BRAZIL – my final destination

BRAZILIAN COAST – simply MAGICAL!

I started to realize that my magical “South America Solo Backpacking Trip” was getting closer to the end day by day, therefore, I started to enjoy every moment of my trip as it was my last one (well, I can´t say I didn´t do it before haha)! I already knew that 16th of December, 2015  is the day when everything was about to finish, all of my crazy adventures, travelling, meeting extremely friendly Latin people … Although just the idea that this whole “thing” was about to finish made me really sad, I was still pretty excited, enthusiastic and ready to “rock& roll” my last days here … What I also consider pretty magical is my final destination from where I was about to fly home – RIO de JANEIRO – the city where my whole South American Adventure started (already on 11th of April, 2015) and the city where my crazy adventure is gonna end!

But let´s not “be ahead of the game”, firstly I want to describe my last days of my trip spent on magical Brazilian coast covered by breathtaking Brazilian Atlantic Forest… My first stop after never-ending journey from the waterfalls Iguazu (around 19hrs in the bus) was the island located in the south of Brazil called “Florianopolis” where my first CS host Gilberto was waiting for me to give me nice welcome. Although the weather didn´t wish me and it was pretty rainy, I decided to stay 3 days with Gilberto and his friends – all of them passionate musicians. Gilberto showed me the real Brazilian “latino” spirit by playing the guitar and singing Brazilian songs, taking me to a bar where “chorinho” (typical Brazilian music) was played, giving me the first lesson of Portuguese, and much more… And although my initial plan of SBS – sun, beach & sea – didn´t work out here in Florianopolis, I was more than happy to meet Gilberto, his friends and his way of life…

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 The only thing I knew about my itinerary through Brazilian coast before entering Brazil was that my start point would be Florianopolis and my end point would be Rio de Janeiro. Everything “in the middle” was planned spontaneously and thanks to COUCHSURFING! Therefore, after my new CS host Conrad from Picarras contacted me, I didn´t hesitate, took the bus and arrived to his small beach town located around 100km north of Florianopolis. I have to say that couchsurfing taught me a lot, especially to be very veery veeery flexible (especially regarding the type of accommodation) but I was more than happy to find out that Conrad´s apartment is beautiful and modern and located directly in front of the beach. Conrad officially gave me the best CS accommodation ever – private room with large double bed, balcony with beautiful views over the Atlantic ocean and private bathroom!!! Such a comfort and luxury I could have only dreamed of. Moreover, my first day in Picarras I got what I needed – my SBS – sun, beach & sea… I couldn´t be happier… J  I spent three days with Conrad, enjoying beach, having “movie – chocolate – wine day”, drinking his speciality “lady´s killer”, eating delicious “pastels” and simply having a lot of fun!

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After three relaxing days spent in Picarras (actually I never wanted to move out Conrad´s apartment, so cool it was) I decided to move my “lazy ass” to Sao Paulo to spend only couple of hours with my new Brazilian friend Bryan who I met in Mendoza, Argentina. Bryan gave me nice welcome to his city and gave me Brazilian flag which he signed willingly, so I had nice souvenir and memory…

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 After spending only couple of hours with Bryan, I took another bus to “Caraguatatuba”, yeaah, another not very well known town on Brazilian coast where my new CS host Leonardo offered me his house. I spent with Leonardo and his friend only one full day, but it was my SBS day and finally with some Brazilian “caipirinha” (typical Brazilian cocktail) in my hands.  I got the chance to see the whole beach town from up, enjoy couple of hours on the beach and meet new friendly Brazilian people.

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“Ubatuba” – another beach town, not very well known, located only one hour from Caraguatatuba – place where my new CS host Roger was waiting for me to give me one of the most special CS experiences. Roger is truly an interesting person with interesting life story, interesting mind and interesting way of life. I am glad I got the chance to meet him in person and get to know at least a small part of his life style. Roger took me to some of the most beautiful beaches of Brazil covered by Atlantic forest, we did short biking and hiking tour, watched “skimsurfers”, enjoyed seafood lunch directly on the beach and led interesting conversations about meaning of life and importance of free will and happiness. The last day of my stay with Roger I learned something interesting, something about “runes” which represent three Earth layers of fire, ice and water. It is difficult to explain, it´s necessary to experience it. Roger gave me short “runes reading” on questions which I asked myself already the past couple of weeks and helped me to show my way… After short meditation and runes reading, Roger gave me amazingly relaxing massage (Roger works as massage therapist) and confirmed me to be a special CS host who gave me special CS experiences – completely new and interesting which made me think about things I wasn´t thinking before… Muito obrigada Roger!

