A Travellerspoint blog

February 2008

Brasil the third..... and Out.

But where to next?

sunny 33 °C

Pipa had pretty much all of the things 2 blokes required. Caipifrutas, wonderful beaches and a little bit of sporting activity on the beach....

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Supposed to be a video of Pablo (our teacher) doing his thing but couldn't work out how to upload it again. Awfully sorry. He really was rather good and although Steph and I managed to get the correct hand gestures to indicate to other surfer dudes that we were indeed extreme the only really extreme thing we managed was to drink extreme amounts of seawater while being dragged through the water at low speeds. I am buying a kite in any case. Should have some time to practise in the coming months... fingers crossed.

Pablo himself was very cool. Argentino by origin he used to run a laundry business for hotels in Buenos Aires. Did so for 20 years. Stress of work and the big city led to heart problems and eventually his doctor wanted to put him onto tablets to reduce his blood pressure. He would have had to take them for the rest of his life. He spoke with the kids and the wife and they sold the business, moved to Brasil and he never took a single pill. Health is now fine and when you ask him how life is... he tells you to take a look at the garden his kids have to play in.

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Makes you feel kind of warm inside. Well it should anyway.

Back to the chronologically incorrect (and somewhat delayed) series of events that took place. No embellishment here. Just the facts. Probably.

Carnavale in Rio and Bahia are multi-million attendance events and super fun by all accounts but Steph and I were looking for something a little more chilled. The celebration in Pipa is 1 day not 5 but the local tradition is for the blokes to get dressed up in drag. We were not local so we grabbed a beer and hung around.

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Steph and I (pretty much carrying the banner for Gringo attendance) got into the spirit of things. This fella had gone to a lot of effort to entertain.

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Tough to tell if the tits were false or not. Ask Steph I suppose. The effort made was not only in the way he dresses. He had actually had some business cards printed up.

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If anyone knows what a bent coconut tree is could they possibly keep it to themselves. Even at 34 I'm not sure I am ready for that kind of information. Any Argentinians out there who wish to take advantage of the discount should call the number on the card.

So we had fun. Decided that we should chill out for a few days and have a look around the area.

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This seems to be the local approach to getting some volume out of your car stereo. Steph tried the same but not sure its going to have the same sound quality.

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Also slid down some sand dunes....video was most extreme. not working so make do with a picture.

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Which makes it look a bit crap. Your choice to believe me or not.

And after all of that excitment Steph and I decided that we should probably make sure our health was still ok. Worked out pretty cheap (and highly convenient to get a check up).

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Both normal so another beer to celebrate. Strange idea, not sure it will catch on in the UK. Not sure its really that popular in Brasil.

Which kind of brings me (in suprisingly good health according to the random woman dressed as a nurse in the pub) to the end of my six weeks in Brasil. Overall it has a lot of amazing beaches populated by a mix of both beauties and beasts. The vast majority of the population seem to be big fans of booze at any and all times of the day. Most of them are Christian but at the same time they are all a bit of something else too and that seems to work just fine. There was not one moment in the entire 6 weeks when I saw or felt any aggression toward me or indeed toward anyone else in the vicinity. I suppose that all countries are dangerous and you get lucky or not when you travel around them but I liked the place. My original travel plans skipped Brasil in favour of places I had not been before but 6 weeks ended up being too short. The culture revolves around the beach, cocktails on the beach, fat or muscly men in speedos, bikinis as far as the eye can see, surfers, show offs and all of it wrapped up in a little ball and a yellow shirt. The "other" religion in Brasil and this one everyone agrees on. They dance at will, party until the sun comes up and eat like kings once they eventually get up the next day. Gay men walk the street with no fear of persecution - highly unusual in South America. Kids practise martial arts on the beach from the age of 3. In between surfing sessions of course. Language, as always, is an issue but with happy people with some time to kill it nevers seems insurmountable. Especially when you are talking to a taxi driver about footy...

As such, obrigado Brasil. I still think speedos are hilarious but the rest of the country is outstanding.

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So for me, and for Steph, Ciao and hopefully we will be back. Best vibes.

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Where next? Will have to check which way the wind is blowing. Will let you know when I get my feet into the next destination. The suspense is tangible. Deep breath. See you in while.

Lid

p.s. The best vibes quote is from a kitesurf school we contacted. Written at the bottom of all their emails. We elected to go with Pablo as he was the only bloke available at short notice and he smiled like the sun shines and was highly unlikely to have ever uttered "best vibes" to anyone previously. Probably the most important lesson I have learned in 5 months. Forget the sales pitch, the flashy website, the package and the extras, bet on the people. Much better chance of success. Far fewer twats.

p.p.s. caipifruta instructions. Take handful of fruit of your choice (grapes, kiwis, pineapple, strawberries are all good) crush into some recepticle of your choice with 3 level tablespoons of sugar and smash into pulp. Add 4cl of vodka or cachaca (saki also an option). Add to crushed ice (lots) and shake violently for 30 seconds. Sit back, relax and imagine you are on a beach that (almost) never ends. Welcome to Brasil.

