11.15.2012 – 11.18.2012
Freebies at EZE airport, Rio
I sleep at EZE airport overnight and save a night of hotel. There is no couch to sleep on at the EZE airport. No water for sale. I am so freezing that I have to put on all 3 pieces of clothing that I have in my carry-on luggage.
11.16 Rio, Brazil
Passion and the Colors
The yellow and green colors shine in the Brazilian flag. I do not usually like yellow, but the passion of this country fuels my heart, even though there has not been any sun in Rio de Janiero. It is too foggy at the Christ Redeemer.
Compared to Easter Island, everything in Brazil is more vivid and colorful, the football jerseys, the Brazilian flag hats, the passion fruit dessert in the bakery shop and the sweet snacks in the local market. I buy all of them because colors make me happy.
Amazing Brazilian Food
I have never been disappointed with the Brazilian food, cabrito assado com arroz de brocolis (grilled lamb leg with chopped broccoli rice) and bolinhos de bacalhau (codfish ball) at Novo Capela in a very local slum area. This is my first decent food experience after being trapped on a remote island and eating all sweet snacks on the red-eye flights.
11.17 Rio, Brazil: Last day in Rio
Towards the end of the garden walk, the sky starts to get a bit brighter, though the mountains still sit in a blanket of fog.
Favela, a Unique Experience
The most special part of my trip so far is the favela tour – walking through the biggest mob slum in Brazil, known for drug-dealing crimes. There are 300,000 residents here with 69,000 buildings. All of the houses have been built next to each other, leaving only a tiny alley in between. Stores are open on the first floor, there is no light, dirty and smelly. There is garbage everywhere; the main canal of the town is filled with water of a dark brown color.
Walking through these narrow alleys, stepping on the dirty water, smelling the trash from the sewage plant, looking at the thousands of tangled wires up in the air (which you cannot figure out which wire is from which household).
Ducking through the small short doors, I climb up to one of the local resident’s houses. The panoramic view is breathtaking: there are thousands of poorly built houses in an unsymmetrical order with green skew-shaped mountains in the background, whereas on the other side of the town you can see a touch of the ocean and zigzag coastline.
11.18 Puerto Iguazu, Brazil
Seeing Iguacu Falls on both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides for one day is ambitious, but I optimize my time to appreciate it whenever I am in front of the falls.
It is the panoramic view, the gigantic rocks, the speeding falls, the delightful rainbow, the fuzz of the water mist, the charismatic sound, the breeze of Andes mountains…It is everything together that makes it one of “7 Natural Wonders of the World”.
Walking down the trail, getting closer to the bottom of the falls, I am touched by the power of the wilderness, as if I were in a natural bath.
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