Friday, June 17, 2016

Peru Trip: Guyana to Brazil

There are a lot of ways a bumpy cramped sixteen hour bus rides can be worse.

 Like it raining so you have to keep the windows closed and with it so are your chances of not sweating through your shorts.

It could be smelly. Like of onions. Pounds and pounds of onions someone must have really wanted down in Lethem.

You could be surrounded by Spanish speaking Cubans yelling across you to talk with each other.

How about a sound track start out of a prepubescent females iPod blaring the entire time?

Such unpredictable swerving to avoid potholes that you hit your head against the window so many times you may now have a mild concussion?

Swelling in your injured ankles that causes your bandages to cut off circulation to your toes? 

Yes all of those things can make the trip less enjoyable. As can turning a 16 hour trip into a 23 hour one.


Well let's allow a drunk passenger on board who proceeds to need a pee break about every four minutes. Then get two flat tires which cause us to miss the 6am ferry. And then have the bus double as the Amerindian UPS delivery service and there you go.

This caused me to miss my bus and forcing me to decide to wait 2+ hours for the next one or splurge and take a private taxi. Well for a difference of about 20 reais or $6  it was an obvious choice.
And the taxi driver stopped by an ATM before bringing me to the hotel.

The first thing at the hotel I did was shower, first with all my clothes on then letting them soak as I washed myself. This was necessary to get rid of all the red dust from the road that covered every inch of my body. Even in my nostrils and ears. When I finished showering I dried myself and then turned the water on and showered again because I had turned my towel red. After the second showering, while still looking a little like an umpa lumpa, I called it quits.  Even the next morning I still had dust in my hair, but I'm getting ahead of myself.  Was that a pun? If so, it was unintended.     

From there I walked to a place for dinner and less than a cost of a beer in the states I had this huge cross between a burger and a panini and two beers. It was great.
I then back to the hotel and slept very fitlessly. That is without any fits or starts and had a wonderful nights sleep. I awoke refreshed after nearly ten hours of sleep and headed to the line for the hotel breakfast.  

Yes you read that correctly. The line. To the hotel breakfast. Apparently my hotel neighbors really like a hearty breakfast early(it was only 6:30a after all). When I finally got in, I was certainly ate my share thinking I wouldn't eat again until dinner.    
   However within a few hours while I was on the lobby computer making sure my flight was on time, the drunk from the bus came up to me and invited me to go with him and one of the Cubans to lunch. I really had no reason no to so I accepted the invite.

They stayed in Lethem the night before and just snuck into Boa Vista this morning. I say snuck because that appears to be the drunk's unofficial occupation.
Smuggling Cubans (the people not the cigars) into Brazil. George (or Jorge, I never did get that clarified) came in through Guyana and was continuing on to Manuas hopefully to find a job there.

Apparently things are so hot in the Cuban economy and many people are leaving for work elsewhere. Some legally, most not.
George was lucky and made it through but the others in the bus weren't and got nabbed at the border. Supposedly they'll spend a couple days in jail then be deported back to Cuba.

And I must say while the drunk was an awful co passenger, he was an engaging and entertaining lunch companion. My opinion of him was also not hurt by his picking up the tab. I never caught his name but I think that was by design.

I parted ways with them as I could catch my flight to Brasilia my next leg of my journey to Peru. I will report more later.

Until next......

Wait! I am still here. I was about to end this blog with me sitting in the Brasilia airport saying that was enough adventure for one blog when I heard my name come across the loudspeaker. Apparently Brasilia is one hour ahead of Boa Vista and my phone didn't automatically update. I almost missed my flight!  That would have been interesting.

So I will leave you here instead with me safely flying at 30,000 feet towards Sao Paulo, my next stop on this journey to Peru and Macchu Picchu.


   Hello. Its me again. I am now in the Sao Paulo airport and cannot sleep because apparently I have become a baby and cannot tolerate cold. This is made worse by my achy ankles and a knee that cannot bend or straighten enough to get comfortable. So after shivering for a few hours trying to sleep, and decided instead to keep writing a little more.

That's the nice thing about having a blog. When things go badly you can say, well at least this will make for a good blog! And when you're bored, you can write and no one is going to yell at you to stop yammering and do something more productive.

This is the limit of my productivity and 3:30am especially when my hour of free wifi expired several hours ago and I finished the only book I brought with me.

  What can I say? In another 4 hours I will board my flight to Lima Peru where I (from the comfort of my computer) decided it would be a good idea to give myself a 24 hour layover so I could really explore the city.
I had a whole tour planned out to see all the sights and taste all the food. It was something like 11 miles of walking total.                
This was, of course, before I got dumped into a drainage ditch and am now struggling to walk through the terminal. Maybe I should rent a subway? A rickshaw?

It is so easy for one to feel sorry for one's self (how's that for a sophomoric sentence? ) , but when you get right down to it why bother?

Why not use the energy on something more productive? Like shivering? Instead of complaining about my ruined plans, why not be excited about the new ones? After all, when will I be back in Lima?

Or for that matter, Sao Paul's airport? I am going to put you down (I have been arduously typing this up on my phone) and go practice my portuguese with the nice girls at the 24 hour coffee shop. They get paid to listen to me mispronounce everything but haven't yet gotten annoyed with me.

Boa noite!

Until next time,


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