The bus ride was comfortable, long and very, very cold. There could be a reason WHY the drivers turn the buses into freezers, but I have yet to discover what this can be! It was the same at the Belem hostel, the temperature for the dorm was set at seventeen! You just freeze at that, twenty five or twenty three is more than enough. Nico and I shared a cab to the hostel, which is way out of the old city. What a shame. We caught up with Soren, the German guy, who spends most of his time on his apple laptop, so I am assuming he works while travelling! That would be just ideal!! Kate, the girl from New Zealand was there too. They had not yet booked their trip, but they’re going to catch the four o’clock bus to Barreirinhas.
Thanks, but no thanks. I am not getting up at four after just spending over thirteen hours on a bus! Plus I have decided that it is better to do a one day tour. The hostel is way out of the old town. In the afternoon Nico, Kate and I caught the local bus to the historical centre. (Soren had to work!) The old town is not large, but fascinating. We walked around, visited some souvenir shops, and the others needed to go back much too soon for my liking! Before we reached the hostel, the bus stopped and we were sort of kicked of, onto another bus, the trip back took incredibly long. Kate went on and on complaining about this, and everything else what is wrong with South America.
I get this, when one travel a long time, one can get tired, this means you need to move on. But Nico had just arrived from France after three weeks on a cargo boat and everything delighted and fascinated him. (If Kate said one more time ” oh, but you just got here, give it time” , I swear I was going to slug her one!) That evening we all walked to the beach to watch the sunset. For one reason or other I tripped over and fell smack bang flat on my face! I had forgotten to put on my shoes and was wearing my thongs! ( flip flops for the foreigners reading this!) Beside a few dents to the ego, no damage was done, (I thought.)
We all had a few beers, watched the sunset, the others had something to eat. I am cutting back as I am going back onto a strict KETO lifestyle, when I get back home. The first step, cut out the lovely Brasilian white, crispy bread rolls. I don’t eat them a lot, but still too often for my liking! My right hand has become my KETO indicator! When ever I over indulge, (and YES I do, I AM on holidays you know, cake for breakfast, my favourite!) The right hand starts to play up, closing it causes pain. I fix this with a twenty four hour fast and get back on track. Of course the daily beers don’t help either, but I am back to one a day!)
The next morning the bus picked the young ones up at eight! So much for an early start! After a leisurely breakfast it was too overcast to go to the beach. I caught the bus into the historical centre. Oh, what a delight, to wander by myself, into little alley ways, climb the stairways, walk into galleries, shops and musea at my own speed. It was an immense pleasure. Finally I came back to the tourist information centre, where the only person speaking English or Spanish was very busy. (I can understand Portuguese, but I can’t speak it, only Spanglish comes out of my mouth).
Beer time, while waiting for this woman to find time. I passed an hour watching people go to and fro, only to find out that the tourist information woman now had gone for lunch! I had hoped to discuss a few tour options. As luck would have it there was a travel agency right next door. Due to the very poor wifi at the hostel, I had not gotten very far in my search for flights south, and the main one, a flight to Santiago de Chile, for my return home! The wonderful owner, Amadeu, spoke awesome English, and before I knew it, I had booked and paid for my flight to Chile, and a flight to Belo Horizonte ( five times more expensive!)
It is possible, in Australia, to get a flight pass for Brasil. The problem here is that you need to know your days and cities that you want to visit, more than six months in advance! I find this impossible, and I find it hard enough, when a flight is booked, that I NEED to be there, and miss out on other things on the way. Anyway, two flights all done and dusted in fifteen minutes!
Just before I left I asked if he did know of an agency that would do tours to the desert. Of course his agency did!! Except, oops, four people had not shown up, and there was nobody for a day tour! ( minimum of four people required, always) Ah, well, you can’t win them all. It was obviously not meant to be. So be it! Life goes on. I walked to the palace of the lions, where a delightful young woman, Julia, guided me through the five rooms with excellent English! All musea, galleries are free! This impresses me greatly! Also the tour was free. She showed me a tapestry, made by a Moroccan/ Brasilian woman, which was stunning! ( I wrote down her name somewhere! Can’t find it!)
Later that wonderful day I caught the bus back. I wanted to go for a long beach walk. I snoozed on the bus, suddenly woke up, thought I recognised the gourmet supermarket behind our hostel, and got off the bus! Of course, there are more then just ONE gourmet supermarket and this wasn’t the one remotely near my hostel. Oops! Now what? Trying to ask people where the hostel’s street was, was a waste of energy. It gets dark here rather fast. As soon as the sun sets, the dark rolls in. Great. I am somewhere, it is getting dark and I have NO idea where the hell I am! Welcome to my world!
Suddenly there was a car beeping! As I looked up, this man is waving at me madly! Great! Now I am lost in the dark with a lunatic on the loose! Until he called my name! It was the owner of the travel agency! All exited! As I hopped into his car, he told me he had been thinking of me all afternoon! ( yeah, I know, I have this effect on people! Poor man!) he had found four people for a two day tour, but as I had left NO phone number, nor contact details, nor my hotel’s address, he had NO WAY of letting me know! He was beside himself! He had recognised my dress at the bus stop where I was asking people where I should go!! Now to me this is Serendipity, a meaningful coincidence! (Happens to me! A LOT!!!)
So as he is dropping my off, we are arranging the tour for tomorrow. Great, need to pack and store my bag! All very exiting! So the adventures continue! Ah, I just LOVE my LIFE!