Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Wellll welll welll, how to describe 30 days of beaches, long bus rides, 30 incredible exchange students, 1000 photos and lots and lots of dancing? I'll do my best.

Brasilia: 12 hour bus ride from Sao Paolo, we get there at 11.40, get told the pool shuts at midnight and so obviously we all run upstairs change and all jump into the pool! The next day we take a day tour and see the government house (shaped like a two bowls) , an awesome cathedral (so modern) , the president's official residence (that had a guard that couldn't move and also a wishing fountain where you chuck coins in...our tour guide jokingly said you chuck one in and then get another one out to fulfill someone's wish..yeah so my friend took that literally and went down and grabbed one only to be later told that he could have been arressted because he was on the president's property...only exchange students).

We then went to a ecumenical temple (of no specific religion) which has this tiled path that spirals into the middle where you go round and not necessarily pray, but just think of good things, be grateful, think whatever really. So that was different!

Lencois: Trekked up a mountain to find an amazing view, and the old refuge for precious stone hunters (brazil was the first world producer of diamonds during the beginnings of the 20th century.) Then we went cave exploring which was AWESOME the tour guide just carried a lantern and we spent one full minute in total darkness and silence underground, IN CAVES. That's when you know stillness haha. We then went to some waterfalls and rock jumping (having 15 australians meant finding higher rocks, cooler jumps, more adrenaline!)

The next day we went to a natural waterslide which was simply incredible! One massive inclined rock slab with water running down! I think I went down 50 times. The massive bruises on my butt for the next few days proved that. 3 other girls and I kept thinking of different ways to go down ..although dangerous we justified it with 'gotta live a little' which soon became the mantra for the trip. We went down backwards, in trains of 5 (up to 20 haha) um spinning, I even surfed down it but we were told we weren't allowed so yeah that was just the 2 times haha. After we went to a lake that had all this bright orange soil/mud and we all painted it on ourselves So fun.

We then had a SICK capoeira presentaion (think I've already mentioned it..brazilian style martial art/fluid dance type thing) and they asked if anyone wanted to have a go so of course I was first up and they taught me some things which were relateively easy because of knowing ballet! The town is also sickkk, all colourful houses, cobblestone roads and everyone always out on the street, making music, eating mangoes, conversando. All 30 of us went into one hotel room and played never have I ever and we got to know each other VERY well after that haha. That was our last day and we had a big bus trip ahead of us so a few others and I just stayed up all night with the shisha talking crap haha!

Maceio: Um hard to remember don't think TOO much happened here...just spent the day relaxing on a really nice beach and we went canoeing! No complaints haha.

Natal: Literal translation=christmas hahah! Um this was one of the coooolest hotels, our room had a balcony that you could climb over straight to the pool so we were always there AND it had a pool bar! Of course me and a few other climbed up on to it hahah -gotta live a little- In actual natal we did a city tour and yeah just went to more beaches basically! There was a MASSIVE sand dune near our hotel that you can't go down because it will result in DEATH. But yeah it was quite impressive. Every night we sort of just had to make our own fun..we played truth or dare, yes there was foot licking, nutella and lap dances involved. We're not proud of it but no regrets haha.

Fortaleza: Wowowwo well THIS was an action packed day. Buggy rides on the sand dunes (com emocao=adrenaline), sandboarding down the dunes, horse riding on the beach (I think I have ridden a horse a few times in my life and it went of galloping and just went with it ahah) and $15 massage!

Recife: Moreeee beaches and city tours! Did some snorkelling which was nice! One night our tour guy organsied a carnaval type party thing for us where we could all dress up. So of course, being unconventional exchange students we decided that boys were to dress as girls and vice versa. Needless to say we got THAT many double takes on the streets because they went allll the way, short shorts, bikinis, make-up, everything! A famous dance from the area with umbrellas was performed for us complete with marching band and we literally just went through the streets jumping, dancing, screaming, shimmeying, yes, COMPLETELY SOBER. Normal citizens were so baffled haha. It was so much fun, never felt so alive!

Aracaju: Not really sure why we stayed here. It was a one night stop over..the town was fairly ghetto but yeah it had a beach and we played many many dares that simply should not be disclosed here or to anyone outside the trip really haha. Here is one singular example. Probably the most normal of all photos. 

Salvador: Possibly my favourite stop. After Rio perhaps..but this is THE closest second! Ok first day we take a city tour, but this one mainly involved free time to buy leather, hand-made loafers for $20 EACH. Us girls were just on a shopping high from our finds and had an amazing day! We also went to this AMAZING church that took 30 years to build and the insides are all just SOLID GOLD formed into these intricate designs, hands down the most impressive church I have seen. We then had time to explore some sick markets and then went to see an amazing, jaw dropping brazilian dance show. I obviously lovedddd it but even if you weren't a dancer you would love it. 

