Monthly Archives: October 2010

Buzios Centro..

in Europe and South America, they call the central part of each city “centro”… we took a van up to centro and had a nice walk.  I got to see some places along the ocean that were the first time for me.   I got to put my legs in the water and got some nice sun today.  There was a very large cruise ship out in the bay and plenty of very white rich people walking around the downtown… They were white stickers on their shirts to indicate that are from the boat.  We stopped to share a beer, buy some fruit and caught the van back to Geriba Beach.

Some sad news… the whale did not make it… The people really tried to save it, but it just could not get back into the sea… we were very fortunate to be on the beach when it washed up.. I have plenty of pixs and posted some of them here…

I bought a nice spearmint plant and about 8 little onions to plant.  We are keeping the place very clean and I am still eating rice, beans, egg plants and tomatoes….  it has been a month and so far my body feels very good and I have plenty of energy.  We shall see how long this lasts..sorta hard when everybody in town is eating roasted chicken which they sell all over the place.   Buzios is a great place to live and I hope to come back here again… nice not to have to worry about buses and hostels and food…

Debs and Adrian have been very good people to live with, they even got me to play ONO last nite and I hate card games.

webcafe Buzios, Brasil wed nite



Got to see a real monster whale today

We went swimming and were laying on Geriba Beach and Adrian said…What the f. is that???  It was a real big whale stuck in the surf… We stayed there watching the people trying to rescue it and lead it out to sea, but I do not think it got free…  It was amazing to see such a creature although it most likely is not going to have a happy ending… Here are some pixs…

Living in Buzios

is pretty easy with Adrian and Debs, both from County Kildare but living in London when not travelling South America.  We are still working on the place..mopping, racking, cleaning, and cooking and drinking beer and wine… I am the wine drinker here…

The other day I was over at Boca Rico’s little farm across the street… He grows plants and puts them in a basket on his bike and sells them in the town.  He is also the informal caretaker of this place when nobody is living here…  He gave me some nice dill and some little yellow pimento beans.  They looked like little yellow cranberries… Of course I bit into one and my mouth and lips were instantly burning…SUPER HOT PEPPERS.  I was not even sure if I could make it back across the street to get water.  The burning lasted a hour or 2… So we have them saved for the next Chilli.

My diet continues, almost a month since I have had meat and dairy.  It is paying off, lost most of my tummy and feel so much better, I sleep through the night and fall asleep fast.  My whole life is more positive and I am still doing my yoga and mediation each day…  My little netbook is always being used by the 3 of us.. Adrian keeps playing some good music and our days are full of living.  I gave Adrian a guitar lesson and he is a fast learner.  Today he gave us a Portuguese lesson, Deb is a good student, I am not…

We have been waiting for Anthony to show up for the past 3 days but no Anthony yet.  the roof of this place needs some repairs and we still need to rehang the ceiling in my suite… We go on bug killing outings each nite and fight the mosquitoes and other bugs.  I found out if I close the windows and doors in my room, they can not get in.

I did bring some good videos with me, we watched Crazy Hearts the other night and last nite it was Coroline.  Now I know that Abby watched that movie many times and I had no idea how horrific it could be.  I wonder what is going on in her 3 year old mind.  Deb took a nice picture of me and I can see that my body is getting back to some semblance of well being.

We had some rain last nite and we had several leaks… not really sure how they will be fixed… no ladder here and not many tools.  There is a bakery just about 500 meters from here, and I get rolls there every day.

The Irish/UK are coming

Talked on skype with Adrian, he was going to see Jesus in Rio and told me that he and Debs will be here on Thursday…. worked all day with Bica Rico… finished the landscaping and still moping this place….  Before the sun went down, I walked to the Beach about 800 meters and put my feet in the water… the waves were high and everything was an amazing pink and purple.  I walked along the beach and got into a place in Buzios I was not familiar with.. I did find a couple of web cafes along the way…

Stopped at the Bazaar Store and bought some more citronella candles…. made a great dinner of pasta and had a nice glass of wine… guess I will have to get use to no cheese and no meat…it was still very good…

Not much to report, but I am getting very comfy here and hope to come here each winter in the future…  When my company gets here we are going to take a van to Centro and drink, eat and dance…

Back in Buzios…

After a long hot commute out of the jungle I finally got to Buzios.. I found Boca Rico, a friend of Anthony and he got me into the Buzios Beach Hostel with a screwdriver… He had to climb in through the bathroom window.  We checked the water, the lights, flushed the toilets etc…  Stephen closed the place about 7 months ago and there was a coating of dirt throughout the place.  I walked about 1000 meters to the supermarket and got some food to keep me going.  I stopped by the local bar and the owner was very glad to see me again.  He always tries to teach me a new word when I see him.

