March 26 2020

FINALLY SWEET SWEET SOUTH AMERICA

The beginning




What is going on inside of me I ask myself while having my first flight in this new adventure. Oh, the adventure started even before the trip (what was going on before is shortly captured here:https://www.worldnomads.com/create/scholarships/writing/2020/applications/freedom-3). My mind was playing with different thoughts. One of it was being a bit sad about  me following my dreams - I was wondering why can't I live a "normal" life. Having a steady job for a long time - even if it is a job I don't like - besides giving us money to survive it can give us many things: stability, safety, trust, connections and also predictability. The latter is more immaginary as we never know what will happen. Enything can happen and change in a second. What then? Can we improvise?


Travelling have taught me to improvise more. To be more flexible. To accept easier. To surrender more often.


Just the very beginning of my journey made me see I can surrender more. I took a bus to the airport - first time with a bus to the airport. My parents took the same bus a few weeks ago to catch the same flight and it wasn't a problem. I had enough time, the ride was during the night so not much traffic. I didn't even think about possible complications at the border. Usually there is no control there. Yet, this night it was. First they took all of our passports and we waited. They checked two guys. Another guy didn't have his passport as he was working in an army. I don't know what was the problem but waiting that hour  for the bus to continue was very challenging. First I panicked. I saw already a picture of me missing my flight and spending a fortune on a new one on the spot. What should a do? Should I go back home or find the ticket from there? I was a bit angry with myself that I didn't choose a different option to the airport. I know better. I have travelled so much and this happens to me? And then after a while I stopped panicking. I knew there was not much I could do to change the flow of what was happening, so I decided to trust. I changed my thoughts. I trusted that we continue soon. That I make it on time to catch the airplane. I knew deep inside that this was the day I will arrive on time on my destination to meet my nephew. I just knew. Actually after I switched to more kinder thoughts the rest of the driving was totally fluid. I actually had to wait quite some time for my flight in the end - so all of my worries were completely unuseful :). 


Arriving at the airport another disturbance avaited me. On my plane ticket my surname was spelled twice. I noticed it a few weeks before my flight and wrote them to change it and got no reply. I trusted before that every thing will be ok, until a lady in front of me was denied checking - because of some mispelled letter on her ticket. Oh oh....It was my turn. She noticed the wrong name - I explained and it was ok.Wow! Due to a full flight I even took my luggage in hold although I paid only hand luggage! I was greatful for this...at the beginning.

The lesson about trust was well worth the heaviness and the pressure the stress did to my body. I did strugle some - not for long though:)!!


At my destination  I was in vain waiting for my brand new amazing backpack with all my essentials for a few months to arrive. At this point the backpack was my home. I had there everything (and a bit more) that I needed for following my heart. It helped a lot when I realised that it stayed in Madrid and would be brought the next day to my brother's place 😄!

The preparation - La Palma, Canary islands



Meeting my nephew was the top think that happened here. I saw him first at the airport, very much tired after the very long journey. I still needed time to land here... after a loooong night's sleep I finally landed into the home of my brother Žare and his lovely wife Tumi. The view of the home they rent is breathtaking. Although 1000 metres above sea level when you look at it it seams very close. Above and all around us were magnificent pine trees, that made my lungs feel very happy and fresh. Just all of this would have made my trip wonderful but the 🍒 on top is Sky. When I came he was 2 months and 10 days old. I was worried at first how to hold him as he seemed so fragile. Taking him in my arms was so overwhelming and as days gone by we felt more and more comfortable, mi amigo y yo :). He felt very peaceful when I sang Quattros vientos to him, the song I had learned a little over a year ago on this same island. He smiled to me the first day and I loved watching him, with his eyes wide opened, looking at me whil riding the car and holding my finger very tight. I adored his smell and his hair is so cute. Seeing him with "the look" he made just before starting to cry. Oh what a precious little guy. Pequeño. As I knew they don't want me to bring new stuff to him I made him a special gift - I made a blanket out of the bed cover for the blanket my brother and I used when we were little. With blue hearts and yellow elephants. It was a special gift!

I was also very happy to spend this time with my brother and his wife, not just the little one. They really created some special place, home, for themselves, it was beautiful to be apart of it for a short time! We had nice talks and great food there, I got to see how they live and be a part of their hunt for the land which I am certain they will get soon!


