25 January, 2015


It may appear that I've abandoned this blog.  Or Brazil. Or travel in general.

And I have, sort of. In a way, Brazil and my desire to explore it, has lost a bit of its allure. It's no one's fault, really; it just is what it is.

A beach weekend in Guarujá
I haven't been sitting on my caboose since September - my last bloggable, noteworthy travel adventure. I've weekended on a nice beach in Guarujá, on the São Paulo coast. I've spent a lovely four days in Rio, experiencing it without the New Years, Carnaval, and World Cup crowds; though I didn't do anything I hadn't done before and that was perfectly fine!

The fact is, Brazil is expensive: sometimes unnecessarily, unjustifiably, obscenely so. And unlike many other Latin American countries where one can show up at a bus terminal, look at a schedule, and go, Brazil's buses are often booked and the route options limited.  People who can afford to fly, tend to fly, and those who can't, plan ahead and bus it.  Or they don't go anyplace at all.  Because Brazil is huge.  Sometimes busing is foolish to begin with just because of the sheer size of the country.

Açai on Ipanema Beach in Rio
And then there are the holidays.  Brazil has a decent amount of holidays and when those holidays hit, it seems everyone who can, travels. Most of them to the beach, which makes the roads to said beaches and the airports veritable mosh-pits of vacationers. And then we come full-circle to the hotel/hostel/pousada operators jacking up their rates.

All that being said, I think I have essentially breathed a deep, concessionary sigh and allowed myself to forget about where I live and just trudge forward until June when I leave this country for good. Three-day holiday weekends are just too short to fork over enough reais to pay a month's rent in the US, to fly someone interesting and different, stay in lodging with "high-season" rates, only to turn around after just catching your breath.

Nothing better than days with no schedule, friends, beach cerjevas and Rio

There may be a post here or there about explorations in São Paulo down the highway, for a city of 22 million does, by default, offer many interesting things to do and see. But I have no major travel plans for the next five months already mapped out.

Not everyone who has lived and/or traveled in Brazil will agree with me on any or all of the above, however, I can confidently say that I have lost my vontage for travel in Brazil.  And that is that!

Last two photos courtesy of Lisa Jensen-Hengstler.

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