I have been here 2 days and have not walked to the beach yet.  There was a problem with the electricity going on and off.  Boca called his friend who showed up on his scooter and started to work on the wiring.  He eventually found the problem was a tree which had grown so big that it started to interfere with the power supply.  Luckily, Anthony showed up late in the day and gave me some money to pay the guys…

Boca brought over his electric lawn mower and he is really cleaning up the place, we have to install a light above the stairs and put some concrete in front of the gate…  My friend from Ireland will be here soon, Adrian and Debs are in Rio and I am looking forward to sharing this place with them.  I assume they will be cooking meat, so that is a problem I will work around.

I made some beans, some rice and a nice fruit salad today and everything was delicious. Not much happening, just alot of work.  Once we do the laundry, this place should be ready to be opened, not sure if Stephen or Adrian want that to happen, I am not going anywhere until Dec. 15.

Last day for the Jungle Beach Hostel

Woke up early, before 6 and had my first granola and soy milk breakfast.  Soy Milk Soja Leche is not that bad, it reminds me of something, but I am just not sure.  I know there is sugar in it.  I started to clean the pantry, organize the contents into sections and had a nice couple of ginger teas…  Sarah got up in time to catch her bus to Casimiro and then on to Rio.  I fixed her breakfast, gave her a big hug and she was gone….

I then went up to the small house and started to clean the kitchen and I found out that it is hard to do without a mop… the place has not been used for 6 months and it is pretty dirty, after I finished, it started to look almost usable.  It has beds for 10 backpackers.

I then took a great shower outside with excellent water pressure and the water is not too cold for the first minute or 2.  Naked outside in the middle of the jungle… It does not get much better than this.  2 weeks since I turned Vegan and I have not made any slip ups…  My belly keeps going down and it feels excellent.  Sarah taught me how to prepare black beans and that will give me the protein I need (and gas too).

So I took some time off and laid down in my hammock reading Lincoln by Gore Vidal.  I heard someone shouting and looked up… I had 4 Germans coming for a visit to the Buzios Jungle Beach Lodge…

Wolfgang, at least 300 lbs and still a smoker, runs a hotel down near the Ocean and knows Anthony.  He brought a nice couple and their 11 year old son for a visit.  He wanted Anthony to take them into the jungle for a hike and lecture.  I did the best tour I could do, showed them the place, showed them how to shake papyri off the trees, named the house plants which grew outside to enormous size, showed them that the leaves from one tree smelled like cloves and the other tree smelled like cinnamon, because that is where we get that stuff from..  Also the citronella plant, which looks like grass.  I took them to the river and Wolfgang almost fell in…

So I came here for a 3 day visit and now it has been 2 weeks, this will be my 3rd night by myself in the jungle and that is enough for me, although this place rocks….

Here is the kind of food I am eating…salad, pumpkin, beans, rice with carrots.  Notice the Corning Ware plate….

I put the nonessential stuff into my luggage and stored it here…  Tomorrow I will take my knapsack and guitar to Casimiro, get a hold of Anthony and take 3 small vans to Busios… I will be a couple of blocks from a web café so it will be a little easier to communicate with my family.  Todo Bem…


Catch up….still in the jungle

Tues night 7:30 pm October 5, 2010

Buzios Jungle House, in the rain forest near Buzios….

6th day of being a vegan..  well, this has been some day, started off in Rio, woke up a little late at 7:30 am.. got my stuff together in the dark in my 8 person dorm room at the Mango Tree Hostel.  Got some nice juice and walked a couple of blocks to catch a bus to the Rio Bus station (2.25 R).  I met Anthony the owner of the Buzios Jungle House at the bus station and we got a ride to Casimiro a small town where Anthony lives with his wife and 3 children.

Anthony put me on a bus up the mountain to take me to the Jungle hostel, he told the driver where to drop me off.  The sun was going down,and the bus stopped along the road and I got off with my 3 pieces of luggage and as the bus pulled away, the people on the bus looked at me standing there and most had a smile on their face… I was wondering what I was doing somewhere in the middle of nowhere, going someplace I was not sure of, but I kept going, down the hill, over the bridge and up to the lodge… no one there and it was dark… Oh I forgot, the gate across the bridge was locked and I had to throw my stuff over the gate and squeeze between the boards to get to the other side.

I found the place, had to put a ladder up to the second floor and got into the Lodge.  After finding the plug to make the electricity work, and getting some food and wine going, I started to feel pretty good in the jungle.  No mosquitoes, but plenty of bugs…and the place is right next to a water fall and it sounds very nice here. The place is surrounded by very high mountains.

Now…karma rocks… Anthony has to leave town this weekend, and I will stay here doing some work on cleaning it up a little.. the place is unbelievable… about 10 rooms, most with bathrooms, and plenty of nice things here, like satellite tv…

I am going to be here this weekend when 3 monks and about 15 students are coming here for a yoga conference.. I met one of the monks at the bus station, he is from India.  So I am looking forward to what will happen.. I am glad I am sticking with my vegan diet…  Not sure how I get myself into these kinds of situations…but it is sure interesting.