           NATURE


I had already realised on my previous trip to La Palma, where I participated in a fulfilling Contact improvisation festival, that this island is all about the nature. From the hills, covered in giant pine trees, that change into bushes, and later stones while walking all the way to the top of it - La Roque de los Muchachos. It doesn't seem 2.426 metres tall. The path took me from the house all the way to the top, in about a 4,5 hours of pleasant walk with stops. I was a bit tired coming back, still after the well slept night I decided I want to walk also to the seaside, Tazacorte. I took me less that 4 hour walk, enjoying not having to hurry. So yeah, I went from the top of La Palma to the sea, a great voyage!


When I came the weather was cool but it soon changed to very hot weather with a strong sun. I enjoyed going to the beach on my birthday, jumping into the fresh sea, swimming in the sea for the first time on my birthday! I did realise though that at that point I was still a bit insure of my path. Not ready yet to go on an adventure into a new continent....


After a lot of rest (for the first week I slept 10-12 hours each day), a lot of fresh air and walking in the woods, and living in a very loving and supportive surrounding I felt definitely ready to go to this unknown adventure. Well now it got a bit more known as I finally had time to make my plans, at least for the first two months - approximate of course. While I don't want to schedule too much to be able to go where the wind blows and go more with the flow, I realised that some ideas where I am headed made me more prepared, more ready, feeling more safe. Indeed it was a good idea to plan as South America is a giant continent and it involved more plane rides than usual. That means more planing as the prices usually grow close to the day of the departure. It was just 3 days before departing to La Palma that I booked my ticket to the new continent and I felt more at peace after. Now I have 7 plane tickets in Brasil and one in Argentina to Patagonia, so my plan in more fixed yet still much available for random ideas. 

Oh yeah, South America, yo esta lista🤗!

But before getting there I had another short pit stop.

Pit stop - Lisbon, Portugal


         COUCHSURFING (CS)

I chose CS this time and after sending many requests I met Carlos, a nice guy with excellent English and sharing advice what to see in Lisbon. A sociologist, always reserching humans. I have used only once before CS and was very happy I chose to use it here also!

Lisbon is actually a nice city. As I was more passing through I needed more time to find it special and soon it did feel like it. Lots of cute streets, narrow and steep, heading in all directions. The trams give the city a special touch. And the different viewpoints make it easy to get the idea of the whole city. I liked it!! 

 The next day I visited a nice little coast town Cascais and also Sintra. Wow, the latter is amazing - it is like a fairytail village with lots of castles and paths that lead through them feel like the enchanted forest...in felt really refreshing and especially energetic to walk through them! My feet were quite tired though from walking much - yet well worth it. I loved to observe how they make so many things from cork...I even bought a purse for the road - which sounds more practical than it is in reality. I packed quite well this time and looking back this purchase was very nice yet a bit unnecessary.

I ate in a great place InkFarmFood where they serve a-m-a-z-i-n-g falafels!!

Yet my time and my heart was already in a different place, across the ocean, on a land much unknown to myself.

HOLA, Sao Paolo


As I am writing these words I had already left this enormous country behind. I am staying in Argentina, Patagonia, a land where people are so drawn to. Yet for the past 3 days I have been doing not much. Resting, sleeping, eating, watching the view from my hostel - the blue lake, changing colours depending on the weather. It has been a well needed break though. Brasil has been very generous to me yet I came to another country very tired. Full, open hearted but tired. With a cold and a blister. It is as usual when I don't listen to my body calling for more slowliness and ease. The body takes what it wants!!

I am happy though. I have the time to look back. To do the impossible - try to write about a month of experience down. To capture the point. 

I was scared a bit before coming to Brasil. Such a giant country. Full of danger. It happens that you go outside and you get a gun put on your head. You can get robbed easily. You should be always careful. You shouldn't go out at night in some cities. These and more I read before going and also heard more times while travelling. 

Yet to me the real Brasil is different. You shouldn't be afraid. For sure it is a country you should be very present. But that actually is not a bad thing, as this means you experience, feel and live much more than when you are just juggling from one point to another, to see another place you planned on seeing. 

So yeah the real Brasil, felt from my side, was warm, opened, colourful, moving, dancing, singing and much more. It changes a lot, depending where you are and also what are you carrying in your heart at this time. To me it opened my 💓. Meaning exactly what is written. I felt my heart opened. I felt present. I felt alive. Not that I was worried about getting killed :);). Alive in a sense that my body had different sensations which were very strong. My feelings were experiencing all sorts of variety. I did try to observe them as much as possible and not get too attached to them. From feeling complete peace all over my body, to experiencing lots of emotions I usually don't like so much. Including anxiety and impatience. When I had the power to just observe this it was nice. To allow myself to feel how I feel and to try to see what is behind it. Am I tired? Am I trying too much? Am I lonely? 

