Saturday, January 01, 2000


January 29 - March 2

We entered Brazil by car at Iguacu and split by plane from Rio.

Day by day:
  • Sun Jan 29 - wait for seemingly ages for a bus at the border, pass the time with hacky sack and sweating, grab taxi to last few kilometers to bus station, lunch and buy tickets on to campo grande - leaving the next afternoon, taxi back to town and check into lanville hotel, do a bit of this and that, nice dinner at outdoor corner restaurant - steaks and chicken, retire to hotel around 22:00 to capture tapes and burn DVDs and play doom, end up watching some crappy segal movie with ja rule, sleep by 00:00
  • Mon Jan 30 - up at 09:00, mike down for a nice buffet breakfast (more than just bread and jam), back to room to continue DVD burn process, out to see the city, fast food lunch of fried goodies and fruit juice, do a bit of shopping and looking for english books, back to hotel to watch TV and relax, taxi to bus station, catch our ride to campo grande around 17:00, stop after change of bus for a very nice buffet supper, sleep onboard
  • Tue Jan 31 - wake up on bus around 08:00 and arrive in campo grande, met at station by enthusiastic arranger of tours, he provides us with free breakfast and a shower and we agree to 3 nights in the pantanal, relax in hostel, catch bus out of town at 11:30, stop for buffet lunch around 14:00, transfer to a 4x4 truck when road becomes dirt, one or two stops along the way to rest, arrive in camp around 19:00, settle in and have dinner, our group of 8 includes the OC and a girl from iceland and an italian and a family of 4 swedes, hang out a very little over beers then to bed
  • Wed Feb 1 - up at 06:00 after a buggy evening in hammocks, breakfast at 06:30 and head out for a hike at 07:00, tramp through swamp a bit and finish up with a swim in black waters, back in camp in time for an early lunch, spend afternoon relaxing and playing hacky sack and making bone jewelry, head out again at 15:30, stop near rio negro to take pictures with alligators, also see lots of birds and some monkeys and capybaras, back to camp to freshen up, have a few beers before late dinner, one more beer before bed, mike gets love and hate temporarily tattooed on his knuckles
  • Thu Feb 2 - up early again, fish for pirana in alligator-infested swamp just near the camp, manage to catch a few, have a nap before lunch, piranas are eaten - very nice with a bit of lemon but not much meat, afternoon siesta then head out in the rain to mount up, spend several (3?) hours on horses, return very sore, race to shower before new arrivals, several beers before dinner, boisterous dinner, a few more drinks in the suddenly very busy bar before bed
  • Fri Feb 3 - sleep in, up late to drink water and pack and have lunch, back in the truck around noon, get stuck in the mud on the way and have to lever the truck out, transfer back to bus for campo grande with a couple of rest stops along the way, arrive back at hostel around 19:30, shower and repack, have dinner and some drinks with new friends from iceland and italy, jump on bus around 23:00, sleep almost immediately
  • Sat Feb 4 - wake up on bus, hang out with easily impressed kids and make some chit chat with other travelers, buffet lunch at roadside stop, rainy sunset, fried goodies and juice for dinner, sleep
  • Sun Feb 5 - still on bus, fried goodies and strong sweet coffee for breakfast, blog and sort photos, arrive in porto velho at noon, taxi to hotel, walk to hospital to get jason's big feet diagnosed, return to hotel to rest, mike heads out to get a big lunch and some internet, meet back up at hotel, mike heads out again to buy boat tickets, runs into jose from the bus on the way, all meet up at hotel and head out for some drinks and a bit of food, jason calls it early, mike and jose carry on until midnight
  • Mon Feb 6 - up at 09:00 and grab nice breakfast in hotel, mike handles laundry while jason out to pharmacy, head down to docks to get hammocks and ropes, run into jose and he helps get things sorted, also get a ticket for jason - something that mike failed to do, back to center of town to shop for english books with only a little luck, stop around 14:00 for a large steak lunch at the same place mike had lunch the previous day, back to hotel to burn DVDs and blog and sort pictures, mike out to find a market and have a look around, meet back at hotel and head out to internet cafe for an hour, stop for a hotdog sandwich on way back and watch scorpion king for a bit on the side of the road, back to hotel and in bed for about 23:00
