- Friday afternoon we ended up going to Convento da Penha. We got up to the top just in time to be told they were closing.
- Saturday morning, we headed over to the chocolate factory. We were met by this sign at the main entrance (which takes you to the factory or to the factory store where you can buy super fresh chocolate.):
They were closed (both factory and store) for maintenance on their electrical system which meant no chocolate for me. And in my opinion, this is much more atrocious than any flirtatious man in high heels and make-up (despite how strongly Eric disagrees with me on this one.)
- We were super excited to read that, what is considered by many to be, the best churrascaria in town only charged R$22 per person. Saturday night's adventure over to Churrascaria Gramado proved that it was, indeed, too good to be true. It was still not a bad deal and totally worth the R$40 each that we paid, but not quite the steal we were expecting.- Sunday morning we wanted to take a bus over to Guarapari. We found out that a bus leaves on the hour all day from the Vila Velha bus station (bus stations here are called rodoviárias.) We originally planned to take a city bus over to the rodoviária , but they weren't running many buses since it was Sunday, and we got tired of waiting. So we hopped a taxi instead, and Eric told the driver we needed to go to Terminal Ibes. He had figured out during all of our city bus riding during the weekend that the Vila Velha Rodoviária was also called Terminal Ibes (or well, so he thought.) When the taxi driver went past the chocolate factory, Eric looked at me and expressed his concern that the driver was taking us to Terminal Vila Velha (the other city bus terminal in town.) He questioned the driver and shared his worries that we were heading in the opposite direction of Terminal Ibes. The driver asked, if we wanted Terminal Vila Velha Terminal Ibes. Eric confirmed Ibes, and the driver said that is where we were going. After dropping us off, Eric realized he had the two names confused. And after asking at the terminal about the bus to Guarapari, we were told we needed to catch that bus at Rodoviária Vila Velha (which is distinctly different from either terminal.) Oops.
- Since we were going to be at the beach all day before catching an overnight bus home to Belo Horizonte, we really wanted to be able to get a shower and clean up before departing Vila Velha. In the past, we've had no problem either getting a late check out or negotiating a half-day rate or something with the pousadas and hotels in Brasil. We tried to do the same thing Sunday, but we were told we would have to pay the full rate - not negotiable. They said they would be happy to watch our luggage for us though and that they had a shower in one of the restrooms in the common area of the pousada. We decided that would have to work. They had a shower alright, but there was no water heater attached. So we took very brisk, very cold showers. Have I mentioned that I really despise cold showers? It wasn't a lot of fun, and I couldn't make myself stay under the frigid water long enough to get all the salt out of my hair. So I still ended up feeling a bit grungy for the 8+ hour ride home.
- And then there was the ride home. I think we had the Mad Hatter as our bus driver. I am not sure exactly how much a bus can lean while zipping around a curve on the edge of a mountain at a high rate of speed without actually tipping over, but I am quite certain we were right there on the cusp. I had a real hard time sleeping what with being thrown out into the aisle and listening to the tires hum/scream as the weight of the bus was all on the outside edge of the tire and all. (I can say almost without a doubt that the wheels on the inside of the curve left the pavement on more than one occasion.) Every time I thought the bus was about to tip over and we would all plunge to tragic deaths, I reminded myself that vehicles rarely flip over simply by taking a curve to fast. And then my mind would take me back to November when Eric and I drove this same stretch of road ourselves and I recalled scenes like this:
And then I started wondering, hmmm, you know, if the main reason you were taking the trip (the train ride) didn't come to fruition, you almost didn't even get a bus ticket there, and nothing worked out quite as planned, maybe that was your sign you weren't supposed to go on this trip right now. Maybe we weren't even supposed to be on this bus that is about to take us all over the edge of the mountain in a fiery crash. And then I pretty much gave up on even trying to sleep.
- And then, to top it all off, the bus was over an hour late getting in to the bus station here in BH because of all the bus traffic coming back into town Monday morning. So we didn't even get the one hour of sleep in our own bed we were so looking forward to before going to work.
Luckily, we are really getting better at just rolling with the punches and taking it a day at a time. Normally, we both would have been extremely frustrated with how everything went down, but, instead, last weekend we just looked at each, laughed, and said, "seriously, we're calling this adventure the trip-where-absolutely-everything-that-could-go-wrong-did-go-wrong-and-we-had-the-most-fabulous-time." Of course, I'm chocking that one up to the cloudless blue skies, time spent napping on the beach to the sound of crashing waves, drinking fresh coconut water while my husband eats meat on a stick all the while with soft sand between our toes and a gentle salty ocean breeze cooling our suntanned bodies. Oh yeah, life ain't so bad at all really . . . even when you don't get any chocolate.