Yeah for sure travelling is a special experience. It can be overwhelming sometimes. It can be too much to handle at times. Yet also these moments pass and soon I feel why I am doing all this. It just feels right. I can't imagine myself nowhere else.


As Brasil is so big and beforehand I decided to spend one month here, I needed to make choices what I want to experience.

The first city I visited was SAO PAOLO. The reason behind it was to visit Mariana, a girl I had met on my travels in China 4 years ago. It was easier for me because I was at that point still a bit frightened of this dangerous country and it was reassuring to know someone there.

It was actually nice to have someone around, to make sure everything is nice, to give you a lot of information and opens her home to you. I felt supported and safe. The next day I arrived we got to go to the seaside, to a cute beach house Mariana rents. I was still a bit tired from the change of the continent but the place was so amazing. Little wooden house in the middle of the jungle, just a few steps from the sea. We had great company, two Mariana's friends, a kid and a dog. It was so nice spending time with them, enjoying getting new information about this country I had just began to explore. Heard also a lot of warnings. Mostly connected to the carnaval - in a week it was starting! It wasn't my plan to see much but if I was already there, let's experience some, right? They were a bit worried. That I will be owerwhelmed. And you know, the worries can be quite contagious:)!

We danced some samba and had plenty of laughs:). It was much fun. It was so nice to rest on the beach and just not do much. We enjoyed great food and the weather was good to us. One day we even took the boat to the island. It was a bit funny how here everything was safe as Brasil is so dangerous. 

The second day it started to rain and it rained through the night. We came back to Sao Paolo in the morning to realise parts of it were flooded, it had rained there so much! I didn't see it but life stopped for a bit. I rested more. 

I stayed there 4 days and enjoyed exploring the city - I actually liked it. The big city, a lot of things to do and see and also a lot of green spots. I was lucky to hang out with the natives to hear a lot of the political situation in Brasil which is horrible. Bolsonaro, the president, is really not helping to resolve the giant differences between rich and the poor. If you come from a poor family, it is hard to get good education and good health assistance. Yeah, such a wealthy country with so many people living in bad conditions and not having much chance to change this. No wonder the crime rate here is so high. 

I believe I have seen much people living in poor conditions, especially in Nepal. Yet here it is a bit different, because the difference between the rich and the poor is so enourmous. There is enough of everything just not distributed well. And that I guess make people unsatisfied and turning so much into crime.

I was lucky that Fabian, another friend I had met before, took time to show me around Paulista avenue and also had some drinks where I tried my first Brasilian capirinha and cachaça, the liquor used in it. I really liked both, although very strong:)!! I took my first free walking tour and actually enjoyed it as I found out a lot of things and our group wasn't big - I don't like usually big tourists groups but hey, I am also one and sometimes it is ok to try.

I liked exploring Vila Madalena and all the street art. I enjoyed a great shop - Instituto Chao, where the price gives is the price they buy things and you add to that amount how much you want! It is recommended at least 30 % but for those that cannot afford it is ok to pay less. Or to pay more, you decide. So nice. In the evening I went to the view point - most of the time in Sao Paolo I felt safe but coming here I was worried a bit not to get drift into a favela and not to get robbed. I was careful and a bit cautious and went down before the sunset:)! It felt quite good to be exploring the city inspite of some fear that was there. I really enjoyed Sao Paolo, spending some time with nice people and having some rest. After a week it was time to explore another city, the famous Rio de Janeiro!

RIO DE JANEIRO

 

I think that just the last day when I was visiting Corcovado, the mountain with the famous Christ the redeemer statue, I realised the magnificence of the city. All parts connected.

When I arrived at the bus station I was a bit confused. It was completely different than Sao Paolo, which I was told beforehand multiple times, but my first impression was that it is not very safe. Luckily these was mostly first impression. I needed to accept the difference and after feeling good at my Airbnb ( it was a room next to a college for girls :)), I realised it is a very interesting city. It was so funny how in this city we just left our keys in a box where anyone could have access too - again the strange feeling of doing that in a supposedly such a dangerous city.

I didn't meet much people here, as at my place was mostly Brasilian women staying, and we didn't have much contact. I did wish for a bit more company there though. After finding a nearby market full of great papayas and other mamaos  (papaya is just a kind of mamao, I had just learned:)), mangoes, pineapples and coconuts I was happy. I didn't need much more.