  • Tue Feb 7 - up at 08:30 and grab another nice hotel breakfast, shower, head out to get SIM cards, spend a long time in one shop getting jason sorted, mike gets his phone "unblocked" in another shop but is unable to make jason's SIM work so buys a used phone - will get a SIM in manhaus, back to hotel to check out and head down to boat, mike pops out for some supplies and a bit of beer, hang around on deck drinking beer all afternoon, boat leaves sometime around 18:00, dinner is somewhat thereafter, spend the evening watching concert DVDs and hanging out, retire about 23:00
  • Wed Feb 8 - up around 08:00 for simple breakfast of bread and coffee, spend the morning in hammock reading, big lunch, afternoon sitting on deck drinking beer and chatting with other passengers - including an older english-speaking dutch gentleman, dinner at the usual hour then break into the "Presidente" cane wine that mike bought in a fit of dumbness, it goes down rather badly, after stop in a small port, discover that jason's ipod and phone and wallet are missing - strongly suspect a culprit who is now gone, console selves with a few more drinks and then bed
  • Thu Feb 9 - up around 08:00 again for another simple breakfast, spend the morning in hammock reading and drawing cartoons, spend the post-lunch hours doing more of the same, after dinner there is a bit of a barbecue on the top deck with lots of music and a bit of dancing, turn in early out of general boredom, cold and rainy all night and do not sleep very well at all
  • Fri Feb 10 - up early at around 05:000 after a night of bad sleep, pull into manhaus for about 06:00, walk up and check into hotel continental, have a brief encounter with a jungle tour operator but turn him down, very welcome showers (in cold water), out to internet cafe to upload a lot of content, per-kilo lunch, jason out to try to make some calls regarding his missing cards, mike to hotel to nap, meet back at hotel around 17:00, jason has been unsuccessful, he heads out again while mike stays in to burn DVDs and read darwin's journal, jason returns grumpy having accomplished nothing, mike asks after permanent marker used to write on DVDs and jason immediately locates his wallet and phone but ipod is still gone, hang about a bit before heading out for a celebratory (and very stuffing) churrascaria dinner, straight back to hotel to pass out
  • Sat Feb 11 - up around 08:00, shower and head to breakfast, return to room to prep for a day of errands, over to tour company to organize outing to jungle, our guide frank helps us find jason some shoes and get some flights to salvador after our return, back to hotel after and then out for fish lunch at local joint, get mike a TIM SIM and some batteries then split up for a bit, mike does a tour of the city while jason sorts out amex fraud issue, meet back at hotel around 18:00, jason's issue was a fake fraud, italian dinner and two beers than straight to bed
  • Sun Feb 12 - up at 05:00 and pack up, suarez (from the tour company - sp?) picks us up at the hotel in a car and we head to bus station after a brief stop at his office, meet two spanish guys (javier and joan) that are joining our little group, take a very cold bus trip out of town, jump off at a little village and buy some last minute supplies than walk down to the river, about one hour on a speedboat and reach base camp, breakfast than a row boat trip over the nearby water, mike puts up a brief argument about the itinerary, do a circular trek after lunch, bathe in river, dinner than bed down early in hammocks
  • Mon Feb 13 - up at 06:30 or so and grab breakfast, pack up and head out into the forest, reach camp in about 2.5 hours, hang hammocks and such, have lunch than head out into the forest, back for baths in stream, dinner, shoot the shit a bit than turn in
  • Tue Feb 14 - coffee around 06:30 and out into the woods, return about 13:00 for a bath and lunch, loll about a bit than gather extra fronds for the shelter, bathe in the stream again, coffee and biscuits for dinner, play a round of cards and then retire to hammocks, chat for a bit before a mostly sleepless night
