An adventurous year ending

Brazil - Posted On

Brazil, Salvador de Bahia: the whole continent is now in front of me. I must now decide my way through it. Maps, internet helps me on this during these firsts’ days in the marina.

As a start, there are two ways to get out of here by hitchhiking a sailboat to the western and Pacific direction: either from Panama, in March 2010 or from Ushuaia in start 2010. Trouble is, panama is quite easy to find a boat, but from Ushuaia it's not that secured. Only few seamen venture themselves that south. But if I do, there would be good chances to give a go to Antarctica, as I already have contacts there. And plus I could go through the mythic Patagonia, just nothingness but wind for miles and miles, and the Terra del Fuego, the dream for any adventurer!

As a conclusion, I make my mind for not taking the risk of staying stucked in Ushuaia (and so with the very hard decision to take a bus all the way up to Panama, or worst, take a plane to New Zealand!), and then to find a boat in Panama in February 2010.

Now before this, my way looks simple: to reach Mendoza, Argentina, my southernmost point in South America and go back up north.

Aggressive pick-pockets:

Salvador downtown, at night. We peacefully walk down the streets, looking for a nice (and cheap) restaurant, guys begging for money as usual here with European looking people. Suddenly, fast things happen: my friend Luis fighting one of the guys who just robbed his pocket, a table flies toward the guy who just runs as if for his life... with Luis’ pocket in his hand! Coming back, our friend Charlotte stupidly left behind lies on the ground, another guy having tried to pick her pocket... till under her skirt!!! He had her falling down and fighting to get it for minutes before anyone eventually helped her out of this nightmare!

That's our 2nd day in Brazil, welcome!!!

Christmas - Feliz Natal!

Seb, Charlotte and I are quickly up to quit the Rally and Salvador. We make our way to the island south of Salvador, not really knowing where to sleep. It's Christmas night, we bet for something special happening, and we all go to the church, as everyone here.... But with bike and bags. End of the pray, the prayer comes to us:

"- where do you sleep?

- Eeeeeuh, that's a good question!

- come to my house!"

Padre Francisco is amazing here. He prayed God for not passing Christophe alone, and we quite did the same as a matter of fact! We stay in his huge house and fruity garden a few days. Relaxing time before the big new bike departure.

Feliz ano novo 2009!

My friend and co-boat-hitchiker Luis owns a ground in Itacaré, 250kms down south and high-known surfing spot in Brazil. Seb and I make our mind up to pass New Year’s Eve there with him, me by bike, them hitchhiking. I so experience biking on Brazilian coastal road, not an easy ride, believe me! Road keeps on going up and down, never flat, under the sunny temperature of a metallurgic oven most of the day. 45°C in the shadow, but there is no shadow. I wake up at 5am to depart with the sun.

Last and third riding day, I have 140 kms to go while my medium is 70. I forget I am a limited human being with any concern for my body and just go, go, go. Kms of dirt road, river with no bridge but a near-to-drown boat, high bright and moral-destructive sun, high never-ending steeps, nothing stops me for meeting my friends on time in Itacaré. When I finally arrive there, exhausted but so happy, 2 things happen to be:

1. French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his most-noticed wife Carla Bruni pass above me in a helicopter of the army, next to having passed a few relaxing days in a 5 stars luxury hotel, renting not less than 11 bungalows, for their "tranquility". Probably costs the equivalent of a few years working for a Brazilian worker.

2. My friends for who I have put away any idea of resting all 3 passing days are ... not here! Worst, no words on the internet, nothing!

Finally they happen to arrive the next day, 31st, and we leave 2008 behind us to welcome 2009, 3 hours next to France, with many projects in our minds.

Party is in the streets, on the beach, with amazing capueira shows, boys and girls belly dancing behind some cars made up for having the biggest sound systems of the town.

New Year’s Eve under the coco trees, sleeping on the beach, swimming and bodysurfing (surf with just the body) in water which doesn't even cool you down as the temperature is excessively warm.

Feliz ano novo like they say here to everyone, and all these sorts of things!

03 Jan 2009 - Flight Serra Grande. Large rotors make me live the carnival before the first. First flight to Brazil, taken after a while, scare and rock&#39;n&#39;roll. Good safeguard for the future! <br> Serra Grande, Bahia, Brazil