After realising it is very easy to rent a public bike here and it was easier to explore the city this way. I enjoyed eating acai and as it was precarneval time just stumbling into some blocco with live music and people dancing. It was much fun to see it! I headed down to Copacabana and Ipanema beach and loved the scenery around, although crowded with people. One evening after having Capirinha at the sunset I against all advises just had to swim in the water although it was night. It felt safe there, there were a lot of police and I took all of my valubles with me in a waterproof bag to swim :)! It is a bit challenging if you are alone here to swim, because you can get so easily your stuff stolen. Still under the influence of Capirinha I strolled allong a market and surely this had to result in me buying a nice long dress! Travelling only hand luggage makes me pack only essentials and a dress was surely not a part of it. Yet later it was so much useful and to be honest, after wearing sportive, wide pants it sometimes feels great to turn on more of the feminine!!! And especially in Brasil, as here women are quite showing their attributes - as I mostly travelled in Asia it was more appropriate there to cover my feminine, it felt also safer. Here it was the opposite. Here you don't get attention no matter how you are wearing, it is quite nice :)!!

I was staying in Botafogo, where you always see the amazing Sugarloaf mountain! Wow it is so magnificent...rising from the sea, every day different. I decided to climb a nearby hill Urca to see it up close. Since I just got my period I felt so exhausted. This walk was nice and pretty easy yet for me in that condition it was so challenging. On the top I stayed 2 hours, for the first one I was just trying to get back some of my strength. It was time to take it slow, I had the perfect view anyway. I wanted to go in the evening to see samba dancing but just was too tired. Didn't want to do too much. Accepted my limits.

Refeitorio organico was a place a had an amazing vegan buffet. Wow, so much choices and such good food, I stayed there quite a while and inspite of eating too much I felt good later! I shall come back here, one day :)!

Oh and here is where I started to love tapioca, a street food, like a pancake made from mandioca starch, filled with whatever you want.... delicious!

So to get back to my last day, coming in the morning to Corcovado with  the first train was a great idea as at this time it wasn't full of people yet. Climbing up the stairs, arriving behind the statue of the Christ I was feeling special energy. It is a giant, magnificant statue and the view from there is just speechless. I could see all the places I had been to and everything in between. I saw the guy there cutting grass - that must be the perfect job, right:)? I really enjoyed it there and was just heading down when the place got crazy crowded. I had to pick up my sunglasses in which I needed to change the glasses because my eyesight became better. After checking all of the optics I finally found a nice guy who did it fast and not expensive, so I was very satisfied. It was interesting though visiting about 10 optics who speak only portuguese to explain them what I needed, it was fun :).

So there I was, ready to take my flight to a new destination, Salvador. I decided to take metro and a bus to the airport as it seemed so easy and of course cheap. Half way I thought I would miss my plane. It should work out but to catch the bus I needed to buy a card and I might have been waiting at the wrong place for a while ( my MO in Brasil, as I will explain later:)) because the bus just wouldn't come. I did manage to arrive just an hour before my flight, at a giant airport of Rio de Janeiro. I usually have more buffer time to feel calmer, catching the flight still makes me a bit nervous. As is was a domestic flight I had enough time to get to the gate only to realise my flight had a big delay. After waiting for a while we boarded the plane and already started to move, when we needed to disembark. I was pretty peaceful though, I guess I needed some time off. I just wasn't thrilled that I would be missing exploring Salvador. And actually I didn't miss exploring it, but did miss another thing though - keep on reading and you will find out :)!

I so enjoyed taking off, it was just past sunset and the view of Rio, although from far away, was spectacular!

The juicy Bahia

       SALVADOR 


Oh, such an alive, full city! I arrived very late and felt a bit better that I had company walking to my place in Pelourinho. After reading so much about the dangerous city I was a bit cautious. My next plan was getting to Chapada Diamantina the next day, so I booked the early bus. At the hostel they called me an uber for the morning so that I don't miss my bus. I went out a bit as there was a lot happening outside and with police everywhere it felt safe. I found one really nice concert where people were dancing so much. As I was staying in Bahia, a part of Brasil that has still the most effects from the brutal slave industry from the past, this part is much alive, dancing and has more people living here with african roots. That results is diversity and such amazing rythms! And the beat of the drums! I loved it. First seeing how they can move I was shy and didn't dare to dance but soon my but just started to move and I enjoyed dancing so much!!

