Monthly Archives: November 2010

2 weeks left of Brasil (this year)

Nov 23, 2010 Jungle Beach Hostel near Casimiro, RJ, Brasil 54th day in Brasil…

At first I had a few days in Rio… then several weeks at the Jungle Beach Hostel, then 3 weeks down near the ocean in Buzios and then back here for 2 weeks… going back and forth is not that easy, it takes about 4 or 5 hours to make the trip. 1st you walk over the bridge and up a steep hill to the main road, then I hitch a ride to Casimiro (about 22K), then I walk to the center of town and get a crowded van to the ocean side town of Barra Sao Joan, then I walk a few blocks and over a bridge to the City of Sao Antonio. I then pick up another little van to Buzios. Here is the problem…sometimes the van never shows up and then when they do they are filled with people. I have had some miserable rides with my luggage and also waiting near dusty roads waiting and waiting. But I have had some great times riding with beautiful people and families. Nobody seems to know the bus schedule.. If there is one.

The hitching has been some experience, I have not done that since I hitched back and forth to California 40 years ago. The other day I got a ride from a lady who lives in Cascata, above the waterfalls near Jungle Beach.. After a few hours of shopping and internet I was walking out of town to hitch back and I heard a car horn and it was her, about to go back home. So I got a ride to and from Casimiro from the same lady. Some experiences have not been good, like once on a hot day I walked half the way home with 2 bags of food and a heavy backpack. Some times my thumb works, sometimes it does not.

Anthony has a great family and he is a very loud Gringo with many things going on his life. I think I have been a great help to him getting the Buzios and Jungle Beach Hostels ready to operate. I have been invited back for October 2011 and I hope I can do that. I keep making lists for him of things to do, repair and acquire. The jungle is very hard on mechanical things and they break down often. Brasil wants to make their own products and not import things… Most things are very expensive. Food is still cheap and a bottle of booze is only $3.00.

Keeping the Jungle Beach Hostel clean is very difficult. Here in the tropics the houses have title roofs and are open above the walls to let the air flow. Bugs are everywhere… I mean BIG BUGS!!! We have some iguanas here and one walked into the kitchen the other day and the French couple chased him out with a broom. At nite, bats fly in and eat uncovered fruit. I got to see one little snake on the veranda one nite and took a picture of it. It looked like a coral snake with many colored strips. The head was trianglular. Anthony told me that it could be dangerous but it was too small to hurt anyone… Not my favorite thing…

It does get hot in the afternoon and at this time of year it rains almost every day, sometimes all nite long. The beauty of this place and the constant sound of the river makes this place a unique place to stay. there are notebooks here with messages from people around the world who have stayed here. I gathered all of the email addresses I could read in these notebooks and plan on sending out a message to the people who have stayed here, that it is going to open up again soon.

I am sitting here on my wrap around veranda writing in my little notebook and the birds are singing and the river is running fast because of all the recent rain. David and Anne Laure have been great company. We work all day and then at nite we watch some nice movies and have some nice sugarcane/lime drinks. David has a 3 part movie about Carlos the Jackal. We watched one part each nite. It was made for French TV and the actors speak French, Enlish, German, Italian, Arabic and Russian… no subtitles, but I am getting use to hearing other lingos which I do not understand. The movie has some great nude scenes too…you know those French!!!

My Portuguese keeps improving but I have a long way to go, still playing my little blue guitar and I am glad I have it with me.

On Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010, I got up early, took my backpack with my netbook and walked up the hill and hitched in the other direction from Casimiro. I got a ride through a little Village of Lumiar and then onto New Friburgo. These places are located way up in the mountains, 3 hours north of Rio. You can see many blond kids here and many houses look like they belong in Bavaria. I was surprised to see over 200 stores in New Friburgo which sell sexy lingerie. ( I later found out that this area makes woman’s intimate apparel and export it around the world). I could not find an open web cafe and then I went to the bus station to find out how to get a bus back home to Cascata. The guy at the ticket booth told me that no busses go there…

So I was getting a little concerned… I did not want to go wondering around the mountains in the dark. So I did what I always do, I found the biggest church and went in to ask the “Power” for a little help. I bought some candy (that always seems to help too). I then saw a tourist information center in the middle of the park. I went in and asked in my primitive Portuguese how to get back home. The lady gave me a map and told me to take a bus which would get me 10 miles from Cascada. When the bus pulled out and pretty lady sat next to me and I told her no fala Portuguese She said..that’s okay I speak English… Things were started to look up for me.

She invited me to go have a drink at a nice German place. She was going to meet an old friend of hers from Liverpool. She lived in this area for 25 years, but now she lives in France with her husband and she was back in the area to visit old friends. So I was now at Braun and Braun, right out of the Alps. The owner told me he had over 200 different beers for sale. The place was all decorated for Christmas and they even had a life size dancing santa singing Christmas songs.

