Brazil

Brazil –Last country on this trip.
Time sure flew by, and I guess the only happy part of me to round up this trip would be my bones and my by-now-bus-seat-shaped spine.
I recall the joy on the last bus to Sao Paulo from Rio, to be able to say “no more 20+hrs bus rides, no more!”
The things you do when young, and cheap on a shoe string budget.

Did quite a few things here that people had advised not to do

(probably because it was the last country and my mind was getting tired of having to be cautious 24/7)

Let’s see, stayed in a Favela, walked around and even back up the Favela late at night, and hitched a hike because I had enough of walking around lost and an hour late to meet my friends in torrential rain.

I didn’t think anyone would actually pull over as I threw my “hitch hike” thumb sign out to the world, laughing crazily from desperation and weariness and feeling absolutely ridiculous at that time.

Well,the second car did. And driver was kind enough to go out of his way to get me there.
Desperate times, desperate measures, God-sent people and places = one big amazing adventure!

Foc De Iguacu

Visited Iguzu Falls from Brazil’s side as well.


Brazil’s side gives a better panoramic view while on the Argentina side, you get a lot closer to the falls.

If you could do both, definitely see it from both sides.

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RIO DE JANIERO

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Stayed at Vidigal Favela in Rio.

This favela was pretty safe.

It was definitely an experience! What I saw in the movies was quite similar to what I experienced.

We arrived at night, wind up on the back of motorcycles up the favelas, saw kids kicking their soccer balls around and adults dancing on the street – all at the same time 🙂
Roasted chicken being sold on the side of the streets-  So fun!
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Could not quite believe I was in Brazil, in Rio, at Ipanema beach!224855_10151967164780001_1013870760_n

A Hilton hotel in front of the favela.
World of difference just metres apart.

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I am bones here -think I was out of cash by this time, surviving on fruits for lunch and just having breakfast and dinner.
But for all that I saw on this trip and to be able to check off the number 1 thing on my bucket list – it was worth it.

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They say a visit to Brazil ain’t complete without a trip to Christ Redeemer statue!
I agree!
It’s a MUST VISIT!


We could only get our hands on the evening train up and I actually thought the evening experience might just be better than the morning one
Depends on what you prefer I guess, as the night view probably would be totally different from what the day offers
But I absolutely loved the sunset, the city coming alive with all the lights, too gorgeous!

I recall the sky went from pink to orange as we trained up slowly before the night sky took over. Everyone on the train was quite quiet except for the sound of cameras clicking away – if I remember accurately, we were all so taken by it.

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559213_10150863101257470_1157132703_nSome Orange paint in the sky still in the far distance. It was truly beautiful.

I think I left my heart here too.

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It was freezing up here though, cold and super windy.

Everyone who were in shorts and a t-shirt looked like they were on a kowtowing marathon! We all just kept crouching and bending slightly to keep warm. Quite a hilarious side.

Such a stark contrast to the warm tropical weather below.

Even taking these pictures were difficult,  trying to stabilize the camera against the intense wind.

I recall trying to tell myself it was all in the mind and it was not that cold.
And every few seconds I would hope that a shelter would pop up somewhere to take cover in.
Well, no cover till you got back into the tram.
And that was about 30minutes to 1 hour later.
Still worth it, oh yes, oh yes.

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Caught a full moon here 🙂

There’s something I love about glittering lights from the far distance, it makes me nostalgic and brings a smile to my face.425525_10150863340177470_1912878529_n

So huge – everyone had to lie on the ground to capture the full thing.

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Christ Redeemer!
Built facing the city to bless it. I love the Idea 🙂

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Lisa and Andrew was also in Rio then.
It was
so awesome to see familiar faces and all the way here!

