week 2 (ish)

Day 8 – Wed 13th

Said goodbye to Olinda and caught a flight to Salvador. Our new hostel is a dump, oh well…

Day 9 – Thurs 14th

Well, dump, or no, we are perfectly located! Though I seem to have sustained about 15 mosquito bites overnight…

In Pelhourino, the historic centre, beautiful, but apparently dangerous – someone waved us away when we tried to go down a slightly deserted street in Salvador – nice of him to tell us, but now we are completely paranoid… Saw 2 amazing churches and took the Lacerda elevator to the lower city (another mode of transport :)). Found a lovely restaurant with garden and live music to have our Valentines meal in, this must be my most exotic Valentine location….

What do points mean… prizes! I’m sure I’ll lose the valentines points before long!

Day 10 – Fri 15th

Cool, we found a funicular! Not that it went anywhere interesting, but nonetheless… Tried some of the Bahian cuisine, Curuca (I think), some kind of shrimp porridge with okra, strangely gelatinous, but tasty, Keir hated it. We also had some weird tapioca thing, like a findus crispy pancake, but white and floury, alarmingly the frozen Birds Eye version is nicer…

Day 11 – Sat 16th

Off to Rio very early, we are now budgeting so that we can see the turtles in Suriname, so airport buses all the way, good in Salvador, not so great in Rio, as we still had to take a taxi from Centro and it ended up more expensive than taking one from the airport, I think our driver ripped us off. Our new pousada looks cool, though perhaps its cleanliness leaves something to be desired, and we are devastated to learn that the tram is no longer running, it used to be on top of the old aqueduct too :(

Day 12 – Sun 17th

We decided to get some breakfast, which turned into lunch, and then see Christ the Redeemer. Got there at 11 and apparently no free trains until 5! Keir is hoping to see a football match tonight, so decided to go to Sugar Loaf Mountain instead, which needs 2 cable cars – hooray! Expensive, but amazing views, Rio really is beautiful. Met some Canadian cruise shippers, it seems 5 cruise ships turned up today and that is why we couldn’t get on the train – bastards.

Cable Car to Sugar Loaf Mountain (23)

Was going to meet up with a friend of Gareth’s to see the Botofogo/ Flamengo game tonight – rushed back from Sugar Loaf to pick up the details on facebook ; got lost on the way & our bloody receptionist had popped out & locked up reception so that we couldn’t get into our room for 20 mins…. By then it was too late to make it across town to meet up….. arse… a bad review on tripadvisor is looming for this place!

Day 13 – Mon 18th

Booked the train for Christ at 9 on the internet and just made it! In a carriage with another cruise ship, wow, how many of these guys are there? The statue was cool, had the obligatory ‘arms out’ photo taken by Keir and photographed more stunning aerial views. Then caught the bus to Ipanema beach (a long, hot and sweaty ride – not in good way ;), def taking the metro back, it is air-conditoned!). After Ipanema, and an abortive attempt to see a fort (do you think Keir will suspect I am sabotaging his attempts to see them?), Copacabana. Arrive back at pousada for a ginger cachaca to find we are both rather burnt, despite the factor 50. Ginger genes – Keir is worse than I.

Missed the football…. Didn’t get to see a fort…. It’s almost as if some invisible force is preventing me from seeing the things I want to see…..?!

Salvador pictures: Salvador

Rio pictures: Rio

Day 1 – Wed 6th:

Oops, Keir nearly missed the plane due to an recalcitrant money exchanger – first way around the world is running J.

After a day of travelling and boredom in Sao Paulo airport, we finally arrive in Olinda. I am desperate for a caipirnha, but Keir falls asleep. I decide I am not mean enough to wake him up just to find me a drink…

Day 3 – Fri 8th:

Spent a couple of hours being entertained by the camp boys  opposite, each of whom appears randomly, every 15 minutes or so, with a different  fancy dress. I am a bit jealous, we are at the biggest fancy dress party ever and neither of us has a single outfit to cobble together. Well, maybe just me – Keir seemed keen on going out in his pants and sunglasses – maybe those boys will lend me something if I loan him out?

They clearly possess a fancy dress wardrobe that effortlessly outstrips my own…  (Which is no mean feat having spent the last few weeks packing it all away for Tracey into storage!)


Those boys even out camp Dougy, Kirky & Matt… & that’s going some!

Olinda is divided into different areas called Blocos & had fun finding some blocos and following them around. Each Blocos puts on a parade consisting of musicians (think drums & brass section), whirling dancing dervishes & huge 15’ dolls.

It’s bloody hot; those poor bastards inside the big dolls must be roasting.

Day 4 –Sat 9th:

2 days into carnival and already I am sick, I guess the high alcohol content in a caipirinha is not high enough to kill the bacteria in the ice… Bugger; I am going to have to find something else to drink.

Fortunately the beer is ice free but ice cold… chilling out & taking it easy dipping in & out of the carnival – it’s relentless.