  • Wed Feb 15 - up at 06:00 and immediately back up and hit the trail, arrive back at base for about 08:30 and enjoy a nice breakfast, spend some time hanging out and watching frank make two blow guns, big lunch, row across river to a farmhouse and enjoy a few cold beers, back to camp to wash and pack up, boat arrives during a rain storm, say goodbye and have a wet trip back to the village, hang out at bus stop for a bit playing hack sack with a local kid, two hours on bus to manaus and are met by manuel with a big hat, drive into town to get bags from tour office, over to manuel's for a shower and unexpected free meal, manuel drops us off at airport, nerd out in terminal waiting to check in, get on first leg to brasilia and pass out
  • Thu Feb 16 - awake at 07:00 or so and get off plane, sleep on floor of airport waiting to connect to salvador, take off again around 10:20 and land around noon, taxi into town after struggle with brazilian phone system, first choice hotel shut or full or something, policeman (maybe) takes us to another place where we agree to seven days at a somewhat discounted rate, immediately take in a free lunch, run a few errands in the afternoon and then settle down into drinks and a big free bahian dinner with the staff, wash a few dishes than nerd out near the balcony for awhile, sleep
  • Fri Feb 17 - up at 08:30 for big breakfast, a bit of admin and then out to internet cafe until 14:00, jason to flippy dance practice in the afternoon, mike hangs out in hotel reading and burning DVDs, dinner with hotel staff at very close restaurant, beers in the door of the hotel, taxis to Barra, a bit of confusion when some of party gets lost, reunite and end up in a gay club, return to hotel for about 01:30 for sleep
  • Sat Feb 18 - up around 09:00 for another big breakfast, watch flippy dance practice - jason participates, get flights to rio and try to organize passage to canudos, por kilo lunch on central square, back to hotel to wash and relax, jason naps while mike hits the internet and does a bit of shopping for carnaval costume, reunite at hotel, have a few beers, out for al fresco dinner, back to hotel around 20:30 drained of energy, jason to bed, mike heads back out at 23:00 with a young australian guy and Edge (hotel staff) to a club at the mall near the beach, dance a bit to canned disco and then watch a band of teenagers play a ska-ish set, back to hotel for about 01:30 and to bed
  • Sun Feb 19 - up around 09:30 for yet another fine breakfast, hang about waiting for shower and letting it rain, hit the streets for a bit of touristing, mike gets mugged, back to hotel for a few beers in the street then off to shopping mall, pick up some bits and pieces for carnaval costumes, a few more beers then fruity drinks in the pousada, wait for jo to arrive to go to churrascaria, bail out on meat trip in favor of pizza, return to hotel, jason turns in, have a few more drinks with andre 3000 for his birthday, hang out a bit in front of pousada with the gorillas drinking beer, sleep
  • Mon Feb 20 - up around 10:30 for breakfast, jason to internet, mike hangs in pousada to blog and work on video stuff, mike out for internet in afternoon, meet back up in pousada lobby and hang out with meatheads a bit, out for dinner after a couple of cocktails, go to festa with kids from the pousada, big crowd and music is kind of boring, in bed for about 01:00
  • Tue Feb 21 - up around 09:30 for breakfast with lots of people in pousada, jason attends to hideous blister while mike works on blog shite, meet up with belgian girls at noon to go to the beach, get there by bus, spend a few relaxing hours making sand castles and an orange cape and drinking beer and eating fried cheese, back to town by taxi, jason and belgians to flippy class, reconvene belgians and the OC around 21:30 at the pousada, there is music on the steps next door and fruity drinks going around, out for al fresco dinner at unfancy little place, manage to converse among all the street vendors and passing drum-heavy parades, down the hill to a reggae club, that closes so move on to a seedy little place a bit farther on, are joined by hamish (new friend from UK) for a bit, jason's camera is stolen at the club so we take off, try to find a hip hop club that hamish knows but it is closed, say goodbye to hamish then hang out on the street a bit, jason walks belgian #1 (joanna) home then returns to find mike and belgian #2 (anna) still hanging out on a street corner, jason heads to bed, mike walks anna home and them himself staggers into pousada as the sun is coming up
