Gone South 120 - Virginie, Marie & Arnaud

We've gone south for 120 days & invite you to join us (if only from a distance) on our trip through Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia & Peru. The initial idea of doing it by car was temporarily abandoned due to lack of funds to rent a car. This obviously doesn’t rule out the purchase of a car somewhere along the road. Should you want to see what we're seeing, doing and enjoying, come back here & drop us a line! We'll try to keep this blog updated with photos & comments. Enjoy it!

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Back home

I`ve been back in Europe now for more than 24 hours and had tears in my eyes opening the blog from here for the first time. For weeks I`ve wanted to write another entry but just didn`t find the time, didn`t seem to be in the right mood, or couldn`t come up with the right words to describe what I felt....
Now I`m sitting here and still can`t come up with the right words. So many feelings rushing through me , while at the same time I feel like I never even left Europe. It doesn`t feel weird to walk through the streets here or to hear just English around me. It will probably hit me later. And I`m still experiencing jet-lag which might be slightly more pronounced than usual due to the fact that I only slept about 4 hours a night during the last few nights in Rio.
I`m going to cut this short because it doesn`t feel like the time is right to write a last conclusive entry. Maybe it`s because I`m not ready to say good-bye yet to this amazing trip and just want to keep this blog running, or maybe it`s because I`m in Manchester and haven`t ended it in Brussels as we had planned to do. I don`t know. I just know that I`m sad it`s over and while I was completely ready and even anxious to get back to Europe, to sort out my life, settle down and find myself a job, now I think back and will miss being able to wake up every morning wondering what to make out of this beautiful new day.
We have had the experience of a life-time, I`ve met some amazing people whom I really hope to keep in touch with, and despite all the difficulties we`ve had, the fights and the sad moments I can`t think of any other people I would have rather shared this with. Like you said Arnaud, this will have to be repeated! BUT this time with Michael as well!
Thanks everybody, for following us from Europe and thanks everybody else for making this an unforgettable part of my life! All of those in Europe, I WILL get in touch with you soon and hopefully meet up with as many of you as possible! Right now though, I`m going to enjoy these few weeks in Manchester :)


Monday, May 08, 2006

A few hours before leaving

This will be my last entry from South America - I can't believe it's time to go already. I can't spend long (in 2 hours we leave Ipanema), so plan to write a conclusion once home and we all hope to write something together with usefull information for future travellers to this fantastic continent.
All I wish to say right now is thank you to you all for being faithfull followers of our stories and images and I hope that those of you that have been tempted to come this way, can make it one day!
Big hugs and kisses, Marie

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Today´s pictures - this time we got to see Him!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Gay Paraty...

We´ve officially left 1 of our 2 homes in Brazil... and this time, I presume, for quite a while.

Returning to Paraty, waving hello to friends when crossing the hill with our backpacks, hugging Edouardo and family at Atoba at arrival, realising Mel was no longer a puppy, all felt as if we had unexpectedly returned from a perilous journey of self-discovery to the safety of the "shire"... It felt great.

We were allocated the best rooms with a magnificent porch overlooking the best pool in Brazil (where most of our time was spent!).

Edouardo, together with Dado, took us around Paraty in his infernally noisy pick-up, to go and dive in the waterfalls, eat out at a remote local restaurant and to catch a boat-ride to a fantastic little island restaurant.

Despite our educated guess concerning our friends' sexual inclinations and having spent many a great night in London and Brighton with gay friends, nothing prepared me for the little lillac and pastel yellow boat that came puffing into the idyllic little bay we were waiting in... Waving their straw hats, whilst tanning on the roof and sporting tight briefs, seventies mirrored raybans and holding out their champagne glasses, Edouardo´s friends invited us on board of the BASE I...

We spent a faboulous afternoon drinking caipirinhas, swimming and eating sea food until none of us could keep our balance and the boat drunkenly bobbed its way home in the sunset.

We´ve now left Paraty, Atoba, Edouardo and Dado, fluffy Mel, our porch, the swimming pool, the sea, the waterfalls and the islands...

I´m sad, but Rio, sexy Rio, is waiting for me!

Ciao, Arnaud

I had tears in my eyes when we left Paraty

Actual date of text – 1 May 2006

I meant to write sooner - when we arrived in Paraty - about how we'd returned to where we had started this 4 month adventure. The eternal excuse... a slow internet connection.
Walking the familiar road from the bus station to Pouso do Atobà, our humble home in Brazil, and entering the gates made me realise how quickly our journey has passed - a wave of sadness came over me. Thankfully with just a moment's reflection I remembered everything we'd seen and done and was reminded that time stands still nowhere when noticing the changes around me. New decking, new lights, Mel (the puppy four months ago) all grown up... returning to this familiarity was a luxury and the only thing we were interested in was lazing by the pool enjoying the sun filled days!

Only Edouardo, the fun loving Atobà owner's kind propositions got us to move. One afternoon for an exqusite fish and caipirinha washed meal on an island with 6 of his gay friends (forget the budget) and another to the cashueras (waterfalls) and lunch where only the locals know it's good.For the rest we satyed at "home", hung around the pool chatting to Dado, read, cooked in and went to bed early.

Today did however come around and it was time to leave. We were felt sorry for by Edouardo's brother in law when he saw us all strapped into our very heavy backpacks - remember how we'd left a significant amount of our stuff at Atobà in January when we realised we needed to make our load lighter - well it all had to fit back in - so he, kind hearted Brazilian that he is, gave us a lift to the station. Dado accompanied to say goodbye and now, since I formulated this text on paper in the bus to Rio, we're heading towards our last days in South America.

We've chosen familiarity once more by returning to Sofhia's B&B in Ipanema and denying another kind Edouardo gesture - his flat in Copacobana.Leaving Sofhia's will make our Rio goodbye much harder, tears will flow, but that's for in 6 days time...

Big hugs, Marie

A few more pics from Geribà beach - Buzios

Brazilian style posing on the beach