The Big Chill

Trip Start Jul 06, 2005
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Trip End Mar 10, 2006


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Monday, February 6, 2006

Right, so as much fun as we were having in Rio and as hard as it was for the crew to leave Roya behind, us boys have all moved on to the northern beaches of Brazil. Arrived safe and sound after our first internal flight of the trip in Natal. Nice enough so far (expensive), but first...

Random Rio Memories

1) Mark becoming best friends with a street person in Lapa...before he drank all the guys wine!

2) A 70 year old samba singer just giving it all at the samba school rehearsal - she LOOKED 40 (miracles of Brazilian plastic surgery) and they treated her like freaking Elvis when she came out.

3) Wading through a MASSIVE thunderstorm that was flooding the streets of Copacabana to go for a little night time lightning swim on Copacabana beach with Roya and Sebastien.

4) Metro surfing - this basically involves standing with your feet together, facing sideways on the metro and trying to see who can stay standing for the longest without using their hands. Oh, and withstanding the bemused stares of EVERYONE on the metro.

4) a) Breakdancing in the metro station, only to have a little old woman stop and clap out a beat for me before almost missing her train.

5) Being pulled over by the cops on the way to the f˙tbol game, hands on guns, and watching them pull EVERYONE (ALL gringo backpackers) but me (front seat privileges) out of the van to be frisked. Driver slipped then some cash and we were on our way!

Natal

Natal is a fairly big city, right out on the eastern tip of Brazil. It has beautiful weather and beautiful beaches. It also has hoards of vacationing Europeans and Brazilians, and is bloody expensive. The beach is nice, with really nice warm water and some decent surf to splash around in, but not the greatest waves for people who hoped to do a little surfing. The beach is SWARMED with vendors who blast Brazilian music out of little speakers on the sides of their carts and sell anything from fresh made drinks to CD to sunglasses.

Tried to get back into the swing of the beach jogging routine...promptly injured my foot so I guess thats off for a bit (trying to replace it with incessantly practicing walking around on my hands). We have a nice little place with a kitchen/dining area, massive bathroom, hammocks, a small pool and mangoes literally dropping all over from the trees above (got nailed while sitting in the pool!). A couple days in the sun here, and looks like we┤re about ready to move on to a little town a bit further down the coast by the name of Pipa.

Praia Pipa

A little slice of paradise! We┤ve managed to soak up a LOT of sun, see some wildlife...act like wildlife, and just all out chill more or less. The town is getting a bit touristy now as its developed (apparently) but still maintains a seriously laid back vibe, has beautiful clean beaches, surfing (crap right now), AND dolphins!

We┤ve started out pretty much every day with a half hour walk to the next bay down where with a LITTLE luck, you can splash out into the surf and literally swim around with wild dolphins. They come into the bay pretty much daily and jump around, surf the waves right in front of you, and generally make everyone smile a lot! Tend to keep to about 5 metres away, but soooo cool. Also can find tiny monkeys in the trees around town, and big sea turtles out in the surf!

Story of the week!

So, big night out usually means big sleep in - unless you┤re Mark. Then you sleep two hours, drink the rest of our alcohol, and hike a half hour over sharp rocks to find the dolphins. Along the way, you find a giant turtle apparently in trouble on the rocks, and naturally set in to try to haul it back to the sea (these things are HUGE). After a bit of a struggle, two girls rock up and ask,

Girls - "What exactly you are trying to do?"

Mark - "Help it back to the water!"

Girls - "Buddy, that turtles dead."

Mark - "What?!? How do you know?"

Girls - "Well, it has no head for starters."

Mark - "Oh (or something to that effect)."

And so BEGAN a day of epic adventures by one very drunk Mark. Drunken swimming with dolphins (Cachaša bottle in hand), cuts and scrapes (lots), attempts to swim through rocky shoals, turtle rescues (thought that counts), some seriously ridiculous conversations and general solidification of our group reputation in town!

Anyway, time is up in this absurdly expensive internet cafe. We┤re off tomorrow to a place by the name of Olinda that comes HIGHLY recommended so will let you know what we find. Only a couple more stops before Carnaval and (everybody now, GASP) - home. Miss everyone lots,

--Shawn
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Comments

alansmith
alansmith on

Dang, I wanna be there, too!
Maybe I should give Bolivia the ol' heave-ho and get over to Brazil right now! Don't know how Shirley'd take it, though. Y'all are having too good a time without me. I'm looking at bus tickets starting tomorrow!

Besos de Alaska,
Alan-Ch'alpa'alqo

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