Jo & Ed Lilley

The Outbetweeners

Jo & Ed Lilley

Would have loved a Gap Year a few years ago but it never happened. Have now both managed to sneak ten weeks off work and are making the most of it with an overland trip around part of South America. Not luxury travel - haven't put up a tent for years which may be one of the key challenges of the tour!

Our final day in Rio, we were up for early breakfast then followed the game of packing four bags into two and deciding what we needed for the day. Theoretically, it should have been easier to pack than on the way out as despite a few small purchases, we have used and disposed of quite a lot of bottles and potions. We thought about a trip into the centre but decided that the local coffee shop we had sen near the Sunday Market would be sufficient. We walked there and found out that there was a fish, vegetable and market with general stalls around the Square facing Copacabana/Ipanema Metro station. We walked around. There were avocados as large as pineapples and lots of interesting fish. We came upon a food stall which was busy selling drinks ... read more
Rio - Ipanema Market

Down for breakfast by 7.45am following which we took our laundry to the nearest lavanderia (for the last time!) We walked to the bus stop and took another local bus to Corcovado (the hill where the statue of Christ is). We arrived at 10.15pm to be advised that due to the throngs of tourists, the next available train to the top was 11.20 but by the time we reached the front of the queue to pay, the next available train was 11.40am. The only trouble with the tourist attractions are the innumerable tourists!! The train made its way to the top (a pleasant wooded journey. Everyone piled out and massed by the monument and railings to take pictures. We joined the throng and took a couple of photos overlooking Rio (from the other side) and a ... read more

Went down for breakfast around 8.00 am and took a local bus to Sugar Loaf Mountain. The bus drivers drive like there is no tomorrow and even if there is a tomorrow, it doesn't feel like they want to see it - so fast, they practically turn each corner on two wheels and narrowly avoid anything else in their paths and in the other lanes!! We joined the queues for the cable car - 65 people maximum in each car - and went to the top. The first cable car stopped at the first station and we got out, walked around the viewpoint, bought a yoghurt smoothie drink, sat for a while and took the cable car to the second station at the top of Sugar Loaf. Took a couple of pictures, walked around a bit ... read more
Ipanema 'Hippy market'

Wonderful breakfast at the hotel - a real treat with granola, yoghurts, all sorts of rolls, eggs, etc., etc. and plenty of coffee. We sat around for quite a while saying our goodbyes to everyone on the group with the promise of a bed for a couple of nights for a few of them. Check out was at 12.00pm so we took a walk to the local beach. Very pleasant area but this could have been any city (with a beach) anywhere in the world. At 11.45, we shared a taxi with Jill who was going to a hotel near to our new destination (the hotel we booked for 3 nights a few months before we travelled). Our new hotel was possibly not quite as nice as the one the night before but the location was ... read more

The hostel kindly arranged an early breakfast for everyone and we were pouring our coffee at 7.00 am. Those camping were due to arrive in Amber at 8.00 am to pick those of us sleeping in comfort (the majority of the group) for the five-hour drive to Rio. 8.00 am came and went as did 9.00 am and no sight nor sound of Amber. I suppose we could both have walked the five minutes to the camp site down the road but with our luggage awaiting collection, we were happy to use the hostel WIF, sit in the sun reading our kindles and see what would transpire. Two girls disappeared off down the road and didn't return Josef followed and didn't return so Jo decided to go and investigate. Ivan and Dave were totally unable to ... read more
Rio de Janeiro

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Paraty March 29th 2012

We woke up early and sat around until breakfast which didn't open until 8.30 am. At 8.35 am Jo complained that they hadn't yet removed the chain across the breakfast area as she could smell the coffee and we were both becoming thirsty which was when we discovered that we had 25 minutes left to wait due to Ed having the wrong time!!! A leisurely breakfast of fresh orange juice, crusty fresh rolls, really good coffee (for once) and some fruit. We walked into town which is really very nice with pretty buildings and cobbled streets, a reasonable selection of shops, some cafes, boats bobbing at their moorings all to the backdrop of forested mountains with pleasant walking weather - i.e. not raining and not too hot. We wandered around most of the morning and afternoon, ... read more
a cafe

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Paraty March 28th 2012

We woke up at 6.00 am, stuffed all our things back into their stuff sacks FOR THE FINAL TIME, dismantled our tent (Yea!!), sorted our clothes out for the day and got our laundry together from our bags in the locker on the bus, cooked breakfast (porridge) and heated water for hot drinks and afterwards, walked into the town twenty minutes away. (The towns are always twenty minutes walk away!!) We dropped off our washing at a local laundry for collection at 5.00 pm and walked down to the quayside where a schooner (but with pretend sails and an engine) was awaiting our group and other tourists for a boat trip to the local islands for sunbathing, swimming and beaches. Ivan and Dave went shopping previously and carted freezer boxes full of ice, beer and the ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Paraty March 27th 2012

Some of the group were going White water rafting (mainly those who weren't on the previous leg of the trip so this was their first opportunity) and breakfast had to be on the table by 8.45am. We cut up melon and boiled the kettle and sorted out the cereals, after which it all had to get cleared away. There was a decent sink with proper running water so prior to breakfast, Jo washed all twenty-four or so food-encrusted bowls as they were not pleasant to eat from! Following breakfast, we walked into the town about twenty minutes away and looked round the shops. A pleasant town although nothing there of any particular interest. We then sheltered in an ice-cream parlour during a particularly fierce downpour of rain following which we found a wine shop/deli that had ... read more
A dirt track to nowhere

South America » Brazil » São Paulo March 26th 2012

Please ignore the above location. Sao Paulo is incorrect and we couldn't find precise location. Only way to 'publish' blog is with a location saved. Sorry........................... The school opened early and we had to leave by 6.00 am. As mentioned previously, it is no fun stuffing everything bak into its stuff sack, finding your clothes in the dark and taking your tent down in the dark. The one good thing was that the 24-hour garage also had 24-hour coffee and we were able to buy hot drinks before leaving. Amber is ill. We were supposed to leave at 6.00 am. However, the air brakes weren't working and this locks the brakes so the truck wouldn't move. No spare parts but brute force and ignorance won the day and with the brakes OK again, we left around ... read more

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal March 25th 2012

Another 7.00 am breakfast and we all piled into the tiered jeep for a five-minute drive (which the day before we had walked 20 minutes to for the canoe trip) to the boat jetty. We got on to a pontoon with a planked floor bolted across with a wooden ladder to an upper level held up on metal stilts. Some of us climbed to the upper level. Plastic garden chairs were available on each level. The guide started the motor and we chugged very slowly through the fields of plants and water hyacinths in the opposite direction to that taken on the canoes, the boat totally obliterating any sign that we were actually in water until it cleared a watery trail through the middle. The going was very slow as the plants had grown so thick. ... read more
Fazenda San Fransisco

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