I will admit I was excited thinking about sitting my ass down on some of the best beaches in the world. But truth be-known I was really not looking forward to the 2500 km ride from Santa Cruz to Rio. I new the ride was going to be cold, wet, windy and with uneventful terrain.
Now I was correct in all of the above mentioned with the exception of the unexpected company for the ride. About 20km from the border town of Puerto Suarez an enthusiastic rider passed me by giving a hearty wave.
I decided I would follow this stranger into town even though I did not know where he was from or what language he spoke. But I new we both had something in common, we were both dumb enough to be driving in the freezing cold weather.
Well it turned out that Paulo and his daughter Pamela were heading back to Sao Paulo after visiting Peru. So after talking for just 10 mins in a combination of Portuguese, broken Spanish and English. We decided that we would ride together the next day until our paths seperated.
And as events have it, what was supposed to be only one day together turned into three plus and overnight stay at Paulo's house in the city of Sao Paulo.
I can't stress enough why this is one of the best things about travelling solo. People are so friendly and just want to get to know you, and when you are by yourself you are just that much more approachable.
Pamela told me the name of this bird in Portuguese which I cannot remember, but I think they are just the coolest looking birds. To me it looks like a combination of part chicken part hawk.
More wild life in the Pantanel swamps of Brazil.
I finally made it to rio after 5 days and was not disappointed in my choice of accommodations.
I decided to stay on an island 30 minutes outside of Rio in the neighbourhood called Barra de Tijuca. Most of this reasoning was due to the fact that the Pope was in town and downtown Rio was packed with his followers.There are no vehicles on the island and you must take a water taxi (1 min) to get to the island. There are approximately 2000 people living on the island.
The island is a maze of sidewalks leading to the various homes. Along with a few restaurants and stores located throughout the island.
The island island is also only a 20 min walk to some of the best beaches of Rio. And after 5 days of wet freezing weather I am in great need of some sun and sand!