  • Web Feb 22 - up at 10:00 or so, mike has something of a hangover, wash up and head out separately to barra to get hair sorted for carnaval, now are both sporting mohawks of sorts, meet up back at pousada after jason's flippy school, mike heads out to internet cafe to cancel recently misplace ATM card, clean up a bit and head out for dinner at bahian place over the road after a fruity drink at the pousada, immediate return to base to read and blog and take it easy, a few beers with other residents and staff, jason out to samba party, mike early to bed
  • Thu Feb 23 - up at 10:00 for the usual breakfast, pack up, get some laundry in for same-day processing, out to the internet for a bit but otherwise spend the day hanging out and reading and napping and blogging, early dinner of bahian pork loin, farewell to pousada staff, taxi to airport, hang out and blog, flight delayed a bit, take off around 01:00 and get immediately to sleep, awake upon landing around 15:00, claim bags, get an expensive pre-pay taxi to the hotel
  • Fri Feb 24 - can not check in so hang out and snooze in the lobby, out for pricey but good al fresco breakfast by the beach at 08:00, back to hotel to try to get in room but still no luck, wait around in lobby until 13:00 and finally get checked in, wash and sleep, up at 16:30 and head out to tourist info center and shopping mall to look for new camera, back to hotel to get dressed, mike hits internet cafe while jason rests, head downtown to central square to watch a free samba concert, meet some girls (floriana and olivia), head to samba school drum practice for sweaty dancing, then to hip hop club for more, taxis back to copacabana to sleep
  • Sat Feb 25 - up around 14:00 and have feijoda (sp?) lunch in hotel, get cleaned up and head out to sambadrome, mill around before getting tickets, show starts at 20:00, jason splits at 23:00 to meet girls, mike stays around until 01:30, meet back up at hotel, jason with febiana in tow
  • Sun Feb 26 - up around noon, shower and head out to a family barbecue very far from the city center, have some eats and drink beer and dance, leave there around 19:00 for a bar where karaoke is sung and more beer is had, then its time to head to the carnaval, a wet march in the rain to street festival, hang out drinking beer and eating junk food for awhile to avoid the downpour, hip hop dancing in the street for a bit, mike grabs a taxi home after a protracted argument about safety, jason out all night and sleeps in the burbs
  • Mon Feb 27 - mike up around noon and relaxes in hotel, out for beachfront lunch and relaxation, jason appears somewhat later, naptime, meet girls at hotel for about 19:00, walk the copa in costume (captain futuro and admiral capoeira), sit for a few beachfront and down cocktails, call it a night around 00:00
  • Tue Feb 28 - up around 14:00 or so, lunch at little place next to hotel, grab some cash and new disposable camera, out to cinelandia to meet the girls, beers in front of tetro municipal, walk over to lapa to join a bloco, spend 2 hours on the march, relax over pizza back at lapa, mike heads for home around 21:30, others stay out, jason and floriana appear in copa some time later
  • Wed Mar 1 - up around 13:00, mike heads out to drop off laundry and get a hair cut and look for a new backpack, search leads to local shopping mall where success is had, back to copa via bus and have lunch next to hotel, up to room to blog and chill with cable TV, jason and floriana return, watch a bit of TV and look through pictures (actual prints!) then head out for churrascaria dinner, stop by internet cafe and then back to hotel to pack and sleep
  • Thu Mar 2 - up at 07:00 to shower, mike has breakfast before picking up laundry, finalize packing and take a taxi to the airport, catch earlier flight (09:30) to sao paolo, bus transfer to another airport, have to wait for south africa desk to open, do a bit of shopping, relax with laptops, check in, find out that need onward tickets and mike needs a yellow fever shot, get the shot then buy a throwaway ticket, proceed to gate, buy some headphones for jason and exchange a bit of money, mike has a bit to eat while waiting to board, watch big rainstorm, get on day plane and take off around 17:30
Photo Albums
Wild Brazil
Pousada Da Jo
Rio de Janeiro

Video Gallery
Howler Monkeys
Fishing For Piranha
Brazilian Jumping Bean