“Good night Mark, you gotta sleep now.”


“… Because it’s way past midnight and we have to get up early for the bus.”


Montevideo to Chuy was a five-hour ride, followed by the Chuí to Pelotas four-hour trip. This is our third long-distance bus trip in three days.

“Yes, again.”

“To where?”

“Porto Alegre. So be nice and I promise, tomorrow I’ll take you to a place that has been on various lists of the most dangerous cities in the world for years. Sweet dreams!”

After our visit last year, I filed Porto Alegre in my “interesting place, just don’t get killed there” folder. It’s on the way, may as well stop there again for a few days. Why not, right?

It’s going to take us three hours to get to Porto Alegre. I don’t even need my Kindle or entertainment, I’m planning to sleep for most of the trip.

“No tablet. Sleep. Find a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Dodo.

And for the second time in a row, I managed to do what I could never do when Mark was a baby—I put him to sleep, just like that. His head is on my lap, his right hand kind of hovering over my right boob. I close my eyes as well. I fall asleep easily on buses, especially when I decide that it’s the perfect time to doze off and rest. We don’t often get that chance when we travel.

Yes, Porto Alegre is on the way—but on the way to where? I mean, it’s the closest city to Pelotas—still a three-hour bus ride, though—but where should we go after?

Feng and I have been discussing it for a few days now. We’re going to spend the rest of the trip in Brazil but it’s a huge country and we’re not sure where to go. There are many roadblocks—distances, the upcoming carnival, popular places where we can’t get an affordable hotel room…

I’d go anywhere, really, but there are pros and cons to everything. Feng does research at night while I hover around and make some food, pluck my eyebrows or tidy up my backpack. Mark watches TV—he’d better be fluent in Spanish and Portuguese soon—and occasionally says something really deep (“wow, the world is a big place…”) or demands a drink.

It’s a smooth bus ride. Roads in Brazil are very good but drivers tend to speed. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m in a sequel to Speed right now. It feels like we’re going fast.

I open one eye and I stare at the sticker on the back of the bus driver’s cabin—“Say NO to crack.”

I promise myself that whatever happens in Porto Alegre, I won’t do crack. Not that I ever wanted to—I’m really not into drugs and Porto Alegre doesn’t strike me as a place where I should become an addict. I mean, I walked around Porto Alegre at night looking for a gas station, it was challenging enough—I don’t want to ever have to look for a drug dealer.

I close my eyes again. I’d better sleep now, I want to wake up before we enter the city. I remember the skyline is pretty impressive, I want to take a picture.

I don’t mind not knowing where we will be two days from now, a week from now, or three weeks from now. I don’t need that certainty.

We’ll be somewhere, travelling. It’s all that matters to me.

Estação Rodoviária de Pelotas,
Estação Rodoviária de Pelotas,
Estação Rodoviária de Pelotas,
Estação Rodoviária de Pelotas,
Arriving in Porto Alegre
Arriving in Porto Alegre
Arriving in Porto Alegre

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  1. Frenchie au Canada January 29, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Happy travels! I have to say I’m not very good travelling on buses. I find it hard to relax and can’t read since it makes me car sick! Have fun and send us some sun 🙂

    1. Zhu January 30, 2018 at 12:04 am

      I got used to it 🙂 Buses are pretty comfortable here too! When/where was your last bus travel experience?

  2. N January 30, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Glad to hear that in your experience “roads are pretty good in Brazil”…. er, stay in the South if you don’t want to contradict that statement! 😉

    1. Zhu January 30, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Keep in mind we were coming from Uruguay where roads can be dirt roads and bumpy 😉 It’s unlikely we’ll go close to the places where you live but I trust your statement 😆

  3. isa February 1, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    J’aime ta conclusion, tu me fais toujours réfléchir. Faut que je me laisse aller comme ça l’année prochaine, je crois que j’en ai besoin aussi… Je retourne réfléchir !

    1. Zhu February 2, 2018 at 12:51 am

      Bon, plus facile à dire qu’à faire, ceci dit 😉 Et c’est plus facile de se laisser aller quand on voyage à deux (ou trois) aussi.

      1. Isa February 2, 2018 at 4:34 am

        Oh non, tu sais, quand je suis déterminée… Je vais essayer en tout cas 😀
        (et on voyage à deux l’année prochaine, pour la première fois depuis Mathusalem, au moins !)

        1. Zhu February 3, 2018 at 12:03 am

          Je te le souhaite (l’attitude, le voyage, tout ça!). Je trouve ça reposant d’essayer de ne pas tout contrôler.


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