I was flexible about everything except from February 25 to March 2—I had to pick a place and book ahead.

Why? Oh, because it’s Carnival in Brazil.

Actually, it’s Carnival but it’s not Carnival. Festivities have been cancelled once again but it’s still a popular holiday and since the atmosphere isn’t as grim as last year, I suspected Brazilians were going to celebrate one way or another.

I forgot when and why I settled on Cabo Frio. It sounded like the best option, I suppose, another “Brazilian Caribbean,” a popular destination just a three-hour bus ride from Rio de Janeiro.

We’ve never been to Cabo Frio, so I was excited to explore a new city.

But since we’ve never been to Cabo Frio, finding a place to stay was a headache. There’s Cabo Frio, then Arraial do Cabo, then Buzios, three different cities all very close.

“I checked Airbnb. Buzios is not in my price range. And Cabo Frio is… weird.”

“Why?” Feng asked.

“I can rent a two-bedroom house that comes with eight spare mattresses for up to 24 guests. Or I can rent a tiny house ten kilometres from the beach. There are a few apartments but pretty expensive.”

“Let’s see… How about this one? Oh, wait, there’s no bed.”

“The expensive one with just a sofa bed? No thanks.”

It took hours to eventually go back to Feng’s initial pick—a private room with a bathroom, shared kitchen and facilities. The place looked brand-new, though, and although it was more expensive than it should have been because Carnival, it was affordable.

I booked it when I was in Maceió.

And here I was, packing in Rio de Janeiro, stressed out about… everything.

Booking a week in Cabo Frio without knowing the city and choosing to stay in a place with shared areas during Carnival was taking a leap of faith. Could be fun. Could be a disaster.

But I didn’t have the time to worry about it because first, I had to worry about the bus trip to Cabo Frio, and adventure in itself that starts in Rio de Janeiro’s infamous bus station, Terminal Rodoviário Novo Rio. This is one of these giant bus terminals where you can jump on a bus to Argentina, Paraguay… hell, even to Chile and Bolivia if you don’t mind spending a few days in a bus. It’s packed, it’s located right in Centro where you shouldn’t be hanging out, and oh yeah, it’s Carnival so it’s busier than usual.

“What do you think? Should I go early because it’s going to be busy? On the other hand, I don’t want to be stuck waiting around for too long…”

“A little bit early but not too early. Oh, and how long is the bus ride?”

“Three hours.”

“Yeah, just remember that it took us eight hours to get to Paraty right before Carnival in 2009… expect traffic.”

I ended showing up at 10:50 a.m. for the 11:33 a.m. (!) bus. Yes, both the terminal and the bus were packed but whatever.

For the first time, I had the chance to cross one of the world’s longest bridge across the Guanabara Bay, the 13.29-kilometer-long Rio–Niterói Bridge.

And we were only thirty minutes behind schedule.

I have a good feeling about Cabo Frio.

Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 – Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 – Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 – Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 – Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 – Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 - Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária do Rio, Av. Francisco Bicalho, 1 – Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
Ponte Pres. Costa e Silva (Rio-Niterói) connecting between Rio and Niterói, one of the longest bridges in the world
In the bus to Cabo Frio
In the bus to Cabo Frio
Rodoviária de Cabo Frio - Jardim Excelcior, Cabo Frio - State of Rio de Janeiro
Rodoviária de Cabo Frio – Jardim Excelcior, Cabo Frio – State of Rio de Janeiro
 

Get the latest story, cultural shock and travel pictures right in your inbox

I don't spam, promise.

I literally don't have the time to write ten stories a day.

Visited 2 times, 1 visit(s) today
Liked it? Share it!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *