Ola from Buzios

25dc24cb-05b8-4fd1-b881-0ab972095876This post is originally from February 20, 2019

Hey Everyone!

Here we are in Brazil! It really blows my mind that you can step on a little tin can and in hours you are on the other side of the world! Flying into Rio was pretty spectacular. It is so green and mountainous. Definitely a stark contrast from Edmonton!

We were originally planning to take a bus to Búzios.  As we were leaving the airport however, we must have had that ‘dumb and dumber’ look because we were quickly approached by a dude who wanted to set us up with a taxi. Honestly after over 24 hours of traveling it didn’t take much to twist our arms. A taxi meant we’d get to our hotel faster and be able to rip off our clothes just that much sooner. (It was smoking hot and I was wearing compression socks that went up to my knees!) (Don’t laugh because I wear compression socks!)

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Driving out of Rio was pretty cool. I was able to see Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer in the distance.  As well, you could see several massive patches of  Favelas (the slums most famously known in the movie City of God). By the time we reached the city’s edge I was nodding off and at that point my life was truly at the mercy of this strange taxi driver.  Obviously all was well because clearly we are both still here.

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We eventually made our way to Búzios and found our hotel…ready for the name? Pousadas Unicornio – that’s right the Unicorn Hotel! When we walked into the lobby everyone was wearing those headbands with unicorn horns! Ok ok that’s a lie but man, that would have added to the story! Strangely enough however, all the cashiers were wearing them at a grocery store in town!

d8e5d352-3704-4874-bd96-367acfa43bdcf26a3d1f-e080-41ce-9d10-b7c01671684aThe hotel is a really beautiful; situated on the side of a hill with amazing views of the ocean. Unfortunately I think they gave us the dud room as we’ve had our share of ‘issues’. The best one being that we were told to dial 9 if we needed anything, however there was not even a phone in the room. There also wasn’t a second bed, a safe, hot water or a working television but who’s counting? We figure our room hasn’t been used in a while as the guy who brought the safe in literally had to bring a drill to attach it into the wall.

Complaining aside it is a beautiful place and the people are amazing and kind. One thing that surprises me is the lack of English spoken here. We are so bloody lucky that in most places in the world English speakers can pretty much get by and rely on everyone else to conform to our language. I’ve thought of this many times before, how presumptuous it is that I go to a different country and I speak English. Of course I try to learn the greetings and niceties but having most people speak a little English it’s quite easy to get by. Here in Brazil it’s quite different. It is Portuguese through and through. It makes for a more challenging and interesting adventure, right down to ordering a meal. Thank you Google Translate! We have found we are the rare visitor here in Búzios too. Most tourists here are from Argentina or Rio. We definitely stand out (especially the way we dress!… or maybe I should rephrase that… we definitely DON’T stand out!)

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Here is a shot of Kris being creative and using a cue-tip because there were no utensils in our room. Dumb & Dumber do Nutella! 

Dumb and Dumber Do Brazil

Dumb and DumberThis post was originally written on February 14, 2019

Hey Everyone,

It is just about that time when I can peel off my parka and slap on some sunscreen. It couldn’t come at a more perfect time with this -30 polar vortex we are experiencing here in Edmonton. I am so tired of scraping my car FROM THE INSIDE, while I drive because my breath is just too much for my decrepit clunker! Anyway, I apologize to all those who live here in Edmonton and have to brave it out a bit longer.
So what is on the agenda this time you ask?
My tried and true travel partner Kris and I will traveling through Brazil (and a brief second in Argentina) for the next 3 weeks. This will be my first time in South America so I couldn’t be more excited to see this part of the world. The first week, Kris and I will be solo as we make our way to a town called Buzios. Next we will find our way back to Rio de Janeiro to join up with our G Adventures tour. Some of the highlights of the tour will be the island of Ilha Grande, the Portuguese colonial beach town of Paraty, the stunning Iguacu Falls from both the Brazil and Argentinian side, the caves and natural swimming pools of Bonito and finally a two day excursion in the Pantanal. Once we bid farewell to our tour group Kris and I will catch the tail end of Rio’s Carnival. We have tickets to the Parade of Champions and I can’t even imagine what it will be like.
Kris and I have named ourselves Dumb and Dumber as both of us question our ability to get through life rather successfully. The last trip we took together was a couple of years ago when we went to India and Sri Lanka. That was when we experienced the Visa debacle of 2017, where it took Kris 3 or 4 times to get her Visa for India. At one point I tried to do it for her and bought her a Visa through a fake website by mistake. We literally didn’t know if she was going to be able to come until the day before our flight! This was also the trip where a month prior to our departure Kris fell on the ice and broke both her elbows. And don’t forget while in Sri Lanka I got really sick and had to make a trip to the ‘hospital’ where I had to get blood drawn by people not wearing any shoes and the tourniquet was a seat belt! So far this one seems a little more seamless. I  won’t hold my breath however, for the longest time we were calling Carnival, Mardi Gras! In honor of our stupidity I got Tshirts made which I am sure we will wear with pride!
Anyway, I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you so stay tuned as Dumb and Dumber Do Brazil!
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This photo was taken pre-Carnival. Notice the cool modelesque poses and of course the high class backdrop of the toilet! THIS IS DUMB & DUMBER AT IT’S FINEST!

If you are interested in taking a tour that covers the places on my adventure check out Wonders of Brazil