In the morning it felt good having a ride to the bus station. The girl at the hotel said I have enough time but didn't give me more directions, which would have been much needed. I arrived there 15 minutes before and had en electronic ticket which stated terminal A1,2. As I was aproaching I saw this terminal. I asked someone there if I was waiting right and they confirmed. I realised that I needed to change my e-ticket to a paper one and at the last minute did it. The girl although being friendly didn't tell me where to go, just that it was terminal A1. So I returned to terminal A1,2. After waiting for a while with only local busses coming I got worried. This is hard when traveling alone - I didn't want to go back and ask as I could miss my bus. After 40 minutes (I know, now it sounds stupid but in Brasil everything is late..except busses I guess:))...some girls told me I have to wait somewhere else. I went back to the company and realised the bus already left. I was upset. They have terminals with the same numbers?!? One for long distance? I was angry. The next bus was at 1 pm. That meant that I would arrive very late at my destination and was worried a bit how to get there. Luckily I paid only few eur more to change my ticket and soon realised I have a choice. I can be upset. Or I can enjoy this amazing city which I didn't have time to explore. Luckily I chose later. I left my luggage and just went exploring and ended up in a great market!! Oh it was so amazing, I loved it!! And after I went to Pelourinho which was nice to explore - some precarneval things were just happening and it was nice to see the aliveness. 

I was actually very happy to have missed my first bus and am very satisfied how quickly I changed my energy! And on the bus I got the tickets upstairs upfront which meant that 8 hours on the bus went by pretty fast, and also because I had I great companion, Maria from Hungary who has been living here for some time. Aaaaaand I met a cute guy on the bus. When we first met in Salvador he gave me a big smile and later he sat next to me after Maria left the bus. But it was waiting for our luggage that we connected. It was just something really nice about our talk and I felt very good around him. We were both heading to Vale do Capao, me exploring this new surrouding, and him visiting his family. I was looking forward to maybe seeing him later in the village.

             CHAPADA DIAMANTINA

I stayed in a small hipi village in Vale do Capao,which is very safe. It felt very weird walking here around 11 pm, alone, in the darkness, trying to find my hostel. I did know I was safe though. My hostel was a bit outside and it was so amazing to observe all the stars above...with so little light pollution it felt like the sky is one fire. And so many fireflies! I felt immediately at homeat Hostel Pajee Gaudee. A small, special place with a lovely lady in charge, Carol, who prepared nice breakfast with home made bread and spreads. At the beginning there were english speaking guest also but later they changed for Brasilians who didn't speak much English which I missed. I was ready to make some contacts, especially as Rio was more lonesome. 

I loved the market in the village, such good, quality food with great prices!! Oh I could stay in this place longer, I realised. Yet my plans was to stay 3 nights as I was soon flying north. That is what I missed in Brasil - as it is so big I needed to book some flights in advance, and that made me be less flexible. Looking back I do wish I would have stayed there a bit longer. It is nice to spend at least 4 nights in one place, just to feel more the space and not to hurry to much. I could stay much more though.

I enjoyed walking and observing the nature which is all around here and so magnificent! Just having a short walk to one waterfall. One day I walked to Aquas Claras. I really liked Morrao mountain, and wanted to get close to that so I embarked a long journey. I walked a lot that day but it felt pretty good. When it was too hot I refreshed in the river. Got some sugar cane juice in between. There are not many people walking here, luckily I met 4 Brasilians who spoke great English and as I had Maps.me with the paths on it we joined and got pretty lost in the jungle before finding the way to the plateau which is just breathtaking. At the end we came to a waterfall which was great for swimming and jumping in the water and having some water massages there. It was nice to cool down, relax before heading back. I enjoyed the walk although had to check lots of the time with GPS that I was still on track. I was satisfied with the path I had walked and at the same time was totally ready for getting a ride back when I reached the road. Luckily one car passed and I jumped in the back of the pickup truck, where there was a boy alredy hanging out. I had fun in the beginning, enjoying the wind in my hair and jumping up and down. All of a sudden my bum began to itch. I didn't know what was happening. It felt weird. The area where I was sitting was a bit weird and I thought I cut myself a bit. Yet coming home, with a weird walk as my bum felt really strange, I realised my pants are ok. It just felt like I had been sitting on glass. Weird. I showered and put tea tree oil on coconut oil and spread it around. I put on my dress and went into the village. It was the first day of the carnaval and I wanted to see some life. Although I felt a bit weird because of my bum situation, when I sat down it hurt:). I had been starting to feel a bit off the previous day and this made me a bit restless. I went out and felt lonely. So many people and me alone. I wished for some company but didn't have the energy to do it. I sat in a bar and ordered a beer and enjoyed some girls who started to play nice samba! I moved a bit but wasn't feeling so present. Felt tired. Walked a bit and just passed the interesting guy from the bus. He didn't see me. He was sitting with another guy and they seemed to have such an intense conversation. If I was feeling better I could say hi but that day I just couldn't do it. I felt bad but needed to go home. Ooooh.....