Oct 5 to in the jungle



I stayed at the Lodge all by myself for 2 nights… I then went about 15 miles to the nearest town of Casimiro… I had to check my email and visit Anthony.  I did something I never thought I would do again… I hitched to Casimiro…my thumb still works after 39 years!!!!  I got a bus back and hoped that some people would show up early for the Yoga Retreat that night…

2 great people did show up that night and I was not alone anymore.. Luc is French and works in New Caledonia, somewhere out near New Guinea.  Elaine lives in Rio and is a beautiful Brasilian.. she knew no English but I immediately liked her.  Luc is a very good cook and he made some nice vegetarian food for us.  He brought some local wine which was no good.   He cut up some ginger and made some excellent tea, adding some lime… He did have plenty of cheese and was always eating and cooking with it… that is something I do miss..

The group started to get to the Lodge on Friday nite… I made sure they got into the rooms and all the rest came by bus, cars and taxis on Saturday morning.  I put my name on a white board in the kitchen and made sure everybody signed in.  We ended up with 3 monks and 2 yoga instructors and about 15 students, including me…

The first morning we stood all together on the front porch of the lodge and the young monk played his guitar and everybody started to sing…BA BA NAM KE VA LOM.  This went on for 20 minutes or so..we were all doing a little 2 step to the music and most everybody raised there hands… I was thinking…oh man I am trapped here in some kind of Moonie Sect….  Then came a half hour of sitting in the lotus position and meditating..  After the first few times it was starting to get nice to sing, dance and think together.  The next 2 morning we did this at 5 o’clock down next to the river on a very nice deck… It was amazing to see the sun come up over the incredibly tall and steep mountains of Brasil………  and all the time…. The river keeps flowing and making a nice rumbling 24/7.

The other part of Yoga is eating, and more eating.  One of the Yoga instructors and one of the monks were the expert cooks…  They made all vegetarian meals and separated the dairy for those people who did not eat dairy..  It was just an amazing coincidence that I stopped eating meat and dairy when I got to Brasil and for some unknown reason I am here in this beautiful jungle lodge at the right time to experience Yoga.  Another part of it is the exercising.  We had 2 excellent instructors who instructed us in Portuguese and I think I did pretty good for a 61 year old guy with too much fat on my body.  I am so lucky to have all these things just all meet at the same time in my life.

It is now 2 weeks into my Bill Clinton vegan  diet and it is working… I know I feel better about myself.

Another part of the retreat was lectures all in Portuguese… I stayed there with everybody, not understanding much but still I enjoyed the experience.  There is talk of another retreat in November at the Lodge, so perhaps I will have the chance to do this all again..  On Wed morning the last few people got on the bus to Casimiro and I was all alone again.

I walked up to the nearby village of Cascata (waterfalls).  This is an amazing little village, settled by Germans and there are plenty of A frame houses that look like Bavaria.  Anthony asked me to take an electrical switch up to the one room school house in the village and install it.  I got up there and there was a teacher, an aide and about 7 nine year old boys in class. Due to the missing switch, the teacher turned the lights off and on at the main breaker and there was several wires hanging out of the box and the switch really was needed.  Of course I asked her to turn the power off, and I heard the circuit go off but when I started to work on it I got a little shock and that made all the kids laugh….I then went and turned all the power off and started working on it….

Of course I had no pliers and the wrong screwdriver with me and I was starting to lose faith that I would be able to install the switch..  I remembered I had the swiss army knife with me that Brian Simpson gave me and I was able to strip the wires and screw them with the Phillips screwdriver.  So I finished and turned the power back on and the teacher was just amazed … she came over and gave me a big kiss and hug and the kids clapped for me.. I went over and kissed everyone of them on their heads.  As I left one of the students ran after me and asked…. What is your name?  I just felt so good about doing such a small thing.

I then hitched back into Casimiro with my backpack and netbook… Anthony was not home and most of the town did not have internet..  Now it was 5 days or so since I checked my email and I was nervous that something bad had happened.  When I finally found a web café that had the web working I was so relieved to see all the regular facebook messages and of course an insurance bill.  I paid some bills and felt good that nothing serious had happened while I was out of touch.  Anthony sent me an email that he had car problems and would not be meeting me in Casimiro, So that meant another dark nite up in the jungle, I really did not mind it, I bought some excellent vegetables and made a great salad when I got home… I then watched the Chilean miners get rescued.  There is a dish here and it gets a few channels…

So I was reading my new book about Afganistan… “A thousand Shining Suns”.  The author wrote the Kiteflyer.  It was dark and I was so surprised to hear a lady’s voice say….Hello… I ran to the front door and asked who’s there.  It was Sarah, another beautiful English girl.  She thought that the hostel here was still open and she showed up to stay a few nites.  She teaches Yoga in Rio and has stayed here before.  I showed her all the pictures I had of the retreat; she might be able to come back for the November one….

