Current Date: February 17, 2003 10:35 a.m. (Porto Seguro)

Current Itinerary: Just arrived here in Porto Seguro on an overnight bus from Guarapari...good times, good times. I will probably stay here for the next few days (Dave/Australia has had good things to say about it) and then go to Salvador on Thursday, hopefully my friend Paula from Houston will be meeting me there!!! Salvador until Tuesday or so and then backtrack to Morro do Sao Paulo for a couple days and then on to Recife/Olinda for CARNIVAL!!!!


Note: Patricia has been kind enough to point out to me that "bacalao", the fish I mentioned in my previous journal is actually Cod...and therefore, quite common in the US. See, we learn something new everyday. Okay, without further ado:


Friday, February 7, 2003
Woke up early b/c we had a lot of bus traveling to do and wanted to get to Buzios as early as possible. I think I mentioned before that I had convinced Dave to come with me to Buzios. We caught the bus back to Paraty from Trindade at 10:00 and then left Paraty at 11:15, headed towards Rio. Last year, Tony and I rented a car and drove from SP to Rio and I remember the drive was beautiful, but I had forgotten how much. You basically drive along the coast, twisting and turning through the mountains...but a lot of the time you can still see the ocean. Last year when we drove, it was a rainy day, so the clouds ruined some of the beauty. Well this time, it was clear blue sky!!! Amazing to watch. I actually took a little video with my digital camera so I hope it will do the sights justice. By the way, for this bus ride we sat in the very front seats and had the bus drivers view of the road which really allowed us to take in the views much better. For anyone out there traveling in Brazil, if you have a short daytime bus ride, choose seats 3 or 4...especially if you are traveling in the South. It is a much different perspective...sort of like being in the cockpit in a plane (another experience I have been fortunate enough to have, thanks to my friend Dave in Houston.)

Got to Rio at about 4:00 and had an hour to wait for the next bus to Buzios. There is an internet place in the bus station so I took the chance to use the computer while I had it. While I was in the internet place, there was this girl at the computer behind me that appeared to be a model of some sort. She was really pretty and she was showing naked pictures of herself to the guys who work in the internet place. It was just as strange a situation as it sounds like it might have been, but hey, talk about being in the right place at the right time. There was a lot of funny non-verbal communication between me and those guys.

So at 5 we headed for Buzios and got there at 8 without incident. It was good to be back. I had been building the place up to Dave for a few days at that point...and I knew it would not let me down (see last year's journals). Of course there were people waiting at the bus stop trying to get travelers to go to their pousadas...this is very common down here. Well, there was this one guy who looked exactly like Jules, Samuel Jackson's character from Pulp Fiction, this guys hair was IDENTICAL...I thought, this guy has GOT to be cool. He ends up taking us to this pousada just near the bus stop but also a 5 min. walk from the main road in the center of Buzios...for only R$55 a night(about 17USD)...perfect.

A haircut and a shower later, I was ready to show Dave what Buzios had to offer. As we headed out we saw Jules again...I called him Samuel Jackson and he thought it was pretty funny. I think deep down inside, he WANTS to look like Jules. Anyway, as you drive into Buzios, the outskirts are very unimpressive. So you really have no clue what you are in store for until you get to the main road in the center. It seems relatively quiet in fact. Well, I walked him around the long way, just so he could see the whole thing open up before him. Needless to say, from the start, there was no disappointment.

The first stop was Chez Michou, this crepe restaurant/bar that seems to be homebase for everyone for going out in Buzios. That place was just as good as I remembered from last year. It is an outdoor bar that is pretty big and has lively music so the atomsphere is really cool. We had a few beers there and ended up meeting these to cute Argentine sisters. We hung out with them for quite awhile there. They were both nice, but one was pretty anti-American. I tried to explain to her that I am not your average gringo, but it didn't seem to change her opinion. They told us about this beach party that was near the place they were staying and it was supposed to be pretty cool...the problem was that it was a pretty long walk from the centro...I kind of wanted to stay around there and bar hop, but it looked like Dave was going to hook up with one of them so I was forced into playing wingman. No sweat.