Luckily my bum was feeling better the next day and I decided to walk to Fumaca waterfall. I had plans to leave in the evening to get to Lencois where I booked a bed, only to go in the morning back to Salvador as I had the evening flight North. I enjoyed the walk although there was just a tiny bit of the waterfall which ended into fumes (therefore the name fumaca). Still I had time to get to another waterfall where I could swim! I walked there trying to hitchike but in the evening there was this huge regae concert in Vale do Capao so everyone was going in different direction. Last few hundred metres a guy on a motorcycle just stopped and took me there. It was nice hanging out with him, he showed me around and wasn't intrusive. We enjoyed each others conpany and on the way back she took me on a different path and showed me where he had bought a land and where he lives. He said that coming here changed his life. He was living in Salvador which was very hard. He didn't say more but I could feel that his history was hard. Yet here he had a new chance!

When I returned to the village I managed to find a hairdresser, who is some basement gave me a quite good haircut ( which later, in Paraiba I managed to correct a bit:)). The village was getting alive. I came back for my backpack and still had about an hour to enjoy this. 

While walking on the street all of a sudden I saw the guy from the bus. I felt better and I waved to him. He hugged me. Said it was nice to see me again and introduced me to his brother, the guy I saw him talking to the previous night. He said: I didn't catch your name. He is Ian. All I know more is that he lives in the States. We talked shortly before saying goodbye. Still writing this makes me feel alive. It doesn't happen to me often. This was the last time I saw him. Without knowing much about him, just feeling some connection. Hard to explain. Later I regretted not asking him for a contact. A lesson for next time...

I met the Brasilian guys again, from the walk the other day, and it was nice hanging out with them. This night I felt great and also didn't feel lonely as there were people I knew there :). I really  wished to stay. Even thought I had the tickets I tried to stay for the night and go in the morning. It was a bit complicated so I surrendered. I made a choice to leave. I did have some troubles accepting that. I wanted to have a good time at a nice concert with some company. Maybe see Ian again. Yet I left. It was easier.

I still had some time in the afternoon to revisit Salvador. Now as the carneval started it was getting wild. Not too wild though, just many people, lot's of mucsic and dancing. I really enjoyed it, found a nice reggae concert, had two Capirinhas and in the evening I was ready to board the plane.

Fortaleza was my first stop and it the morning I flew to Recife. I was lucky as I found a nice way to make a bed an the airport, putting two chairs together so I even managed to get some sleep!

North East of Brasil

               RECIFE

I had only one day here but it was so much fun. As I realised before I was getting a bit lonely and here I met a great couchsurfer, Wellington. He lived next to the airport which was so convenient for me. He was very welcoming since the times we started to write to each other. I felt at home soon. We rested and enjoyed some wine and later went to the carnaval in Recife. Wow, it was perfect having him around, not just having a great company but also someone who took me to nice places. I met two Slovenian guys there, which was nice. And we saw great dancing, frevo, and magnificent drumming!! WOW, what amazing experince, I really enjoyed it! I was dressed as a white butterfly, which to me means that I am on the right path:)! I just really didn't enjoy the Brasilian mosquitoes..they were enjoying me, though!! First in the beach around Sao Paolo they got crazy. In Recife I couldn't get much sleep because of it. And still the huge amount of mosquitoes was waiting for me in Paradise.

            
FERNANDO DE NORONHA

Some call this place paradise. I wanted to experience it because I read it it very nice and very safe. I don't like the beaches where you do bot feel safe. And yes, this is a special place.

It is a bit expensive, the beds, the food, the beer!! And you can't get much of variety of food. I missed more fruits! And to stay there you have to pay a tax for each day and if you want to see most of the parts you also pay a high entrance fee to the national park.