Such interesting conversations about Brazil, France, England and living internationally. It seems my life is alot simpler than I thought… Again they both told me that I would be living in Brasil, at least on a part time basis. So I had my little green salad and watched them eat something which looked delicious…

I walked up the road, stopped at a webcafe and checked my email, and spread my money around a little. I then walked up to the road which led back to Lumiar. It only took a couple of minutes and I got picked up by a young couple who were going to a music festival. I was invited to go along, but I just wanted to get home before it got dark. i got out of their car in Lumiar, again walked over a bridge and got a ride from a guy driving a vey big truck.. He was not wearing shoes, was lost and not in a good mood. But, he brought me all the was to Cascata. when I got out I gave him my map.

I walked down and up into the village and went to find the lady who had given me a ride to Casimiro. She invited me to see her home and have some coffee. to be continued …


Back to Jungle Beach

after 4 weeks living in Buzios, I decided to go back to the jungle and see what I can do up there.  I was very sucessful fixing some of the electrical things in Buzios and the place is much cleaner and most of the light work now…  Mr friend Luc from France was at the yoga retreat and he got his brother to come over to run the hostel in the jungle for Anthony.  Anthony had to move his family into casimiro (about 20 miles away) in order for his kids to go to schools there.

I just spent 3 hours waiting and riding on buses from Buzios, I am now in the wifi cafe in Casimiro… I will get some food and take it with me up to the jungle beach house.  I will try to hitch up there… just hope there are people up there….  well got to run, all is good with me…going on 2 months without meat or dairy, still losing some weight but now it is getting tougher…. got my guitar and computer with me, so we should have music up there.

it is just a perfect overcast day here with a very light breeze, not too hot, not too more month of Brasil for me.

wifi cafe Casimiro, Brasil

Tuesday afternoon

3 weeks living in Buzios, Brasil Geriba Beach

3 sundays ago, I got out of the jungle and took several busses and vans to the Buzios Beach Hostel.  The first few days consisted of cleaning the place, getting the electricity fixed and cleaning up outside…  Then my 2 house mates arrived from Ireland/England. Adrian and Debs arrived and it changed around here.  I started to really enjoy living with them here.  We eat so well and function pretty good together.

I have been a vegan for 6 weeks now and I am really having no problem with this food.  Brasil has so many great fruits and vegs..  They have soy milk which is flavored with coconut and other stuff….  I have bought 9 pineapples since I arrived.  There is a guy with a little cart who goes around selling 4 pinapples for 10R (about 6 bucks).  These are the sweetest ones you could ever imagine. I saw him at Centro and told him how much I enjoyed his pineapples, He remembered selling me them at the Hostel gate…. Apparently I am on his route now, he showed up today and rang our bell. I AM ON A PINAPPLE ROUTE!!!!!

Every day or so I make a fruit salad…Deb eats it with me but not Adrian.  It is made up of pineapples, apples, tangerines, pears, papya and mango and bananas. I am still making my beans and rice and eggplant and sweet potato food. With some new spices and green herbs the food tastes……………okay…

Adrian is a great cook and he always makes our dinners with a vegatarian version for me. We are eating the same stuff, but he cooks it a little different each time… Of course we are eating plenty of potatos. Adrian is so good at making them taste differently. Today I bought him a potato masher, I also bought a little wooden bowl and pistol to crush, ginger, garlic and of course limes.

I am doing my yoga each day and I am lucky to have found some real good yoga music for my mp3 player. I try to meditate but I think my coffee is interfering with my calmness. I do know the basics of stretching and I have been very determined to keep it going.

Anthony, the owner of this place, came here a couple of days ago. I went with him and visited numerous stores to buy roof tiles, electrical wire, wood and a ladder. The last couple of days the materials arrived and we are ready to do some major repairs to this place. Anthony also bought some tools for our use. I started a tool room in the back house and we have the tools and ladder to do some repairs. If the sun comes back out, we might have a delay in our work here.  Adrian helped me put up a mosquito net over my bed and I hope that it works.

Okay, this is starting to feel like work writing anything interesting about my existence here.. Just enjoying myself and really enjoying getting myself healhty.

Plenty of walking and eating right.

Buzios Beach Hostel, saturday nite…

Buzios is a nice place to be

we have adjusted to no internet here at the hostel… got to take a walk to get to a cafe… would like to get my podcasts but the internet is so slow here that it almost impossible…  I sent for my mail in ballot, but never got it.. second year in a row i have missed voting.  So after 30 days I walked down to the pier and bought some fish.

I asked for 10 Rs of fish ($6.00), got two nice pieces of something they called Golden.  I was very surprised when after I bought the fish, they handed me a big plate of cooked fish.  It was Golden too… I never enjoyed a piece of fish so much as I did then… 6 Brasilians looking at me eating and enjoying the fish…  so I had 2 days of some nice white fish and back to the beans and rice and pasta and bread…

Well, I am paying per minute here, so I will hope this makes it to the blog and if anybody is reading this please let me know so I can keep it going…off to find a post card, post office and stamps…

we spend each nite watching a movie or two on my computer..running out of movies and we will need to start watching Abby’s cartoons..

webcafe Buzios Centro