website is www.targetrace.com.br .

I also got the tyres changed and realised I should have done it in Paraguay were it would have been much cheaper than the $250US I paid for my back tyre.

Posted in Brazil | No Comments »


Londrina, Little London

October 26th, 2009 by sunflowers

Over a year ago someone signed my guestbook from Brazil. At the time I didn’t think that I was going to be in Brazil but seeing as how I am I emailed him. It turns out that Mozart lived halfway between the Falls and Saó Paulo. Which was lucky for me as I had wanted to do the 1100km in one day but I never would have made it. So I spent the night staying with Mozart in Londrina (the name means little London – apparently a lot of english settled the area). We were super healthy going for a walk around the jogging track and an acai drink (which is suppose to be really good for you but I wasn’t too fussed about).

Brazil has been a total culture shock after spending so many months Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The area I rode into looks like Canadian farmland complete with grain silos. Londrina from a distance looked like a highrise city sitting in a field.

LondrinaLondrinaLondrinaLondrina

LondrinaLondrinaLondrinaLondrina

Posted in Brazil | No Comments »


The Lion and the Storm

October 25th, 2009 by sunflowers

I hadn’t been able to leave Matelandia on the Saturday as there was a big storm. Southern Brazil has been getting tornadoes (which is unusual). One had recently been through the town and caused a lot of damage.

Then on Sunday I rode with Alex back to the falls so that she could see the Brazilian side and I went to see Alex (Dutch rider) at the hostel who was still working on his bike. In the evening we went to a Lions club dinner where the women who hosted the meeting raised orchids which are in the blooming season.

MatelandiaMatelandiaMatelandiaMatelandia

MatelandiaMatelandiaMatelandiaMatelandia

Posted in Brazil | No Comments »


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