Sunday, April 29, 2007

Rain stops play

Aaawwwww, oh well, Sri Lanka lost to the Australians. What, as they say, to do?

Today we're working at half speed due to a few to many drinkies during the cricket yesterday and then the subsequent return to Lapa for a boogie. Ended up in an aweful club playing RandB at distortion levels with the clientele swaying in each others arms. However, we were with a really cool bunch from the Hostel so it was fun none the less.

Later today we're off to the footbal stadium en mass to see the regional final - should be fun as apparently the crowds go mental.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

World Cup Cricket Final

Right at this moment Sri Lanka are bowling against Australia in the final of the cricket world cup competition, and Leah is going crazy for Sri Lanka to win! We're in a Hostel in Rio owned by an Australian cricket nut and the atmosphere downstairs is tense!

Go Sri Lanka, Go!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Christ, St George and Visa trouble

On Monday we hooked up with some Irish friends, April and Dan, who we met in Barriloche and incredibly enough bumped into at the Paraty bus station! Here in Rio it was a holiday to celebrate St Geogre, or Jorge as he's known here, which meant there was a huge concert on Copacabana beach. Never has the name been so widely celebrated I'm sure - all the artists were called Jorge, all the songs were about Jorge (well nearly), Jorge was written in lights as big as a house....well, you get the drift. It was kinda cheesy music to be honest, though they threw in the odd classic to keep the crowds happy!

The next day we went up to the statue of Christ the Redeemer who overlooks the whole city. Our host Eric in Santa Teresa assured us we could walk down to the cog train that winds its way up to the statue. Thankfully it was all down hill but the people who live round there must have legs of steel - at one point we walked down the longest stairs in the world, at least it felt like it and by the time we got to the train our knees were tingling. Weak flatlanders. The train winds it way up the steep hillside and then you emerge to some truly incredible views of the city.
From Rio de Janeiro

On a slightly more annoying note it currently looks like our plans they are a changin' due to the difficulty in obtaining Visas for Leah. We optimistically thought that we'd apply for the central America visas here in Rio, but it appears as though there will be no way to do this so the chances are we'll be heading for home after Venezuela. We've not given up hope yet, but the embassy/consulate people are pretty unhelpful in most cases. The Mexican consulate explained very helpfully how we'd have to return to countryof residence to apply, i.e London. From Brasil to London to get into Mexico. At times like this I realise how great it is to have a UK passport.

And finallee, Sri Lanka play Australia tomorrow in the Cricket World Cup final - go Sri Lanka go!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Rio de Janeiro

Well well well, we've made it to Rio - who would have thought? We're staying in the old bohemian part of town called Santa Teresa in 'Eric's place' - a really cool house right up on top of the hill. We have fantastic views over the city from the open living room. We found the place using 'Cama E Cafe' which has a number of rooms in residents homes up in Santa Teresa - a bit more personal that a hosel. Eric is a really nice guy who lives up there with his 7 year old son...we're not sure about the mum yet. They have two dogs too, including a three month old puppy who is a right character and has Leah wrapped around his tiny paw!
From Rio de Janeiro

Today we've been watching the Red Bull Air Race over Botafogo beach. I'll try and post some videos in the near future, but basically a bunch of crazy pilots fly at breakneck speed around a number of obsticals about ten feet from the floor! Botafogo is an amazing setting with the sugarloaf mountain in the background and thousands of people lining the beach. We got a bit tired though and split for some Sushi, and now we're just wondering how on earth we're going to get back home....
From Rio de Janeiro
Last night we went out in Lapa, which is a barrio at the bottom of Santa Teresa. It was like Nottinghill Carnaval down there - hundreds of people milling about the streets with all sorts of dffierent music blaring from bars, car windows and street corners. We had a few Caipairinhas and wandered the streets taking in the friday night flavour. Nice.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


