Brasil was never meant to be two-and-a-half months. It was supposed to be the World Cup and then into Colombia, but as long-term travel goes, nothing really goes according to your plans. It was all for the best, though.
I’ve already written about my time in Brasília, the World Cup and also the Amazon Jungle, but I ended up staying on in Rio de Janeiro for another week after the World Cup finished. Rio is an amazing place with its world-famous landmarks like Cristo Redentor, Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach, but my favourite was the relatively unknown hike and view above the Vidigal favela. You’re told to not enter the favelas without a tour guide because they’re slums that are run by drug lords, but rules are meant to be broken!
I went to Vidigal with Victoria, a Canadian girl I met in my hostel. She’s like a female version of me, but at the same time she’s the exact opposite. We got along so well, even to the point where we were having eating contests at buffet restaurants! I’ve met many people in the 10 months that I’ve been on the road, and you can quickly work out whether or not you’ll ever see someone again after you say goodbye, and Victoria definitely falls into the ‘see again’ category.
Rio fulfilled my lust for the beach, probably the only ‘thing’ I missed from home, but after two weeks, I knew my time was up and that new adventures were needed. I booked a flight to Natal and left the incoming cold weather of the south and headed to the northeast coast of Brasil.
I visited the towns of Pipa, Fortaleza, Jericoacoara, Caburé, Barreirinhas, São Luís, Belém, and Manaus before heading into the Amazon Jungle as my final destination before I entered my 47th country, Colombia.
One of the first questions I get asked after telling people I’m Australian, is whether or not I surf. My answer was always yes, even though I had never surfed in my life, because you don’t want to disappoint, right? Haha. But in Pipa, I hired a surfboard and taught myself how to surf. There were surf schools, but who needs to pay for lessons when all you need to do is paddle, stand up, and then carve the waves?! It was actually easier than I thought it would be, and now when I tell people that I surf, it won’t be tongue-in-cheek!
Brasil as a whole exceeded any expectations I had of it. The people were so friendly, the women were beautiful, the food was good and the beers were served ice cold. You couldn’t ask for more! It’s a deceptively large country with a diverse climate and many wonderful attractions for tourists, from the beaches of Rio to the Amazon Jungle from Manaus to the wetlands of the Pantanal Region and the breathtaking Iguaçu Falls. I have never felt so welcomed in a country and I will definitely be returning one day. Obrigado Brasil!