The streets are rammed and the Midnight Man has not appeared yet, apparently that starts the carnival proper… the fact that it’s 11 O’clock & the midnight man is quite punctual might explain that…

Day 5 – Sun 10th:

Ah, trumpets at 6:15 in the morning, perfect. Luckily I have earplugs. Am I being curmudgeonly?

Surely they realise Tracey doesn’t rise until the sun’s over the yardarm… must have a word with these rum johnnies…

Amazingly the streets are clean again, ready for another day of carnival. The atmosphere is really amazing and everyone is in a good mood, despite their presumed hangovers. I am not hungover, still a bit ill, but definitely better than in Morocco!


I thought it was busy yesterday, but things have definitely ramped up; lots more of the big dolls on parade and you really cannot move in the street today… Obviously an ideal moment to run out of cash and take an unsuccessful trip to the ATM! 30 minutes to do a 10 minute walk, now wringing with sweat and down to 12 Reais, lucky I am still not feeling well enough to eat properly as we can only afford corn on the cob ;).

In true sympathetic spirit, Keir agrees not to spend our last few pennies on beer.  (Not how I remember it… could anyone see me willingly agree to that…?!)

Day 6 – Mon 11th

Post breakfast meeting with Obama, Che Guevara, Freddy Krueger, Michael Jackson and Chucky – supposedly all figures important to Brazil in some cultural way..?!?

30 different Giant dolls all collected together at the top of a vertical, heartbreak, hill for an early parade.

Keir felt more diminutive than usual. (I know how Frazek feels now…!)

Managed a quick lift on a dump truck – another of the 80 ways ticked off :)

Keir had always enjoyed going to the dump, but his enthusiasm reached new levels...


More pictures: Olinda, Brazil



Hi all,

Sorry for the late posting, here is the itinerary (as good as it gets at the moment) for anyone who might like to join us at any point!

1.     South America

a. Brazil

i.  Olinda:              Wed 6.2.13 to Wed 13.2.13

ii. Salvador:          Wed 13.2.13 – Sat 16.2.13

iii. Rio:      Sat 16.2.13 – Tues 19.2.13/Wed 20.2.13

iv. Ouro Preto:     Wed 20.2.13/Thurs 21.2.13 to Fri 22.2.13

v. Ilha Grande:   Sat 23.2.13-Mon 25.2.13

vi. Paraty:           Mon 25.2.13 – Tues 26.2.13/Wed 27.2.13

b.      Suriname

  • Arrive:           Thurs 28 Feb
  • Depart:         Tues 5th or Wed 6 March


c.       Guyana

Arrive:           Wed/Thurs 6-7 March

Depart:         Tues/Wed 12-13 March


d.      Venezuela

Arrive:           Thurs/Fri 14-15 March

Depart:         Fri 22 March, flight to Panama City


2.     Central America & Mexico

a. Panama

Arrive:  Fri 22 March


Not sure yet, but will try to make Guatemala for holy week (week before Easter). Spend 6-7 weeks in Central America and Mexico


b. Guatemala – 1 week

c. Mexico – 2 weeks

d. Belize – 3 days

e. Costa Rica – 3 days

f. Nicaragua – 3 days

g. El salvador – 3 days

h. Honduras – 10 days

i. Panama – 1 day



3.     South America

a.       Colombia

Arrive:  10 May

Depart: 30 May


b. Ecuador

Arrive:  31 May

Depart: 18 June


c.       Peru

Arrive:  19 June

Depart: 3 July


Transfer to Bolivia via Lake Titicaca – 4 days – 3.7.13 to 7.7.13


d. Bolivia

Arrive:  7 July

Depart: 21 July

Surface to cross into Chile near Salar de Uyuni 20.7.13


e.      Chile/ Argentina

Arrive:  22 July

Zigzag across Chile and Argentina




4.     Pacific Ocean

a. Easter Island

Arrive:  5.9.13

Depart: 9.9.13


b. Tahiti

Arrive:  9.9.13

Depart: 10.9.13


5.     Australasia

a. New Zealand

          Fly to Auckland 11.9.13

Ferry to South Island 19.9.13

26.9.13  Flight to Melbourne


b. Australia

i. Melbourne – 2 days, to 28.9.13


iii. 8.10.13 AYERS ROCK-CAIRNS


v. Whitsundays for about 4 days to 16.10.13

vi. Fly Hamilton Island to Sydney 16.10.13

vii. 4 days in Sydney

viii.  20.10.13 SYDNEY-SHANGHAI


6.     South East Asia

a. China

i.      Shanghai – 2 days

ii.      Fly/ train to Beijing – 4 days

iii.      Train to Xi’an – 3 days

iv.      Surface Xi’an to Chengdu – 2 days

v.      Train to Vietnam around 31.10.13


b. Vietnam – 10 days to 10.11

c. Cambodia – 2 weeks to 24.11.13

d. Laos – 2 weeks to 8.12.13

e. Burma? – 1 week to 15.12.13

f. Northern Thailand – 1 week to 22.12.13

g. Malaysia – 2 weeks to 5.1.14

h. Java & Bali – 10 days to 15.1.14

i. Borneo & Sarawak –2 weeks to 29.1.14

j. Philippines