Posted by lidster 05:12 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Brasil II

More beach stuff.

sunny 35 °C

Well you may (or more likely not) wonder where I have been for the last few weeks. Been almost a month since the last one and I have to admit that I am a little bit behind. Been having some trouble getting online and getting photos etc uploaded. Got some crackers though so this blog (when completed) and the next should be worth checking out... probably.

Anyway.... Sloth like the 3 of us stayed in Ilha Grande for 4 days. It rained for 3 straight so we felt for Coralie but she seemed to bear up very well by sleeping almost as much as Stephane and myself. Eating here and there and having the occasional Skol to keep up our spirits. beautiful Ilha Grande is but there is not a lot to do when it rains. So 3 days relaxing and back to Rio. Night out to send Coralie back to sub-zero Ginebra well hydrated, as such ciao and obrigado chica....

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Fat Boy Slim is neither Fat nor a Boy but he certainly is a damned fine DJ. most entertaining. I am getting ahead of myself a litt. We waved off Coralie on the Saturday and went to the Maracana to wath Fluminese and Maceo play.

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General tales of mass riots and gunshots not associated with the newcomers to the league but there was a bit of jumping around and a lot of informative pointers as how to swear in Portuguese. Steph and I were both semi-fluent by the end of the game and should someone steal another pair of Steph´s flip flops we will certainly be able to harang them as they run off with their spoils. More to follow on that but he does go through them as if they are disposable items. I supppose the Bar and restaurant must be going well.

We turned up at the airport on the Sunday and wanted to go north. Not 100% sure where exactly so we managed to get to Recife. not a good town so we went to Olinda. Described in the books as cute and colonial. Not on a Sunday in January its not. We turned up late afternoon. Cab driver stunk of Cachaca. Streets were full of heavily drunk locals not wearing a lot and said drunken taxi driver decided that the most direct route to the pousada was the best and drove through the throng in the thongs. Needed a drink after that and Steph and I sallied forth to investigate the pre-carnavale celebrations. As is often the case we ended up talking to some locals - friendly as always. All was going fairly well even though we spoke no common language but hand gestures and nods and winks will get you a long way. Almost got us into a gang bang with some local freaks back at their pousada as it turned out.

They repeatedly mentioned that they had a swimming pool and some beer back at their place and that we should come along to enjoy their hospitality. We politely refused as we were fine where we were. Also they were a rather strange bunch and some latent self survival instinct meant that neither Steph nor I were too comfortable going back for a swift one. At the 15th refusal of their kind offer one of the lads made a hand gesture which you can probably imagine indicating that we were most welcome to have sex with the young lady accompanying him on his evening out. he even showed me an ID and told me that I was more than welcome to shag her as she was not his wife just his girlfriend and to prove this he showed me the ring on his finger and a nice photo of his wife he carried in his wallet. At this point the hand gestures became increasingly graphic and he became irate and started waving his car keys at us. One of the girls he was with (who looked like something out of Michael Jackon´s Thriller) got some German bloke who spoke English and Portuguese to translate exactly what was being offered. He did so. We had a Caipi and went home. Strange evening all round. Lucky escape as far as we were concerned. Friendly can sometimes go too far.

A good shower in the morning and it took us no time at all to decide that Olinda was not really our scene. As such we got a cab to Porto da Gallhinas (at this point I struggle as I have some issue with remembering names of places - even more pronouncing them as it turns out) and stayed on a deserted beach called Maracaipe. very nice but a bit family orientated. Steph lost another pair of flip flops (pair 3) and we ended up in a nightclub (if you could call it that) where the blokes were doing this.

you will have to wait for the vid until the technology catches up.....

Everyone says that the locals are fine dancers but I think they should stick to Samba rather than co-ordinated shuffling about at 4 am. Most undignified. Good news is that Dance music and hip-hop (hippy hoppy as called locally) makes people dance like idiots in brasil too. Cheered me up. Beaches lovely.

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Anyone sick of beaches yet?? I´m not so I shall continue. Hand gesture was ironic by the way.

Heading onward we moved to Praia da Pipa. Short trip and a very cool place. Lots of stuff to do in the day and the evening. Beach shot for you. Highly informative this one...

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Buggies are the way to get round. Dunes go for miles and miles, well north as far as you could hope. Video of that too. Which you also have to wait for. Disappointing I know but keep up your spirits it could be worse.

If the buggy is not your thing then you could go for a motorbike. Just in case you wondered what the local recommendations on safety considerations while driving your harley please take a look at the following.

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At least head injuries will be avoided.

Well I have no time and I am still about 2 weeks behind. Learning to kite surf currently so that will keep me busy for a few days. As such you´ll have to be getting along with this so far but I do have a cracking shot of Steph with a transvestite and her/his calling card. Next time I am afraid. This one is dedicated to Coralie and Steph. Pleasure to travel with - should you ever get the chance.

Well. Hope all is going swimmingly. Miss you all, although slightly less as I am being dragged through the sea swallowing gutfuls of water.

Be good. Happy valentines to those of you paired up. Sad losers who no one likes are unlikely to read the blog anyway but good luck to them too.

See you around.

Lid

p.s. no speedos or tattoos yet. will let you know as soon as either situation changes.

Posted by lidster 13:44 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

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