Yet to me it was worth it - the pictures are worth more than words:)! I enjoyed the nature, the not too busy beaches and relaxing. White sand underneath. And all around me. The big waves, laud and magnificent. Cute guys, surfing :). Lots of green and blue colour. Exploring. Swimming with the turtles. Seeing a dolphin jumping in the distance, while sharing the same sea. Having fun observing birds fishing :)! Enjoying wonderful Dos Irmaios islands. Dancing on beach. Playing with waves. Climbing a nice hill with amazing view. Doing two long mornings walks trying to see the sunrise. Doing deep touch ( a practice which includes listening to my  fascia and relesing tension). Yeah, although in this amazing place it brings  tension. I wanted to see too much as usual and looking back it would have been nice just to not do anything. I relaxed, but wish now that I would have done less there and just enjoyed not doing. Although this is a place with amazing nature and animals, my best moment were sitting ALONE on Bode beach. And just being there. I must admit mosquitoes were really so annoying there I was almost happy to leave. Nothing helped. I used lots of different repellents and danced while cooking. My feet had hundred of dots around. I guess this was a price to pay for the paradise :).

    
   BACK IN RECIFE


I had another night in Recife, so we visited Olinda with Wellington, my couchsurfer host, and his friend. It was just after carnaval and everything was so peaceful. I enjoyed amazing tapioca with cheese and coconut ( oh yeah :)), had a good cachaça and in the evening we hang out with his Chilean friends, who were making their own natural cosmetic! I have a new toothpaste :)! The night was horrible. Very hot and mosquitoes still somehow finding available spots on my foot. I squeezed my body into a circle hoping that the weak fan I had would keep them away from me. I almost went to the airport to sleep because of this, but soon fell asleep for a few hours. Luckily I had an early flight because I wanted to leave those crazy creatures behind!

North of Brasil




I flew back to Fortaleza just to take the bus to Parnaiba. I wanted to visit Lencois Maranhenses, sand dunes in the North, which are supposed to be amazing!

I enjoyed the bus to Pranaiba - although I didn't manage to get front sit tickets, I booked the second row where I could sneak up front when it was possible. The scenery was nice and I actually enjoyed those multi hours ride in Brasil! I just was a bit sad because I knew that I didn't have much time here, I was flying in two days from a place quite far. 

I had a great dinner and after unsuccessfully searching for a hostel which was closed I booked another one. Gustavo, a friendly guy was working there, and I met Diana and Phillip, two crazy Germans with whom I spent the next two days.  A new adventure awaited :)!


In the morning I visited a great market and I bought one of my last mamao - luckily I bought 5 kilograms and also a lot of maracuya and other fruits:)! Oh yeah, this market was special, yet we were kind of wanting to get as soon as possible to Barreinhas. Our goal for the day was Athins, a supposedly cute village by the sea, from where you can get easily to Lencois Maranhenses. Getting there isn't so easy, there should be a bus, but not on Sunday. A friendly guy took us to a place where a nice guy took us to Tutoia. Fair price for all of us and very friendly. I just wasn't so sure if we will make it there, when there was a bump on the road it made such a weird voice :)!

In Tutoia we met El Diablo. That is how we named him. He told us there are no busses to Barreinhas but he can take us there. No busses, really? Were we that naive? We negotiated the price and later Diana took over the conversation as she understood portugese. A bit. Later we changed the plans and he would take us to a place from where we can get to the boat. We understood the price was the same. It was quite a nice ride though, in between the sand dunes, going through water next to a magnificent wind park! This guy didn't seem so nice as the first one but was still ok. The problem was we didn't have much cash and all the ATMs were empty. Arriving to the boat El Diablo wanted 400 BRL. We understood it would be 120 for him and 150 for the boat, but we didn't agree on the boat as we though we could find there a cheaper boat. No. He got upset. He wanted 400. Diana tried to talk to him and it all led to him taking my backpack and threatened to throw it in the water:)! It sounds weird but was a bit funny. It was interesting watching them argue and at last we gave him most of what he wanted. I was just happy to go, to arrive in this new interesting place. Much different though than we had imagined!

The first thing we did was had some Capirinhas and beers and then I wanted to arrange to go to see the sand dunes the next day as I was flying in the late evening. Soon we realised this place was almost empty, abandoned. It was off season I guess. And as we all have seen pretty amazing places this isn't that special:). I guess out expectations played some role ;)! So it was harder to get a ride, especially as I needed to be in Barreinhas at 2 PM, to get to Sao Luiz to take my flight. Yeah I was on tight scedule. At the end we all took rooms in Pousada do Melo, with a friendly owners who arranged our trip for a decent price. My new friends wanted to stay here longer at first but after seeing it  they were ready to move on. We had so much fun in the evening, walking quite for a while to find something opened to finally eat! We managed to get only some not the best tapiocas, and of course beer and capirinha. It was a very weird day, to get to the pousada I stranded into some road, full of water, and to cross it my pants got very dirty. And they were attacked by lots of mosquitoes coming there. Just a totally weird day but I had much fun here, it was nice to have company for a while, a different energy! And it was also nice not having to think about every detail!