We walked for what seemed like ages to get to the place...although it wasn't bad because the walk was along the seawall. It was a beautiful night out and I just love the ocean breeze. My foot was hurting a bit after walking for so long, but not too much...although it was still swollen.

We got to the party and it was TOTALLY rockin'. It was packed and the music was awesome...they played a bunch of hip-hop songs. A good way to meet people is if you can sing those songs that are in English. Once we were at the party, there were enough distractions that I was able to leave the group and go create some fun on my own...one of my specialties. At one point, I tried to get into this sort of VIP tent. I just started talking to this girl that was at the edge of it and then sort of moved inside. That lasted for about two minutes before some guy chased me off...too bad, she was pretty hot. I ended up meeting these cool girls and dancing with them most of the night. We took a bunch of pictures. I had such a blast. I stayed there until the sun came up. It was one of those nights where it went from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. in about 12 seconds. Dave was nowhere to be found and I had not seen him for hours...I figured he took off with the Argentinian girl so I headed home. I decided to walk since it was so nice out. I had NOT realized how far we had gone the night before...I didn't think I was ever going to get back. My foot was hurting a bit so I broke up the walk...stopping and sitting on the benches that face the ocean every so often.

Got home around 8...Dave was sleeping in the floor in the hallway (I had the room key). Let me just tell you that it was not exactly the type of floor that I would want to pass out on. I grabbed a picture of him it was so funny. I woke him up and we went inside, laughing about the great night we had and recounting the stories. Fell asleep shortly after...ahhhhh Buzios.

Saturday, February 8, 2003
Woke up around one...why does my head hurt? Drank two gallons of water and were ready to head out. We saw Jules again on the street...man that guy is everywhere. Anyway, first stop was, where else, Chez Michou for some crepes and a couple beers...gotta get right back on the saddle. We ended up meeting a really cool guy from Argentina who worked there, Ciro. Dave wanted to pick up one of the shirts that the staff wore that said Chez Michou and Ciro told us he could hook it up. We stayed there for a bit...we wanted to do the boat tour that Tony and I had done last year so we went to find tickets for that. After we got them, we stopped for internet for a second...and then went back to the hostel to drop off our valuables and get towels and stuff. We saw Jules AGAIN when we got back to the Pousada...how many of this guy are there???

We headed out to the docks for the boat ride...which was supposed to start at 3:30. The lady told us when we got there it would be another 15 min. Yeah right...luckily I already knew that this is Brazil...15 min. means about an hour. It was REALLY windy that day and not that hot (relatively speaking) so after sitting there on the dock for awhile, we decided to change our tickets for the next day, so we could take the early tour...good call I think.

I decided to take the down time we had to work on journals for awhile. While waiting for a computer, I called my parents...it was great to talk to them!!! We went back to the pousada to get ready...Dave went and bought a bottle of rum...the beginning of the end for me. We drank and got ready and then headed out for dinner. We went to that place "fashion" that I went to last year and had a pretty decent meal. While at dinner, we were having this discussion about me making up a different place for me to be from so I wouldn't run into the same problem from last night (Say Vandelay, Tony). We started throwing out all these funny scenarios and then Dave said, "I got it...you are the son of a Saudi oil baron!" I thought that was pretty funny so for the rest of the night I we were telling people that!!! Most everyone believed it. Saudi Arabia. Pretty funny.

After dinner we headed to, where else, Chez Michou. This time on the way out, we decided to leave the key at the desk:) We hung out at Chez Michou for awhile and actually ended up running into the Argentine girls again...which we did not want to do. Dave got kind of trapped...I made up an excuse to go back to the room and grab the camera and I got the hell out of there. I went back to the pousada, grabbed the camera and headed back out to this club, Guapo Loco...stopped and called a few folks back in H-town right then...but had to leave messages. Oh well...another day.