We got lost trying to find where they were staying in Santa Maria and a guy from a local store told us it was only 15 minutes away.
I guess 15 minutes Brazilian time wasn’t my 15 minutes. After an hour, we were still not there.
It starting pouring and with the sky crying and wailing in such a manner, I recall growing desperate and throwing out my thumb up (hitch-hiking style) while laughing “Let’s hitch a ride”.
Secretly, I didn’t believe anyone would stop.

Well, second car passing by did.

Such a dangerous thing to do in retrospect, I still wonder why he had trusted us enough to stop and offer a ride.
He must have taken pity on us, drenched to our toes or really just an angel sent our way.
Our final destination was not along his way but this kind soul took us there anyway.
I could not thank him enough.

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It was a great afternoon spent together with my mates!
We caught up over Acai and Chinese noodles.

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The guy at this Chinese Food place gave us free dumplings while we spoke Mandarin to them.  Looking out of us, I say 🙂

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Famous high tea place.

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Such beautiful interior

We had coffee and some sweets here, and was left quite amazed at how much Brazilians eat just for their afternoon tea (one table had food that kept on coming, fruit juice, coffee, marble cakes, cheese ham sandwiches, then some other desserts!)544500_10150863104907470_569548294_n

Lisa drooling over some sweets 🙂

Can’t believe 5 years ago, she was roughing it out and doing great work with Andrew somewhere in Brazil and 5 years on, she’s back here and already a mum of an adorable 2 year old!
Time flies….

It’s a funny thing, time and life.
I recall standing on a rooftop with a friend in Berkerly, looking up at the stars in the night sky.
I remember wondering then – what would happen in a year, where would I be, what would I do.

If you told me I would be back here after 5 years, I would have gone “Oh Really?”

Yet today, I still find myself wondering sometimes- where would I be in a year’s time.

In retrospect I wished I hadn’t worry too much 5 years ago, wished I just went with the flow, especially on this amazing grand travel.

Therefore dear the present me, please just go with the flow and be here today.

SAO PAULO

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I recall walking a lot in Sao Paulo.

I recall while waiting for the train to get to the airport on the last day, it was packed all the way to the ticket machine!
And I didn’t have to walk much to get to the carriage, the people beside me had pushed up against me and my backpack.

I think I was lifted up at one point and moved into the carriage. You could only get in, I wonder how anyone could get out.
And I only thought this was a scene that would only belonged to rush hour in Japan or Beijing. Guess it could happen in any metropolis 🙂

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One last Brazilian dish, meat encased in potato mash then fried – before I flew back to Mexico.
So good, love how the food system works in Brazil, you choose how much you want from the “buffet” spread and pay accordingly, which meant you get to try everything in small portions, win!

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Back from a round trip through Latin America in one piece!
Though I lost my phone, I didn’t lose my camera, I wasn’t robbed, I wasn’t mugged, I wasn’t shot and I wasn’t kidnapped.
Well done.

Back in Mexico – to celebrate this journey – we visited Grants – biggest buffet spread in Leon 🙂 Ate to my heart’s content.
One has to replenish after a big trip.

Really nostalgic now just walking through memories of each country I had passed through.

The colours of Guatemala
The hostel of El Salvador – don’t ask me why
The relaxed pace of life in Nicaragua
The beaches and rain forests of Costa Rica

The down time in Panama
The food and friendship of Colombia

The architecture of Ecuador
The excitement of Peru
The diversity of Bolivia
The wonderful grapes, mountains and cities of Chile
The city streets of Argentina
The mountains, waterfalls of Brazil

A pang of sadness, yet brings on a smile.
I really hope to revisit one of these days.

~~

Went there without knowing what to expect and with one reasonably carrry-able backpack, and left with two impossibly heavy backpacks (!) and a truckload of sights seen, lessons learnt, amazing experiences and memories to be digested slowly, pulled out from memory, savored slowly.

I think it was also on this trip, that I realized what I always wanted had always been in front of me, and I had to cross continents to realize that.
Still, I love and cherish every bit of this adventure and the people and cultures I have come to experience. Loved it.
Nos Vemos Americas 🙂

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