After a full week of partying and drinking in the 40 degree Rio de Janeiro heat for Carnival, it was time to give our livers a rest and hit the road – next stop, Bolivia! But first we had to get there, or should I say figure out how to get there without spending upwards of $800 on flights.
We first had to bus 6 hours to São Paulo, which is where the whole “giving our livers a rest” plan first failed. We had been to São Paulo twice before and liked the city so we thought we would stop again for two nights just to break up the several days of buses ahead of us.
We got in touch with some friends (Thais and Robert) we met in the Chapada Diamantina National Park who live in São Paulo. We met up with them for a couple beers one night and then, true to the Brazilian way, they invited us to attend a REAL Brazilian BBQ (after seeing a picture of our pathetic BBQ attempt in Rio.)
We couldn’t turn down another cultural experience and bought our bus tickets to Valinhos , which is a smaller city a couple of hours outside of São Paulo. The BBQ was being held at Thais’s parents house and we were invited to stay the night.
We were fed some of the best steak I’ve ever had (as our hosts were sure to prove that Brazil can produce just as good steaks as Argentina.) A Brazilian BBQ typically starts at midday and lasts all afternoon as plates of food just keep coming. We had so much beer and wine, swam in the pool and chatted for hours. We were even taught a Brazilian card game called Truco (it was awesome and if you like cards I advise you to look up the rules.)
In true Brazilian form, we were welcomed with open arms and spoiled during our stay. It was an absolutely delightful way to end our two month journey in Brazil. We have made longtime friends in Thais and Robert and hope to meet up with them again during our travels one day.
Brazil truely was a treat. My first week in the country I remember thinking “how am I going to last two months here” as the culture shock was somewhat extreme. However now, I think it may be one of my all time favourite countries I have ever been to. I think that this is because of the beautiful landscape but also because of the amazing locals we have had the opportunity to meet along the way.
I will be back one day.
Find all of our blogs about our amazing two months in Brazil here:
And then, it was time for two days of buses and then the “Death Train” to get our way to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Check out our blog again in a couple days for our Top Experiences in Brazil.