The next day we sat on our 4by4 and were driven by two nice guys to the sand dunes. Wow, it was an adventure, as it had been raining a lot we had to cross so many streams that at some point I thought we might not make it! It was adventurous and the best part was enjoying some silent times in a laguna, surrounded by sand dunes! I enjoyed swimming and dancing there! Alone in the desert 💓!

We arrived a bit tired from the drive, on time to have nice lunch and some more beers and Capirinhas :)! We slowed down and enjoyed remembering our adventure. 

I managed to see just a tiny bit of Sao Luis before heading to airport, where the plane took me back to Fortaleza, and Sao Paolo, only to arrive in the morning in a totally different place, Foz du Iguacu! 

IGUAZU FALLS


I realised I was leaving Brasil soon. I was sad a bit. It gave me so much. My 💓 was so opened! I have experienced a lot and wasn't so excited about leaving although looking forward to my next Patagonian adventure. At that time I didn't know yet what that would mean. I had imagined it totally differently....

My last stop was very worth to see. As coming from not too touristy parts, I was a bit taken aback by all the people. First I visited Brasilian side. I tried not expect too much and was pleasantly surprised. Wow, Gargantas del Diablo, so breathtaking! Aproaching slowly, because of the crowd you could not move fast, and there it was. This wonderful work of nature. In this side you don't need much time, and I was tired and walking with all my luggage there, so I proceded soon to cross to Argentina. It didn't take me long but I could feel I was getting a bit agitated leaving Brasil. Understandable!

          ARGENTINA

Puerto Iguazu is a cute town where I stayed so I could visit Iguacu falls the next day from argentinian side. First not really happy about the place I was staying in, but later it totally surprised me - the lady was so nice, I enjoyed our talks and I kept saying obrigada to her instead of gracias. My mind was still in Brasil, I guess.

It took me a while to get some money. I realised in Argentina it isn't as easy to get money as in Brasil. I loved Brasil for the easiness of this - everyone takes cards there, so the best thing is to have some money and pay as much as possible with the card, so easy!

In Argentina they rarely take cards. They have a big inflation so right now it is good to exchange dollars or euros there, but not in banks but in hostels or even shops. They give you good exchange rates. I didn't withdraw money as it would mean that I would have to pay a fee of 10 eur for withdrawal of 100 euros. This was weird. I got used to it. I was more careful how I spent my money though, as I didn't have much cash. Did gift myself beautiful earings with aquamarine stone though :)!

The Argentinian side of the falls is big! You can walk the whole day there and it is so nice. A bit too busy but somehow still manageable - it was off season now, they told me. I walked so much in all the paths and it was lovely. I enjoyed seeing El Diablo from the top, I was all wet but happy. And seing the other waterfalls from different perspectives! The rainbows! Oh yeah, it is a special place worth visiting!

I had a nice surpise returning to my place to get my backpack, I could still use the shower which was very nice before my night bus to Bueanos Aires. I was a bit restless. Maybe because of leaving Brasil behind and having a long ride ahead. 18 hours on the bus actually went by very fast. It was nice to relax. Listen to some music. Watch some films. Yet when I arrived in Buenos Aires I felt a bit weak. I had a lot to wear, a blanket, and could regulatte my ventilator yet somehow I started to feel a bit weird in my throat.

Didn't know yet at that point that soon the weirdest part of my journey is about to happen :)!!
October 6 2019
DIVE INTO YOURSELF / exploring Velebit / Lost and found

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February 12 2018
BACK TO THE “NORMAL” LIFE

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                                  normal = conforming to a standard, usual typical or expected

 

June 7 2017
FINISHING THE UNFINISHED (Blog no. 4 / March - May 2017): training consciousness: meditation, trekking & conscious impact

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May 22 2017
FINISHING THE UNFINISHED (Blog no. 2 / February 2017) - DISCOVERING NEPAL: Joining All Hands Volunteers Organisation

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21.4.2017

 

 

March 23 2017
FINISHING THE UNFINISHED (Blog no. 3 / March 2017): Vipassana meditation - silent 10 day meditation

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March 1 2017
FINISHING THE UNFINISHED (Blog no. 1 / January 2017)- the beginning: Thailand, here I come again :)!

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June 25 2016
THE LOVELY VIETNAM

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May 6 2016
MY BURMESE ADVENTURE

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March 22 2016
MIXED MALAYSIA

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