Sunday, 14 July 2013

Complete 180

Day 45 - 13 de Julho: Amazon Jungle to São Paulo, Brazil 

I've been through so much change today that I still cant believe I'm going to write all of this in one post! Today, I was woken up around 6am by one of the guides - that's right, woken up. Now, that's a huge success for me because all the other nights, I had been the first up in the morning, and had woken up 5 times throughout the night. Finally, I had a good, undisturbed sleep to start the day off right! Right away, we began to pack up our hammocks, tarps and other things - we were going to move on right away to the jungle cabin for breakfast. But luckily for us, this didn't involve much walking! We were set to take a small river boat from the area we would usually swim in. So, we got in and navigated around and through the twisting branches over the river. We had a guy up front with a machete cutting a few of them down which helped. Before long, the cabin was right in front of us. It was like luxury to find a freshly cooked breakfast and coffee waiting for us. Remember that Jeffson's parents and aunt had stayed here during this time. It was quick, but delicious. I had my last of a lot of Manaus favourites - fresh pineapple, baré, tapioca. And I will surely miss this whole family! They have all been so loving and caring to me. I definitely want to visit them again someday. After eating, we loaded onto Jeffson's boat and made our way back towards Manaus. We quickly stopped to drop the clients off at a village on the way where they would live with an indigenous tribe for the next couple days - hope they have fun! The whole way back in the boat, i was pretty quiet - taking in all the amazing sites of the jungle. This river had become so familiar to me, and today would be my last day on it. We got to the docks and waited around in the shade near a fruit stand for Marcia to drive by. Jeffson bought me an orange while we waited. I'm not sure what made this one different, but this was the best tasting orange I had eaten since I got here. Maybe after all that time away from the city, I was simply craving fresh fruit. With a bit more time before I had to be at the airport, we made a few quick stops. I had earlier, lent Jeffson my running shoes (which were a fair bit too big for him) since his boots had finally fallen apart in the jungle. So he bought himself some new boots and returned my shoes. Then we made a quick stop at the supermarket since he needed some new food to bring back to the cabin for his parents. I could tell this was going to be a really busy day for him. Everybody in the family had jobs to do to get everything done, so it was just Jeffson and the aunt from the lodge (who had come with us) that dropped me off at the airport. I gave him a big hug and we said our final goodbyes. I then carried on into the airport. It turned out, i was quite early and needed to wait another 20 mins before we were allowed to check in. While I was waiting in line, I actually came across some wyd participants from Manaus who were making their ways to Rio. I spoke a little portuguese with them to tell them my general story and get theirs. Then i got a picture with them before checkin started. Once through security, i felt like having lunch so i ordered a burger and fries from the restaurant in the airport. Too bad it took half an hour to make - i was scarfing it down pretty fast to make it back to my gate. The flight to Brasilia was pretty standard. Turned out that this flight didn't have a first class option, so I was in the 3rd row of the plane in a window seat. I had never been so far up - the jet engine made a different sound from this side of it! The flight was nice and didn't last too long. I landed in Brasilia at 6pm. That city is a big one! I hung out for a little bit here and got free wifi to facetime home - first contact home in a week! It was nice to talk to my parents again. I talked all the way until it was time to board. I got on and it was another quick flight to Sao Paulo. It was dark flying in and the sea of city light was the most massive thing I had seen on this trip. Absolutely enormous city! We touched down in congonhas airport and without any problems, I got my big sack of a backpack and made it out in one piece. Here's where the big test would be - safely deal with these taxis and not get scammed. Well, I got some good advice to use the taxi booths at the airport rather than waving one down. Who knows if it was a good deal or not, but it's a lot more legit to do it this way and get to pay beforehand (beat the taxi meter). When the lady at the booth asked whether i wanted to pay by cash or card, i was going to say card, but then I realized something... I couldn't find my credit card, or debit card. That had me worried - had I left it back in manaus?? Luckily, I had decided to eat at the airport in Manaus and break my hundred real bill so I had the right change for the fare. My driver was a nice old guy that took me right to the hotel (had to ask for directions on the way though). The city sure was a cool one to see; completely different from Manaus. I've been told that Sao Paulo is very similar to New York. I will be exploring a fair bit tomorrow. Checking in was easy, but I had to pay for the room up front and didn't have my cards - lucky I had one emergency credit card to use on the spot. I got to my room and immediately rummaged through my things until, lucky enough, i found my cards in a pant pocket. My room is really nice - as the title suggests, a complete 180 to what I was sleeping in the night before. I had my first real shower in a long time and now get to sleep in a real bed. What a treat! In fact, it's 1:20am here right now, so I'm about ready to enjoy these zzzzzs. Good night everyone, Boa noite!

The river boat 
Looks like grandpa fixed the ladder
The water level is already lower since i last saw it
They also got a rooster
The indigenous tribal camp beach
My new WYD buddies
My last foot picture (the final result)
My room

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