So I was not alone anymore, she will be leaving on Saturday morning to Rio, she needs to teach a class late Saturday.  So in the morning I got up early and finished my Afganistan book.  Made some excellent ginger tea with lime.  When Sarah got up, she slept late, as she was on a bus yesterday for many hours, she asked me to walk to the waterfalls.  Well I knew I would eventually have to do it.

So, up the mountain along the rocks and high up over the waterfalls…. A little like a very primitive Indian Ladder trail..  It had cables and hand holds in the worst part… I eventually got to get on the rocks right over the falls and put my butt in the cold water and the sun was super nice and I was glad I had done something a little dangerous but so rewarding.

Do not know when I will get down to Buzios, seems like the Lodge does not want me to leave… really trying to keep this bloggy thing going….



Last day in Rio

I stayed in Rio one extra night to travel to Buzios with the owner of the Buzios Beach Hostel, he will show me how to live in the other hostel he is selling to my friend Stephen who is now in Australia.  Our friend Adrian, from County Kildare and his girlfriend will be getting to Buzios in about 2 weeks… So up early, get my fill of the breakfast and catch a bus to the bus station to meet up with Anthony.

today I took a subway to the central part of Rio and went shopping in a very large open air market.  I do not like flip flops, the national shoe of Brasil and I really needed some kind of sandal.  It took awhile, but I found a very nice pair made in Brazil which seem to be comfy, not sure if they will take me around the world…we shall see.  I also bought a lb of cashews and a half pound of dried figs.

I got to see Bill Clinton on CNN explaining how he lost 25 lbs.  He does not eat meat, no dairy, no oil and drinks some kind of protein shakes  I thought I would give this a try, at least a modified version, so 3 days ago i stopped eating meat and dairy…  Of course there is plenty of great fruits here in Brasil and I am filling up on bread and jam, mango, papaya, bananas,  oranges etc..  the nuts are for the protein, but I will have to do some more research on what to eat.  Believe it or not, after 3 days and plenty of walking on Ipanema and Copacabana, I am starting to feel a little better, hope to get back to the weight I was when I came back from South America.  we shall see.

well tonite I had my last walk around Ipanema, bought some nice fruit along the way and I have to get to bed to get up for my trip tomorrow…all is well, Rio is expensive and I am feeling great…Jordan had the netbook working today and I got to see my grand daughters on skype… Rik needs to hook something up, so I can get to see my beautiful little Ronan.

Hope to post some more stuff and pixs soon.


Catching up on my trip

I am now at the Mango Tree Hostel, a block from the Ipanema beach.  I stayed here last Feb and May…. not much has changed.. my flight from Albany to Charlotte was fast but bumpy, sat next to a guy from Grafton who was going down to Columbia SC to drive his pickup back to Grafton.  Nice to have someone to talk to.  When I got to Charlotte it was a long walk to the International gate but it really was just a short wait…  the flight to Rio gets easier for me.  Sat next to a young guy from Brazil who is a chef and who lives in Conn…. He talked most of the way, showed me every picture on his computer and now I have another facebook friend.  they let me take my guitar onboard with me.

when I got to Rio I had to wait to get a bus to Ipanema ($4.00) but I found the place without too much trouble.  I went looking for something to eat and I wanted some new sandals….  It was first pretty overwelming, nobody was speaking english, did not know what to order and started wondering what I am doing in Brazil.  I finally found a place and got a Buzios sandwich and an Acai drink/italian ice.  It tasted great and I started to feel better.  I had a private room the first nite and caught up on most of my sleep…  On friday morning I was able to talk to Jordan and Abigail on Skype and that felt good… I was sitting in the common area with my computer and started to talk to a couple of guys from Mendoza, they run a hotel there.  I told them that Mendoza and the wine tours was just about the best place I visited.  They asked me if I was going to the football game and I told them I wanted to go.

We bought tickets at the hostel for the game ($35), that included a van ride to a real far away place and the ticket to the game and the ride home.  I never knew Rio was so big.  The game was Flamingo and Botafugo and I really enjoyed the game, much different than the one I saw in Feb.  On the way there, the van stopped at a beer bar and we all bought some cold beer to drink before the game.  the game tied 1 to 1

So it has been raining off and on since I got here.  Monday I go to Buzios and wait 10 days for my Irish friends to get there.  I am sure I will keep busy on the beach there…

I played my guitar a few times and enjoyed playing and singing…  I will try to keep this thing going.  Sorry no pixs yet, maybe today.