Went to Guapo loco...the rest of this story is pretty sketchy in my mind and most of it I reconstructed from the pictures the next day...we had been drinking the entire day at that point and I was pretty bombed...danced the night away...did see Dave again and we hung out for awhile...saw the girls I danced with at the beach party...went to another club, Zapata...went to some random bars...some girl picked my pocket (only had 2 bucks)...took some pictures in the street...got propositioned by a prostitute and made fun of her for a while (she got pretty mad and stormed off)...home to sleep around 5 or 6...but somehow remembered to set the alarm to wake up for the boat tour the next day (I think this instinct comes from my paper route days)

Fabulous night but did lots of mixing...not good the following day. These things happen in Buzios.

Sunday, February 9, 2003
Alarm went off at 11:30...hit snooze...went off at 11:35...hit snooze...repeated this process until about 12.

Got up, and boy was it painful...but somehow I thought I would have the stamina to make it through the day...uh no. Actually got to the dock by 12:30. While we waited for the boat, we met this really nice Brazilian girl, Jovanna (not to be confused with Johanna...the most beautiful girl on the planet). She worked as a photographer/videographer on the boats. As Lyle can tell you, I have also dabbled in this profession at times (and I didn't even want anything for it!). We chatted for about a half hour while waiting for the boat and she decided she would come with us on ours (there are many different companies offering similar tours). Somewhere during that half hour, my stomach really started revolt against me for the punishing I had done to it the night before...no matter...I just need some more water.

We boarded the boat and rode to the first stop...I had a couple Caipirinhas...not a good idea. Got out to swim at the first stop...the water was great. It is so beautiful there. Unfortunately, the amount of physical exertion required to swim around was not something that my brain and body were ready to agree on. My hangover hit me pretty hard right then. Let me tell you...being on a boat in choppy waters is not the best place to be when you are feeling a bit quesy.

The rest of the ride was pretty rough for me, but I enjoyed it as much as possible. That Jovanna girl was really cool and told us a lot about Buzios. We went back to Steven Tyler's beach (see last year's Buzios journal for explanation) but I couldn't find him, which was very disappointing. Made it back to the dock about 4 hours later and I was ready to go crash at the pousada...I really felt bad. We told Jovanna to meet us at Chez Michou that night and said goodbye. We stopped at Chez Michou for a second to talk to Ciro, our friend from the previous day. I realized at that point that I had not eaten for quite some time so I decided to grab a crepe...it did not help. I was dying. I went back to the pousada to catch some Z's.

Woke up a couple hours later feeling NO better...I think I actually felt worse. In hind sight, it might have been that crepe I ate. Dave was pretty fired up though, so I showered up and did my best to just go for it. I was not in good shape. We went and hung out on the street for awhile and just watched people walking by. It was cool and very easy to do in Buzios. It was Sunday, so things were a bit slow, but even slow is good when you are in Buzios. I started to feel a bit better so we headed back to our homebase to try to meet people and get the night started. I managed to force down three beers...but that was all I could muster. I was just in too much pain...I told Dave I might be better if I went back and took another nap and then met him out later. It was midnight at that point but I was still willing to try. I got back and slept until around 1:40...woke up feeling WORSE and decided to throw in the towel. Dave came home around 2:00 anyway and he said that there wasn't much going on. I guess I did not miss too much. It was a decent day, but I payed the price for going so hard on Saturday night.

Monday, February 10, 2003
Woke very early and felt a bit better. I decided that I would go and do some internet and get it out of the way for the day. Nothing was really open b/c it was only 9 so I sat in the plaza and wrote for awhile. It was good to have that time to myself and I appreciated it. I kind of watched some of the nearby businesses opening as people were starting their day. I know some of you are thinking that 10 a.m. is a bit late to be opening...but don't forget a couple things. First, that city jumps until about 5 a.m. Secondly, the shops and stores are open until about 1 a.m. No kidding...if you were at a bar at midnight and spilled something on your shirt, you could go across the street and buy a new one.

