Published: April 8th 2010March 31st 2010
Lonely passport and Irish Planet
The overnight bus from São Paulo to Florianapolis was very comfortable, but there still wasn't much sleeping being done on it. When it stopped, at a restaurant, for a while, somebody was robbed, and she cried the entire night, while other passangers searched the bus, and the police boarded at one point, and the bus company boarded at another, and they all searched the bus.
I left Florianapolis on the 12.45PM bus yesterday, and passed rain forest, farms, little towns, lagoons, roadside restaurants and mounds of orange soil that had been dug up to widen the roads, and arrived in Porto Alegro with a pastal sunset outside.
Then I got on a late night bus to Uruguay. At the beginning of the bus journey the bus staff took my passport and gave it back at the Uruguay side of the Uruguay, Brazil border with 2 more stamps in it. The bus lady and the bus man kissed and hugged me and changed enough of my Brazilian money for the bus fare I needed to get to Punta del Diablo.
I waited for the bus to Punta del Diablo, while the sky turned from maroon and black, to red and purple, to blue and yellow, with cows mooing and cockerals crowing in the distance.
Woohoo! The sun is shining today. Yesterday was so cold, that I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, in case it was still cold.
Tomorrow, I am heading back to Brazil. It is tempting to stay here longer, but I don't want to spend all the rest of my time in a mad rush up the coast of Brazil, without any time to sit back and enjoy it. I want to stay in Torres for a night or 2 on my way back to São Paulo. I don't see any hostels listed for there, so will probably stay in a hotel. Would you also check the internet, to make sure there are no hostels, in Torres, in case I missed one. There is also a Torres in Spain, so make sure it is Brazil on the address when you are searching.
I had one of the regular backpacker discussions a few days ago, with a Spanish girl at the Uruguay border town, about the 'How do I be a Traveller and hold onto my lovelife too' dilemma. She, like many others I speak with want to know how I manage it. But, I suppose the timing was right. I am happy to travel for shorter periods than I used to, because I also want to have my family life etc. I told her it is a question of balance, and being able to have good communication with ones partner about sharing the childcare and money responsibilities. She wants to have children soon, but was at the same time feeling quite annoyed with her boyfriend for asking when she is comming home. He is not so interested in travel. She thinks I have it all worked out, and wants to be like this too. Strangely, travel and having a job, family.... has never been something I have had to battle too hard to achieve. Yeah, the timing was right, and that is really the bottom line of it.
She travelled from Uruguay to Florianapolis with me. She stayed with some couchsurfing people last night and emailed me to meet her for a coffee today. I agreed, because I thought she meant a relaxing coffee while looking out at the lagoon. Unfortunately, she arrived with a list of activities for us to do, including a hiking trail. She even brough umbrellas so we could walk in the rain. I told her to go off and do that stuff and then come back if she wants, because I want to relax. She didn't want to go by herself, so stayed with me. Trying to relax with a restless person like that present is like having somebody shake me at 3AM. This situation is one reason why I avoid having travel buddies. There are few people who are willing to be travel buddies, but do some things independently. I either get dragged into all kinds I don't want to do, or have to listen to them talking about wasting time with doing nothing. I don't see sitting around soaking up the atmosphere as wasting time. If it was, I would never travel, because I would be wasting a lot of time.
Luckily it was daylight for just a couple of the long bus journeys. It is not a good thing, to see just how much one is risking ones life on the roads of Brazil. On the way here yesterday, we saw 2 road accidents and a couple of situations just waiting to turn into accidents. Most of the accidents seem to be with long trucks. I don't know if they pack them badly, or if the drivers are not well qualified or what.
Also, the bus robberies seem to be quite frequent. The Spanish girl I met had her bag riffled through one night bus trip, and the thief took her camera, shades and money. Brazil looks quite wealthy, safe and clean, so it is easy to neglect to look after valuables and to take general health precautions such as using mosquito repellant. The stories from other travellers are an abrupt reminder to take the care here, that I would never forget to take in places such as India, Kenya.... which unlike Brazil do not look so safe and clean.
The bus pulled out of Florianapolis as the big yellow fecker disappeared for the night. It started to rain, and I watched the beautiful S. American landscape with clouds curling around the mountains in the distance, until it got dark. Then, fork lightening raked the sky and at some stage I fell asleep and woke up in São Paulo.