In my left hand I hold a pack of Paraguay’s national edible pride, on my back rests the best friend who’s been with me every step of the way.
The sun’s rising and its rays evaporate the shade that covered the bridge I am walking on. I left my Spanish vocabulary at the office where I received the exit stamp and enter the impressive country where a smile, my hands and feet will serve as my communication tools.
At the border city of Foz in Brazil I imitate a baboon, do the cooking dance and click my heels together three times and find myself on route to Iguazú Falls. An entrance ticket and a bus ticket for the bus to Sao Paolo later that day sit comfortably in my pocket.
Iguazú Falls is a stunning piece of art crafted by Mother Nature. A landscape full of waterfalls. I walk alongside the brim and let myself be amazed. Standing in Brazil I can see people enjoying the view from the other side in Argentina.
The 30+ degrees make a dive in the waterfalls look rather tempting. But the look of the security guards make me slowly put my swim shorts in my pocket. An approving nod from the security/lifeguard.
“Water’s stupid anyway,” I say while I walk past him. He seems very impressed by this mature response.
In the afternoon I catch the bus to Sao Paolo. Fortunately it’s only a short ride of approximately 17,5 hours. Actually fortunately I decide to pay a few quid more and sit down in a chair that also functions as a bed. One of the wiser decisions I have made during my time in Latin America.
Even though buses are amongst my worst enemies (vibration, noise etc.), a fair amount of pain killers knocks me out cold. I sleep fourteen hours in total (a subtle hint from the body) and in the early afternoon I arrive in Sao Paolo.
A Brazilian friend from way back in Peru picks me up at the bus terminal. As always exploring a city with a local turns into a memorable experience. She’s a sweetheart and guides me around South America’s biggest city with its fourteen million inhabitants.
She makes sure I don’t end up in dodgy neighbourhoods and prevents me from spraining arms, ankles, wrists and my tongue trying to communicate in Portuguese. Thank you private translator. Or should I say, “Muito obriga…” Ah, who am I kidding.
Sao Paolo turns into an anecdote and I head out to the picturesque village of Paraty.
A small beach, a decent hotel and tranquility. I visit the beach once for half an hour. My health, or more so the lack of it, locks me up in my hotel room for a few days. The rest of my time in Paraty is a story of a man and his bed (and not in the way aha, aha I like it, aha, aha).
Once I somewhat recover I hop on one more bus. I arrive at a destination I have been waiting to visit ever since I was a child. I feel a feeling that gives new meaning to the word excitement.
Rio de Janeiro.