Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brazil Trip- Just In Time

The theme of this trip was “Just in Time’. Brendan and I seemed to arrive ‘just in time’ for everything, just before the bus left, just before the park closed, just before the last ferry left... I would say that we almost never arrived more that 30minutes before the scheduled departure of any of our buses. The Ilha Grange leg of the trip in particular was especially fortuitous scheduling wise since if any part of the trip had been late or left early, we would have been stuck in Sao Paulo for an extra night. Thanks to Fernando’s family however, we stayed on track.

G = Guarani (5000G=1USD)
R = Real (2R= ~1USD):)
USD = US Dollar

Here is a quick rundown of how the trip worked out:

Saturday, February 6th:
5pm-Brendan and I arrive in Campo 9 after spending Friday night in Asuncion to attend the 10am NVAC meeting on Saturday

Sunday, February 7, Leave for Sao Paulo

6:30am-Wake up, drop Lila off at Carly’s house, go to seamstress’s house to see if she has finished my skirts… she isn’t open yet, go to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute items, finish packing, go back to seamstress’s house and pick up skirts

10:30am-Get on a bus to Ciudad del Este (20G,~$4USD),
Noon-Arrive in Ciudad del Este, get off at the wrong stop, go to a cyber and book a hostel for the next night because the friend we were going to stay with seemed to be having second thoughts
2:00pm-Arrive at bus terminal in Ciudad del Este for our 2:30 bus (270,000G, ~$57USD)
3:30pm-Bus actually arrives and we are on our way to Sao Paulo Brazil!

Monday, February 8th, Sao Paulo Day 1

11am-Arrive in Sao Paulo and Check into the LimeTime Hostel (24USD/night), wander around looking for food and a place to exchange money. I realize there is something wrong with my credit card because none of the cash machines will accept my card, but they will accept Brendan’s

Mercado Municipal
Sao Bento Basilica and Monastery
Metropolitan Cathedral of Se
Italia Building with a Terrace and Restaurant at the top and panoramic views of the entire city- 15R
Ibirapuera Park
Asian Market and food district near metro stop Liberdade

11pm-go to bed

Tuesday, February 9th, Sao Paulo Day 2/ Guarujá City
9:30am-Wake up and go to Butantan Institute/ Venom Farm-6R
2:30pm-Catch a bus(16R) to Guarujá City‘ The Beach’ to Stay with Fernando’s family
5:00pm-Arrive in Guarujá and wait for Fernando’s family to come and pick us up
Fernando’s parents and aunt take us around the city in their car and show us some of the sites
Midnight/1am-Go to bed

Wednesday, February 10th, Leave Guarujá City, Ilha Grande Day 1

3:45am-Wake up
4:20am-Leave house to catch the ferry(2R) and 5am bus(16R) to go back to Sao Paulo
7:30am-Arrive at bus terminal in Sao Paulo
8:00am-Get on bus (16R) for Angra dos Reis
3:30pm-Arrive at bus Terminal in Angra dos Reis , taxi (12R) to the ferry dock
4:00pm-Take last ferry of the day(12R) to Ilha Grande
5:30pm-Arrive on Ilha Grange aka paradise and check into Holandes Hostel (17USD/night), wander around the city, go to the beach, get dinner, play cards with some Swedish girls at the hostel

Thursday, February 11th, Ilha Grande Day 2

6:30amish-Get up for a quick 30-45minute hike before breakfast
Noonish-Finally get back from the ‘quick morning hike’ after getting thoroughly distracted by trying to find a waterfall on a trail that branched off of our original one
3:00pm-Go on a 3 hour hike to Lopes Mendes Beach
5:15pm-Arrive at Lopes Mendes Beach, aka most beautiful beach in paradise, for a 20min swim before catching the last return ferry
6:00pm-Take water taxi (10R) back to the main port area

Monday, February 12th, Ilha Grande Day 3, Rio De Janiero Day 1

6:30am-Brendan goes hiking to the tallest peak on the island around 6:30am, gets back around 1pm
9:30am-I wake up, read, bum around
5:30pm-Take last boat off the island in a package deal with a company called Speed Connection that promises to take us on their boat and then shuttle us directly to our condo. 65R
7pmish-leave for Rio de Janiero
10/11pm-Arrive at condo ($200USD) in Copacobana in Rio de Janiero, meet up with the rest of our group, 7 other people including other volunteers and their state-side friends, Go for a walk along the beach
Midnight/1am-Finally go to bed

Tuesday, February 13th, Rio de Janiero Day 2

7:30am-Wake up and run errands: Pick up Carnival Tickets, find a place to exchange my travelers checks, drop off laundry (15R)
3:30pm-Botanical Gardens (5R)
7:00pm-Go to Pao de Azucar ‘Sugar Loaf’ lookout (44R)
9:30pm-Meet up with the group at the condo and go out to Lapa for some Carnival block party fun

Saturday, February 13th, Rio de Janiero Day 3
4:30/5am-Get back from Lapa and go to bed
6:30am-Wake up around and go to Tijuka National Park
4:30ishpm-Go to late lunch with a Brazilian couple we met at the National Park
7:30pm-Arrive at the train station to visit Christ the Redeemer statue, but find out they closed around 6:30pm

Monday, February 15th, Rio de Janiero Day 4
9:30am-I go with Brad to try and see the famous stairs of the Santa Teresa Convent, unfortunately Monday is the beginning of the official Carnival Holiday, so everything is closed
1pm-Meet up with the group to see the Christ the Redeemer statue, find out that tickets for the train are sold out until 3pm and decide to take a tour minivan to the top (50R)
4pm-Get back to condo and get ready for Carnival Samba Parade($141USD)
6:30pm-Meet up with Jesus, Pooja, and Joan to give them their tickets
8:30pm-Arrive at Samba Dome

Tuesday, February 16th, Leaving Rio de Janiero
5am-End of Samba Parade
6:30am-Go to bed
Noon-Wake up and run errands
2:30pm-Leave for bus terminal
5pm-Bus leaves Rio de Janiero for Puerto Iguazu Argentina (450,000G, ~$95USD)

Wednesday, February 17th, Home!
3pm-Check out of Brazil, arrive in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
4pm-Catch a bus from Puerto Iguazu, Argentina to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay (8,000G, ~$2USD)
Check out of Argentina, drive into and out of Brazil again,
5pm-Arrive in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, do some shopping
6pm-Leave Ciudad del Este for Campo 9 (20,000G, ~$4USD)
8pm-Arrive back in Campo 9! *Finally catch my breath

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