On a Friday the 13th that lived up to it's reputation we fled São Paulo and have landed in a lovely little town called Paraty. It's a real breath of fresh air after the heaving city and we're both a lot more relaxed.
From Paraty
Yesterday we went on a boat ride that took us out around the surrounding islands and beaches. It is incredibly beautiful here with lush green rainforest covered mountains reaching right down to the waters edge. We passed some amaxing houses that sit in amongst the trees on their own little island.
From Paraty

From Paraty

Today we took a bus ride to a nearby town called Trindade in search of some surf. Unfortunately there wasn't much swell, with the only waves dumping heavily right on the shore. I joined some locals in about the only available surf area, but didn't really get anywhere. What is it with surfers anyway? They're about as friendly as a slap in the face...I dont see why everyone has to be so cool and full of themselves... It's so rare to receive a "hello", let alone a friendly piece of advice or tip about the water. Oh well - I'm just going to have to get better by myself!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ilha do Mel and onto Sao Paulo

We made it to the ilsand Ilha Do Mel for the easter weekend and spent saturday night getting drunk with some surfer dudes from Sao Paulo and Curitiba. Leah and I went to a bar to get some food and in our inebraiated state found the menu translations a little too funny to bare - 'Chicken the Bird' has become a bit of a catchphrase for us...

On sunday the locals went home and it became very peaceful on the island. There were a number of great surf beaches so I spent Sunday and Monday playing on our board. On Sunday I spent most of my time flailing around in the white-water but on Monday the waves were great and I felt like I was finally getting somewhere! Gnarly.
From Ilha Do Mel a...
On Tuesday we found ourselves back on the boat to the mainland and after spending the morning in Paranagua took the 8 hour bus ride to São Paulo. The city is MASSIVE - third biggest in the world apparently with a population as large as Sri Lanka or Australia! It doesn't feel overly safe I have to say and I would rather be back by the sea! However, we happen to be staying in the same hotel as a lovely couple from Australia who we met on the boat over to Ilha do Mel (Ben and Clair) and so we've some tourist buddies to hang out with.
From Sao Paolo

Yesterday we followed the walking tour recomended by the Lonely Planet around the historic parts of the town, which was nice enough but not amazing. Incredibly we bumped into a dude (James) who we met on the bus to Florianopolis so last night the five of us went out for some fantastic Japanese style food - yum yum.

Today we're supposed to be heading out to a large park but the numerous Caiparinas last night have slowed us down a bit....should be heading out before too long though!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Moving on....

It´s very grey outside this evening, and it keeps drizling on us which is dissapointing. We are now in Florianopolis centre as our bus leaves very early tomorrow morning and a taxi form the island at 4am didn´t appeal.

I spent all day yesterday in the sea with our new surf board. It´s a really nice board and towards the end of the day I actually felt I was maybe getting somewhere. The beach we went to was called Armaçao and to get you it you park and then cross over a little river. It is a lovely little bay with a tiny island on the left and verdent hills curving round to the right. The waves were small but fairly consistent and clean, which was great for learning and trying out the new board.
From Florianopolis

This morning we went to a beach called Joaquina, but it was really busy due to it beaing Good Friday, there was also a surf competition going on. the waves were really messy and I didn´t enjoy myself much at all....I wanted my nice quiet bay at Armaçao! Anyway, as we left the clouds were rolling in and the day has gone all grey, so I wasn´t sad to leave the beach behind.

Tomorrow we´re heading north to another small island; Ilha do Mel, on which there are no cars. We´re hoping that places to stay aren´t so rare. What with it being Easter places seem to be more booked up. Oh well - hammock on the beach it is!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


We´ve made it to the sea! Last night we stayed in what amounted to a student halls of residence, so not realy our style. But we got our and now we´re in a cool little appartment, 12 mins walk from the sea.

Guess what? Today we bought a surfboard with bag and leash for 200 Reals - about 50 quid, and we got a hammock for a tenner! Road trip.

The island is beautiful so far...white sand beaches (the sand is like flour, but hotter), with green rolling hills. Loads of surf beaches, and many secluded quieter ones too we´re told. It´s going to be hard to move on, but then the rest of Brasil´s coast is like this too!!!!
From Florianopolis