Brazil is a country of conflicts. There is its reputation for beautiful women, and then there are loads and loads of really overweight people. There’s all this incredible fruit, and then there’s the fact that they add tons of sugar to everything. The people are super chilled out, but almost everyone warns us about how careful we need to be. Sometimes hitching is easy-peasy, and other times it’s really quite a chore.
Monday was one of these “this is not as straightforward as we thought” days. Rondonópolis, our departure point, is Brazil’s second hottest city, so it was really rather sweaty waiting for four hours before our first ride. We had moved locations a few times so it wasn’t as awful as the wait at petrol-station-that-will-not-be-named, but still.
However, by the end of the day we were in Cuiabá, our intended destination, so all was forgiven. Here we set up camp in order to watch the Germany vs. Brazil 7-1 trouncing on Tuesday: a horrible, horrible experience. This was not particularly because we were in Brazil; the supporters around us gradually switched allegiance to the opposition and became more enthusiastic with every goal that passed. No, it was probably painful to watch wherever you were in the world.
We hopped along a couple of hundred kilometres on Wednesday, pausing for Argentina vs. Holland, and then on Thursday headed out to make for the next state. By 9.30am this plan had been intercepted by the lovely Raimundo and Dilma, who invited us to spend the day at their country home. Here we learnt to fish and watched as a chicken transformed from pecking at food to being pecked as food. It was an informative day.
We like to set personal best’s as often as possible, so on Friday we achieved a mighty 1,000km in one day, principally aided by Fernando the trucker. It was a long stretch, finished with a two-hour kip in our tent from 4am to 6am on Saturday (the tent out again! This is worryingly quickly becoming a habit), but we have rested up now by enjoying the surrounds here in Porto Velho.
Seeing as this is our last weekend in Brazil, we have made the most of the hotel breakfast – well, we need the energy to push through to Peru, don’t we?
Total number of lifts: 141
Week Seventeen distance travelled: 1,678 km
Total distance travelled: 19,544 km