Anyway, finally a place opened so I worked on e-mails and journals for a couple hours until 12. Dave and I had decided we were going to rent motorcycles that day and he was going to teach me how to ride. When I was getting to the Pousada, he was leaving so we went and grabbed a by the kilo meal quick. The place to rent bikes ended up being closed so we were mad. We looked around for awhile but there weren't any other places to rent bikes...kind of annoying. What do you do when you are annoyed and in Buzios...that's right, you go to Chez Michou. We hung outhere, for a bit. Everybody in the place knew us when we walked up. Surprise, surprise. It was cool actually. We ran into Jovanna there too. We decided we would all meet up there later on that night. We also met this girl from Rio that had studied in Canada who was pretty cool.

We headed back to the pousada and rested for a bit and then got ready to go out for our last night in Buzios. We went to dinner at this place that was pretty far from the centro, sort of near where we went to the party on Friday night. It was cool though...although during the walk, my sandle broke...a bit annoying but not unfixable.

During dinner we met these four girls from Argentina that were eating at the table next to us. Somewhere during dinner I noticed this guy sitting at the table behind the girls wearing a tight camoflouge (sp?) t-shirt that looked absolutely ridiculous. Dave and I started making fun of it and then eventually that turned into me betting him that he wouldn't switch shirts with that guy and wear it for the rest of the night. Pretty funny...Dave actually tried to get the guy to do it. While he was talking to him, I took a picture and explained to the girls what was going on...then they proceeded to tell me that those shirts were very in style in Argentina and they liked it. They were a little offended that we were making fun of it...especially since the guy ended up being from Argentina. THAT was the end of those girls talking to us...but we still laughed our asses off about it later. Oh well.

We headed back to the pousada so I could get rid of my broken sandals and then to Chez Michou to meet up with Jovanna and some friends of hers. We hung there for a short while and then went down to another little bar. Dave dissappeared for awhile so Jovanna and I went to walk out on the pier for a bit. She ended up meeting up with a friend of hers so then I ended up on my own.

It was a little slow b/c it was a Mon. night...not a big one in Brazil as I explained in SP last week. Well, I went back to "Fashion" and was having a drink...I look up and who do I see but the supposed model that was showing the pictures of herself back in the internet place in the bus station in Rio 3 days prior! So I am thinking, "rock on". So I go up and say, hey, didn't I see you in the Rio bus station a few days ago (this conversation is in Portuguese...that is all she speaks). It took her a second but then she remembered. So we talk for a couple minutes and I am like, "so, how are you liking Buzios, are you here for vacation?" She then proceeds to tell me that she is there b/c she sleeps with men for money...doh! It was particularly funny b/c she used this word for girl...garota or something like that...that I was not familiar with so I didn't understand her at first. She had to say "I am a girl who sleeps with men for money" three times before I got it. It could not have been very dignifying for her to have to say something like that outloud three times slowly. It was a very awkward moment when I finally figured out what she was saying...one of these moments where my brain paused for what seemed like 10 minutes while I was thinking, "how the hell did I get myself into THIS one." You could tell she noticed b/c nobody said anything for about 10 seconds...so finally I was just like "see ya later". I think I even said it in English...she probably had no clue. What a shame...although I guess that explains the whole thing back at the internet place. Not that I need to go on and on about my views on these young girls that chose this very sad profession...I will only say this. I tend to live by the George Costanza creed: "Why pay for something, when, if I apply myself, I might be able to get it for free."

So after THAT one I headed back to Chez Michou and hung out for another hour, chatting with the workers and and some others at the bar...went to the pousada and crashed around 3...ending the run in Buzios. So for those keeping a tally, that is 100 beers, 50 internet hours, 25 Jules sightings, 10 trips to Chez Michou, 6 Argentinian girls, 4 great nights, 2 comedic prostitute encounters, and one monsterous hangover...ahhhhh Buzios...who couldn't love this place?

AC

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