That random photo of the door is where Michael Jackson's 'they don't really care about us' clip was filmed and that lady with the massive dress is called a Bahiana, traditional costume! Next day was probably the most paradisal day of my life. We went on a boat to this isolated island and basically just spent the whole day there, jumping off the boat, laying in the sun, swimming to the beach in the crystal blue waters, chilling with everyone. I layed down and listened to john butler's ocean just to reallly get in the vibe. Amazing day. (also on the way there we blasted the ipod speakers and danced and sang so so hard...especially to skrillex's cinema haha..photo is of us dropping the bass which we frequently did in the bus as well)

Arrail d'ajuda: Winnns for best hotel. Hands down. The city didn't realllllly have much but we didn't need it. It was just ultimate hippy hang out. All the rooms were centred around this greenery delight that had a pool, huts, cushions, deck chairs, lounges and more hammocks than you could ever want! It was raining most of the time we were there so we just lounged for four days chatting, listening to music and relaxing. 

Porto Seguro: Wow ok so this was just a day trip but some of the funnest 5 hours of the whole trip was here..basically, porto is a place for graduation trips like gold coast schoolies or cancun mexico type thing. So yes it's got clubs and hotels, but we never went to any of them unfortunately :( But seeings as it's Brasil, we didn't NEED to because they partied in the day!! So we went to this place called Axe moi which is basically a massive stage that has incredibly fit people dancing to Axe music for everyone to copy! So you're just standing there in the pounding sun, in your bikini, water from up high being sprayed on to you watching these marvellous people but shake with you attempting to imitate. Me and a friend climbed on to the stage, more invaded it if anything, and just start spontaneously krumping with the people haha! Was good times, and then afterwards, ALL the exchange students came up and we just had our own massive party up there on the stage with everyone watching! SO MUCH FUN. 

And now the graaand finale:
RIO DE JANEIRO: Ahhh the 'marvellous city', where you think of when you think Brasil, the place of my dreams! And woah did it not let me down. For anyone that has seen the kids animation Rio, it's kinda actually like that. The massive Christo (jesus) looks over upon the city, it's amazing endless beaches, facing towards Pao de acucar (sugarloaf mountain), the high rise hotels not too far away from the biggest slums. We drove in listening to the song 'let me take you to rio, rio' and it couldn't have been more magical. I had waited to come here for SO FLIPPING LONG ahh worked so many hours to get here and it was right there in front of me in all it's beauty! 

We got there and changed straight away into our bikinis, took the 5 minute walk to Copacabana beach and although it was freeezing I jumped in anyway, so glad to have massive waves to duck and splash around in again. We went for a swim on the 2nd day in an intense tropical thunderstorm and went running back to our hotel in our swimmers and the pounding rain in front of all the beachside bars -gotta live a little. 

Anyway so, first day see the historical centro which had it's own non-beachy charm. We went to these sick steps where some old guy has pretty much spent his life putting tiles from all over the world into these steps, found a Sydney one! Was impressive. Then we went up pao de acucar, found SO many gringos (foreigners) and yeah the view was amazing. We also went to where they hold the famous Brazilian carnavalll! 

Second day we went up to the big jesus! If you come to Rio, or Brazil for that matter, this is something you have gotta see. One of the wonders of the world, it stands 40m high on a mountain and when you actually stand UNDER it you can see it's true power. Like, you can see this bad boy from sooo far away it's that massive. Of course the exchange students made idiots of ourselves taking many jumping/standing on shoulders and the classic arms outstreched pose. We even recorded a video of us dancing that will go in a big video of exchange students dancing around the world :D

Me and 5 others missed the train down so we were really upset that we would have to catch a taxi and soothed our sorrows by singing VERY loudly in front of allllll 60 year olds and the samba band on the train down caught on and started playing while we sang and danced crazily. I think it was the most exciting thing that has happened to those old people the whole trip! Then we had a funk+samba class which was sweet, and then visited Maracana which is the football stadium of rio, under reforms at the moment for the world cup but had a sweet little museum of famous footballers (soccer obviously).

The last night was bittersweet, lots of laughs but we knew we had to say goodbye to people we have spent 30 days togethher, as you can imagine we became SO close and I will never forget them and our in-jokes. We spent the night writing on each others flags and just mucking around..of course we saved our sleep for the bus ride home, as always. 

Well, if you made it here then you can pretty much feel like you have travelled the Northeast of Brazil, sorry it was so long but hopefully this has encouraged you to do it FOR REAL because it is simply amazing and the people are the friendliest you've met. So what are you waiting for? Live a little! We did ;)