We got stamped into Brazil at the border office and then we walked in the dark to find a bus stop. Steph was not very subtly shitting herself at this point and hiding her valuables in different crevices of her body. A man greeted us and she jumped about 10 ft in the air. Luckily, the bus stop was opposite a youth club so there were some people around.
It was 11pm now and we’d been told there was a bus to Porto Alegre at half past. Steph was still rattled but luckily the bus did arrive on time and we were off.
We changed buses at Porto Alegre and I watched two guys having a fistfight at the bus station. I wondered want I had gotten us into with Brazil as it is certainly much edgier than the countries we’d previously visited. It was also a whole other language to learn, one that seemed more difficult to us than Spanish.
We had an embarrassing moment at PA at the ticket booth when we said we couldn’t speak Portuguese so he spoke to us in Spanish instead and we still didn’t have a clue. At no point during our Brazil visit did we redeem ourselves either.
We were one of the last buses to enter Florianopolis for a while as there was a lot of flooding in this region. There was endless footage of the flood devastation playing on every channel on the hostel television. I saw a bus go off a cliff so many times that I just couldn’t watch any more.
The flooding meant that we couldn’t visit any of the beaches and we were confined to the parts of the city that weren’t flooded. We quickly ran out of things to do and spent our days trying to get drugs and booze to fill our time.
We asked the receptionist what we should do as we desperately wanted to leave and his advice was ‘take a boat and go East’, which would have put us in the sea. This became our motto for our trip when things went wrong.
One night we bought some really shitty weed from some young boys outside a petrol station and we sat getting pissed whilst playing shithead with a couple in the hostel.
I was quite drunk by this point, and who should walk in, both soaking wet? Martin from Bolton and his friend Dave! I’d pulled him in Mendoza and needless to say, we were surprised to see each other but could we seal the deal this time?
The answer was no, no we couldn’t. I was drunk and stoned and was banished from his bedroom for being a mess again, the only annoying thing was I left my grey hat in his room which I loved.
Again, it goes without saying that we had made a complete nuisance of ourselves and some of the older hostel residents had complained about us. One guy gave me a lecture over breakfast about my behaviour but as I was still pissed so I didn’t really care. I just munched on my muesli like a total waster.
Funnily enough, the staff we very happy to let us know that the buses to Rio had resumed. I think by this point they would have helicoptered us out of there just to get rid of us.
It is worth noting that 250,000 Brazilians were displaced by the massive flooding and Victoria Beckham still made the BBC front page for something that she had worn. We struggled to find any information about the flooding from British news outlets and this is something I personally raised whilst working for BBC News. Three lines on something so major, buried on their website was not sufficient for the scale of it.