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Being bumped by the positive energy I continued my journey to famous Brazilian coast town “Paraty” where I was picked up by me new CS host Michel – 70 year old French sailor who is definitely the most interesting CS host I have ever had! Not only gave me interesting accommodation (the cabin in his boat located in the middle of the Paraty´s port) and experience being again “onboard”, but also incredible and almost unbelievable stories about his life which I was listening to with such an interest and passion that you cannot even imagine. Person like Michel should write a book about his life in order to inspire people all over the world…

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So after this super welcome impression I got the chance to explore more of the Brazilian beaches and breathtaking nature by taking a day boat trip full of Brazilian people, almost no tourists (better for me so I could practise my Portuguese) and mind-blowing peaceful beaches… After this full day trip, Michel took me to his favourite bar where the owner Wagner taught me how to prepare Brazilian caipirinha and where I was able to enjoy the real Brazilian spirit and rhythm of samba! My last day in Paraty I stayed with another CS host Victor who offered me a private room with private bathroom (so far Brazilian CS hosts win regarding accommodation haha) and took me to small village “Trinidade” where the hiking through Atlantic forest,  beautifully green colour of sea and natural sea pool “took my breath away”. Brazilian beaches are simply stunning!!!

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Honestly, leaving Paraty was incredibly difficult as I fell in love with this small but charming Brazilian coast town, but because I wanted to enjoy my LAST TWO DAYS of my whole backpacking trip in Rio de Janeiro, I had to leave. I took the bus, arrived to the bus station of Rio and was picked up by my new and at the same time last CS host Marco who took me to his apartment close to Maracana football stadium. This evening I decided to watch sunset from famous “Sugarloaf” where I managed to meet Samuel, a boy from Egypt who was doing his internship in Colombia after I recommended it to him and who is also doing his internship in Rio right now (lucky him!), and together we enjoyed one of the most beautiful sunsets from one of the most beautiful viewpoints I have ever been to

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My completely last full day in Rio de Janeiro and at the same time in South America (uff, I already started to get emotional and melancholic) I decided to have my last SBS day – sun, beach & sea directly on COPACABANA beach with caipirinha in my hands. This day I met incredibly friendly and as a bonus handsome Brazilian guys who spent the rest of my last day with me, enjoying Copacabana atmosphere. I admired my last sunset in Rio de Janeiro on Ipanema beach together with my new Brazilian friend, getting truly emotional… I started to realize that my amazing 8 months in South America have been over, that my life-changing solo backpacking travelling has been over and all of this made me almost cry…

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I truly love what I did, I love that I took the courage to cross the Atlantic ocean, to overcome my fears and to do the life-changing internship in Colombia and start my solo backpacking travelling across South America – Colombia – Ecuador – Peru – Bolivia – Chile – Argentina – Brazil!!! It cannot be even described by simple words what this year 2015 gave me – the opportunity to face my fears from being alone, the opportunity to learn a lot about myself, about culture of South America, the opportunity to meet truly inspirational and most friendly people ever, the experience to fall in love and to be loved, the chance to admire breathtaking natural phenomenon, to improve my Spanish and learn Portuguese, to build my self-confidence, to make my communication and negotiation skills better, to …… I could continue with no end ……

But everything has its end, so my crazy, spontaneous backpacking journey had. I started the whole journey in a “big style” and I ended it in a “big style”. I will be always grateful to people who supported me through my way (my family, my friends) and I will always remember people who I met on my way because ALL of YOU, my new friends from Latin America are now part of my life, whether I am already back in Slovakia or not. You will be always in my mind, always in my heart…

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TE AMO LATINO AMERICA!!!!

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