04 Dec Rio & Ouro Preto: A Love Letter to Brazil
Ouro Preto would definitely not be a place for me to live…
Ouro Preto was my last stop before Rio. Its streets are paved with granite cubes, which makes them pretty bumpy and uneven. This only means one thing – no high heels. And no for high heels is a no for me! ?
Some streets are pretty steep so strolling felt more like a hike ? Residents of this colonial town must be in top condition!
A few times I actually needed to take a break after winning the battle with a steep slope. I realized I seriously have to consider adding some workout to my schedule when I get home… We’ll see about that ?
After “hiking” across the city, it’s great to relax (because you actually need to rest after going uphill all the time!) in one of many cafes with great views over surrounding hills. Drink juice, not coffee. The coffee here was the worst ?
Time for Rio, City of Carnival
Another UNESCO’s World Heritage Site later, my next and the last stop for this trip was Rio de Janeiro. I was checking the weather forecast whole week before my arrival, but it kept showing the clouds with little rain drops.
The weather was not on my side this time since it was either raining or was foggy. This was Rio’s clue for sure – I come here again to see the city’s colorful personality also in sunny weather. February would be ideal I suppose ?
Christ was a bit shy and has covered himself with foggy veil. Usually it can be seen from all parts of the city, but in those four days I spent here, you could only see Corcovado hill covered with mist.
Brazil’s traditional dishes in Rio did not disappoint. City offers a great culinary experience with huge range of local delights like feijoadas, tapiocas, acarajes etc.
Rio’s blessing in disguise
City of Carnival offered also an unpleasant and/or eye-opening experience. I was warned about this – not once, not ten times but a hundred times but I never thought it will happen so close to me. I witnessed a robbery.
Victim was standing right beside me, waiting to cross the street as I was. Out of a sudden a guy came and took whatever she was carrying in her hand. Not sure what he has taken, hopefully not much of a value to her.
Shocked, since this could have been me, I was standing there with my DSLR camera hanging around my neck (in case I needed to take a quick shot) and my smartphone in my hand, to help me navigate Rio’s streets.
This event reminded me never to take my guard down, especially not while exploring unknown city with such a reputation as Rio.
… can imagine the expression on my mom’s face, when she is reading this… ?
When I arrived at the passport control in Sao Paulo’s airport two weeks ago, the officer asked me what was I thinking to come to Brazil alone. Vera, a girl I met in Rio, asked me pretty much the same thing. She couldn’t understand, why a female solo traveler would choose Brazil.
Everyone’s experience with Brazil is not as pleasant as mine. Fortunately, one of the world’s most dangerous countries was kind to me. Food is delicious, I love it! Brazil offers a lot of traditional dishes which are naturally gluten-free. This was perfect for me and my always-empty stomach ?
I love the people of Brazil. They are kind, open, positive and selfishly willing to help.
By far the favorite part of this trip was the fact, that most of the Brazilians don’t speak English. This means I was forced to speak Portuguese. Not that I speak Portuguese, but I do know a few words or even sentences in Spanish, which helped a lot.
My Span-guese (mix of Spanish and Portuguese) improved in these almost three weeks ? I am thinking about taking Spanish class but I am not sure if this should replace the work out I was talking about earlier ?
This trip reminded me how much child curiosity I carry in me and how easily it is to ignore it. I think we all ignore that part of us way too often. But we shouldn’t. I shouldn’t. Because it’s my fuel for life.
Thank you so much for reading!
One of my best friends often says someday a series will be written and shot based on my life's story. This is probably not going to happen but her joke was definitely an inspiration for today's title. Every story has a beginning, so let me start with my "official traveling release" 🙂23 November, 2015