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Published: January 5th 2011
19/12 (i know I am very far behind on my blog but I will make an effort now I promise to catch up!)
Our Morro de Sao Paolo trip ended on a slightly sour note as the Brazilians, for the first time, became incredibly unhelpful. We booked a catamaran for 9am this morning and managed to sort out a 'taxi' to take our luggage to the port - we were there in plenty of time (in true british fashion) and we paid the ridiculous 62 cent tax to use the port. We were then sat waiting to get on the catamaran when a man came and asked to look at our tickets - and noted that he only had 2 of us (me and Amy) onhis list - even though my ticket clearly showed that we had paid for the 3 of us and had all our names on. He said nothing more and so we waited for the boat to arrive - our taxi man was really slow when the boat came and we were at the back of the queue - it was only when we reached the front of the queue that we realised that this was all on purpose and that they weren't going to let us on the boat. We. Were. Fuming. In true british style (as promised by Tasha) she stamped her feet (literally) and Amy shook her head at the marine guard to show how displeased she was = I, on the other hand, tried the French tactic of storming the Bastille (in this case the catamaran) but alas, to no avail, as the boat took off without us, and, to add insult to injury, it began to piss it down. I started shouting at various people in sportuguese - even though it was clear that it was the agency who we'd booked with who'd cocked uo - I then established that we had 2 options.
1- Take the boat-bus-boat combo back to Salvador
2- Wait 2 hours for the next Catamaran.
I noted my concerns (surprisingly articulately) that a) we wouldn't be on the 11:30 cataqmaran list either and that b) if we took the other option that when we got on the bus we would be told that we would have to pay again. Hilton, one of the taxi men said that he would take the journey with us and explain what had happened - although we were worried when he took the ticket off us - but he stuck to his word and although the journey took 4 houts instead of 2 we successfully arrived in Salvador.
We then hopped in a taxi (not safe to do much else with backpacks in Pelhourino) and stated that we wanted to go to Rua Recife where our (fantastic) hostel was. It turns out that there are 2 Rua Recifes and he was taking us to the wrong one - we only realised when the signs for Barra - our area of town disappeared. In a panic I explained we were going the wrong way - neither us nor the taxi driver were happy - I lied and said I only had 50 reals for what was a 65 journey - but in my defence it shouldve only cost about 20! We were not pleased, especially as the taxi driver looked like crocodile dundee. We did however, witness a classic piece of Brazilian driving as we pulled up at a red light behing another two cars, the car behind us was not pleased and mounted the kerb and drove past the cars tghrough the lights so as not to stop. mental.
Anyway, we arrived at the hostel and very much chilled out - caughtup with a few people, booked reasonable flights to santa cruz and Cusco so that we can go to Machu Picchu and then packed and got ready for bed - flying earlyish in the morning so sleep required.
I have never felt more like Tom Hanks in my life - I have been waiting at Rio airport for 9 hours now, and still a way to go. This isn't due to snow/storms/terrorism but instead was an active CHOICE of the group. We flew from Salvador to Rio this morning and knew we were having to get a bus to Magaratiba to head to Ihla Grande at 5am - we decided it was pointless to get a hostel when the bus was that earlyu but that the bus station might be a bit dodgy so the airport it is! Ready for a sleep now, and its only 11 - we have a bit of waiting to do yet...
Well, we successfully reached our destination of Ihla Grande this morning, having got a taxi from the airport to the bus station at 3:30am and then bought our tickets and caught our bus at 5am to Magaratiba and then a boat to the island, arriving in about 11am. We walked through the town and found our hostel, which had been hit by a mudslide 5 days ago - and the hostel was still int he clean up process. We got settled into one of the cleared up rooms - Tasha made a friend as she showered - Christopher the crab who joined her for a good clean. He was officially the fastest crab ever. We were knackered following a night of very littkle sleep so decided to nap out of the high suin - it is SO hot - but the island is absolutely stunning, lush green vegetation all over - barely touched. Tomorrow we're having a boat trip around the island to see some of the sights.
PM - the hostel owners are being so nice to us to make up for the mess caused by the flood - its not affecting us to be honest - our room is fine. We've also seen a massive crab (named Crawford) and a frog - it truly is at one with nature at this hostel! Spent the afternoon watching mamma mia and playing dominos. How rock and roll we have become.
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