Wow. I’ve officially been away for a month and I haven’t written in my blog once. In some sort of weird traveling time warp it feels like I’ve been gone for ages, yet every day goes by faster than the previous one. I’ll try to give a decent recap of my adventures so far. Honestly, the first couple of weeks of my trip were really draining. I came down with the stomach flu which pretty much limited me to my hostel bed, making it very difficult to socialize. It was pretty lonely and on more than one occasion I cursed my impulsiveness and wished I was at home where my sane friends did normal things like went to work instead of buying tickets to countries where they dont know the language. Long story short though, I eventually got myself back to health.
I started off my trip in the large Brazilian city of Sao Paulo. It’s called the New York city of brazil and is huge! Flying over the city I was shocked, I dont think I’ve ever seen a city that busy and widespread. To give you an idea Sao Paulo’s population is about 20 million and the population of all of California is 37 million. I only spent a night in Sao Paulo before heading to foz de iguacu, one of the biggest sets of waterfalls in the world. The falls are split between brazil and Argentina and I luckily had time to see both sides. On the Argentinian side we took a speed boat underneath one of the falls. Definitely a thrilling ride. After the falls I went to florianopolis, a beautiful beach town in southern brazil. It was pretty crowded over the weekend but on Monday we went to the beach and had one of those simply perfect days that you cant plan but just sneaks up on you unexpectedly. It wasn’t anything special, nothing really even worth mentioning like Carnaval or the waterfalls, just a perfect day in the sun that reminded me how incredibly lucky I am to be able to experience places like this at this time of my life.
Okay, gosh Christine, cheesy, hey? Also I’ve started to pick up funny words and phrases from around the world thanks to new traveling friends. I’ve started saying “dodgy,” putting hey? At the end of sentences and even picked up a few hood phrases from my new friend from queens. Anyway, that was just a random thought.
After floripa I went to rio for carnival. Witnessing the difference between rio pre-carnival and after the madness began is indescribable. The only thing I have to compare it to is the quiet before the storm of UCSB’s Halloween weekend before thousands of people flood the streets in a costumed, booze fueled herd. It’s pretty much like that but about 1000 times bigger. Lauren finalllllly came which was amazing because I was dying to see a familiar face. We spent the next week trying to get by but rio seemed to have it out for us. One bad thing happened after another, including me being really sick. Two nights we had to stay in and watch movies. Luckily Lauren was an excellent sport and we are both excellent at staying in, eating ramen and watching movies after lots of practice in college. This probably isn’t the crazy carnival story most were looking to hear, but don’t worry we had those nights too.
After rio, I spent a night in a little beach town called Parati that almost made me sick with it’s adorable cobblestone streets and romantic music winding around every corner. The next day I left for ilha grande which was this gorgeous island that I never wanted to leave. No cars on the island meant walking everywhere on the rustic dirt roads, including a grueling 2 hour hike through the jungle to get to a deserted beach. Worth the walk, although I wouldn’t recommend it in flip flops. Eventually I did have to leave my adorable little island, although I couldn’t have asked for a better ride back to the mainland, on a catamaran during sunset. Gorgeous.
Went back to rio for a flight to Peru. Ended up oversleeping my alarm by over an hour. On the way the airport I resigned myself to the fact that I’d miss my flight and have to buy another expensive ticket. But when I got the airport my flight was canceled! After I accepted their profuse apologies for the inconvenience and thanked Christo for finally coming through for me, I hit up my friend and ended up going on a favela tour. Which will have to be another blog post because this is getting quite long. I’ll be heading to my volunteer house on Sunday and am pretty excited to be in one place for a while. Okay, sending lots of love from Peru!