This week, we achieved a grand total of two hitching days (on purpose, it’s ok!) and still travelled further than last week. But as you’ll remember, we’ve repressed all of that.
We had two principal aims this week, one of an obligatory nature and the second of an ‘it would be good if this could happen’ sort. The first was that we were very keen to arrive in Rio de Janeiro to meet our friend Artur before he left on Friday morning. The second was that, if number one was looking likely, we would go via São Paulo for a visit.
After approximately 10 minutes in the petrol station where Dirceu had dropped us, we found a trucker called Elson willing to give us a ride almost all of the 402km to São Paulo. We knew then it was going to be a better week.
Continuing the popular theme of ‘being hosted by the parents of people we know’, our connection in SP was Rose, the mother of a Tearfund friend of Jo’s. What an absolute treasure! We were welcomed into our apartment with a packed fridge and a fruit bowl brimming with wonder, shown around town by Rose’s sister Libera and her husband Cesar, and visited more delicious restaurants than there were meals in the day. Not bad for only two nights in one of the biggest cities in the world.
Departing on Wednesday, we hoped that we hadn’t used up our quota of good days for the week. We hadn’t. One after the other, our drivers helped us on our way.
Seven drivers and ten hours later, we were delivered to Artur’s door in Rio, in so doing realising an even greater aim than those aforementioned: to be in Rio de Janeiro for the start of the 2014 Football World Cup, the very reason why we began the adventure at this time of year.
Aside from watching copious amounts of football, we have been soaking up the sites Rio has to offer. It is a beautiful city: mountains on one side, the ocean on the other and lots of character in between. Not a bad place to relax in the year that football comes home to England. (… Look, we have to allow illogical positiveness to pierce our English stoicism from time to time. Maybe the Brazilian attitude is rubbing off on us.)
Total number of lifts: 111
Week Thirteen distance travelled: 834 km
Total distance travelled: 14043 km