I wake up tired. Feng and I packed our stuff late last night and I had some work to do. The weather is stormy and we are looking at a long day of travel. I sigh. It’s part of the deal, I guess. Just right now I can’t think of anything that would cheer me up. I skip my morning coffee. I’ll get some later, at the airport.
The nordeste region is hard to get to and obviously, it’s hard to get out of it as well. There aren’t many options. Brazil is a big country. Belém and Manaus are far away. Technically, you can take the bus to Rio de Janeiro, 3,000 kilometre south… but it’s a 44-hour long trip. So we are flying to the nearest hub: Curitiba.
We found cheap tickets through Brasília with Avianca, the Colombian airline. I’m not sure who designed the website but it was not exactly user friendly. First, we had to sign up with the airline and provide a Brazilian address and postal code even though as “country” you could choose “Canada”, so ticket purchase wasn’t for locals only. After we filled out all the info, both of our credit cards were flagged for security reason so we had to call customer service on Skype to inform CIBC that we were indeed in Brazil trying to buy tickets with a Colombian airline (okay writing this I can see why the transaction was flagged as suspicious…). Then we made fun of the airline for a good twenty minutes. “I hope they will give us ‘sugar’ with coffee…” “Do you think the entire plane is taken apart when it lands on foreign soil, like Bolivian bus when crossing to Peru, to make sure there is no drug hidden anywhere?”
Still, we are flying Avianca. Natal-Brasília , Brasília -Curitiba.
I knew it would be a long day when we booked the flights but we didn’t have a choice anyway so I refused to think about it. But now this is it. We have to make it.
I’m not sure what to wear. I like to wear jeans when I fly, it’s just more comfortable. But for two short flights, I don’t feel like sweating in a clean pair of jeans that I have to retrieve from the bottom of my backpack. I could wear the same pair of shorts I had on yesterday but these are very short and I’m afraid I will be cold. I settle for a slightly longer pair of jean shorts.
The flight is on time in Natal and once again, looking at the city below us as we take off, I realize how spread out it is. I’m looking forward to getting water or a Coke and maybe something to eat but Avianca doesn’t deliver. Two hours into the bumpy flight, we still don’t have anything. Maybe I’m spoiled, Azul gave us snacks and drinks for the last two shorter flights.
By the time we land in Brasília , I’m freezing cold. The air-con was on in the plane and I’m shivering. It’s raining outside and super cold in the airport. I’m bitchy and tired.
The guys have some McDonald’s, I have a hot coffee. Quick, we board our second flight to Curitiba.
We change time again so we land at 9:45 p.m. Mark is screaming that he wants Sprite and Feng and I are starting to wonder where we will get some food. We find a Sprite for Mark and jump into a taxi.
Everything seems closed, the city is dead quiet but for a street full of people drinking on the sidewalk. I need food, I haven’t eaten anything the whole day. Feng settles for Subway, open 24/7. I’m picky, I want something better. The guy at the hotel mentions a bakery open 24/7 a few streets further. Yes, please, muita obrigada! I’ll go later, when Feng puts Mark to sleep.
I give Mark a shower and I realize my shampoo leaked into my toiletry bag. Just what I needed. Mark is instructed to wash and scrub while I attempt to rinse the soapy mess.
2 a.m. I finally get a chance to eat the stuff I bought at the bakery. Mark is sleeping beside me and I laugh, thinking that 24 hours earlier, that morning in Ponta Negra, I was sleeping while Mark was watching TV beside me.
I need sleep.