New years resoltions for 2019

It is the time of year, that I make more resolutions for the year. I have been doing this style of blog now for 11 years. I think it one of my faviour things to do, as it keeps me honest about my goals for the year.

  1. Learn to drive 
  2. Expand my pallet 
  3. Finish books that I start 
  4. Rewrite my personal site with react / css grid / different hosting.
  5. Cut of caffeine drinks 
  6. Hit saving goal and save for pension.
  7. Do company admin as I go and don’t let it mount up 
  8. Stop swearing 
  9. Improve IT security of everyone in my life
  10. Setup regular appointments with dentist, barber, opticians and doctor. Make calendar reminders to follow up on these appointments.

Sorry this post is late, it has been sitting in draft since before the next year.

Brazil: Day 14-15

Not a lot to report. Day 14 was taken up with a 7 hour couch ride to Salavador and the flight back to rio. I landed in rio at 11:00 at night and I had been there before i went straight to the bus terminal. However, what I didn’t know was that the buses stop at 10:30, so waited for 45 minutes before thinking to look it up on my phone. From there, I decided to get an uber to my hotel, which proved more difficult than I thought, as uber would not pick me up at the airport for some reason. So I decided to walk into the area where it would pick me up. This ended up being a stupid idea, as I had to walk (with my bags)  nearly two miles. When I did get an uber, the guy couldn’t find me and I cancelled the trip. I requested another uber, to have the same stupid driver try to pick me up again. This process of me requesting, getting the same guy and cancelling repeated 4 times, until I was starting to worry how I would get to my hostel after all. Then I remembered the uber has another setting for the type of car, once I changed it to uber premium there was then an option for uber english and I jumped to order that. The uber driver was nice when I got in. Offered me some water and everything. He seemed very worried about dropping me off at my hostel as “it’s a very bad part of town”. A comment, I found very unhelpful, with a hostel booked and it being 1:30 in the morning. He dropped me off and speed off as fast as he could. 

Day 15 was similarly uneventful, with a bus that took me to the next stop on my trip, the island of ilha grande. After a peaceful bus and boat ride, where I mostly watched season 6 of suits I got to the island. After getting settled in, I had dinner on the beach. It was very nice, but I got the vibe that this island wasn’t really for me. Looking around, it was nothing but couples. Then I worked out what most of the people on this island were, hunny mooning couples. This made me feel like a right lemon, so I finished my food quickly and headed off. 


When landing on the island, I was told that the bar next to the dock was the source of the islands night life, so I decided to check it out. At 9pm it was still extremely quite and I didn’t meet anyone that spoke English that I wanted to talk to. There were a group of americans that seem like frat boys playing a drinking game, but I didn’t fancy talking to them. But as I already ordered a drink, I decided to hang around for a bit. After a while, I started to feel people were looking at me on my own and feeling a bit weird. But want of anything to do, I found an empty hamick and jumped in. I thought, “no one will question a man in a hamick, right?”. So I jumped in the hamick and got very relaxed. I woke up the the sound of a series of loud coughs. Over head was a very tall and angry looking black man looking down at me. I rubbed my eyes and looked at my watch. It was 1:20 in the morning. I had jumped in the hamkin at around 9:30 and just passed out. Looking around the bar / club, it was completely empty apart the staff looking bored at the edge of the dance floor. Clearly they were just waiting for the customers to leave before they could go home. Turning bright red, I quickly jumped out of the hamick , thank the owners and sheepishly walked home. 

Tomorrow, I explore the island. Night all 

Brazil: Day 11

After the amazing day yesterday wasn’t sure what could top this. After spending the day with such lovely people and making friends with a couple of them that spoke English, Cho and Nick I wasn’t sure what to could top that. After making fast friends with Cho, he was trying to talk me into jumping in to a car that he had rented to tour the area the next day. I wasn’t sure, I liked Cho, but didn’t know him that well and was a little bit worried about being out in the wild on own. He talked me into meeting some of his friends in the car. I meet one of them and took a disliking to the guy straight away. He was a new kind of ass hole that I had never meet before. The backpacker hipster. This is a person, that “always knows best” as they read something online and can do it better for cheaper. When you talk to a backpacker hipster as explain that they is a much easier and safer way of doing the thing they want to do, they turn up there nose at you and laugh. I decided I didn’t want to spend anytime with this guy so I told Cho that I was out. Cho seemed to have second throught about spending any time with this asshole and said he would do a tour with me. He only had one day left and he really wanted to do a tour of brazil’s tallest waterfall. This was the tour that I wanted to do as well, so we set out together to find a tour that would do it. This was harder than we thought and many of the companies didn’t speak English, but Cho helped as a translator. We ended up that the tour company that we went on the tour with that day and they explained that they didn’t have a tour running to the waterfall, but if we could find 3 people to go, they would run a private tour. As there were only two of us, we thought we were out of luck. On last chance, we went into tourist information centre, where we bumped into a family (parents and 19 year old guy) from tour we had had that day. Nick’s parents were not interested in doing another tour, but just look around the town the next day. This meant that Nick had nothing to do, so we grabbed him and booked the tour. We managed to book a tour with the same guide for the 3 of us. New friends we enjoyed some pizzas and beers and had an early night. 

To see the tallest water fall, you first had to do a pretty heavy duty climb to the top of a mountain. Getting to the base of the mountain, at 10:30, we started the climb. It was extremely hard going with the rocks being hard to climb over. It was 28 degrees out in the sun and I was really struggling. I had to stop every 10 minutes, as I found myself overheating a lot. But Cho, NIck and Daniel wouldn’t let me give up and just to go out my own pace. Once I slowed down, things got a lot better and after a while I got used to the climb and everything was fine. However, it didn’t help that was wearing shoes without grip (running shoes) that meant I slipped around a lot. I couldn’t have been happier getting to the top. 


At the top, to get a view of the waterfall, you have to hang over the edge to look at the waterfall. I didn’t like this, but I was bricking it the whole time. As we had befriended daniel, he said that the top was too full of tour groups and took us to another area to eat lunch. Eating it in peace was amazing, as the climb was hard. I had a chance to talk to Daniel and nick. They explained that people don’t really drink in brazil and they everyone grows and smokes weed. Also Nick explained that in brazilian cities you are never safe. That the feeling of being in danger is always there and that you just get used to it. 


After lunch we hiked to another part of the mountain to look at the waterfall side on. Well worth it, as you can see the effect of the high waterfall. The waterfall is so high, the water next hits the ground. It is converted into water vapour and then goes up and covers the top of the maintain. Walking around this area, feels like it is raining. 
We climbed down a different route, where daniel explained the history of the area, that was a mining town for diamonds not to long ago. That one american who loved the area stepped in and made the government make it a protected area and stop mining. The climb down was a taxing as the climb up and we sat for while eating sugar cane treats and drinking coconut water to rebuild strength. 
The final stop of the day, was another waterfall where we could swim. It was amazing to wash the dried sweat off and get cool. I tested out the waterproof case for my iphone and took a self in the waterfall. 


Completely spent again, got back to the town, said a heartfelt goodbye to my new friends and went to sleep. However I was unable to, as my hostel was located in the centre of town and the local entertain was in full swing. After 2 hours of trying to sleep, I lost it and ranted at my host. I explained that music was doing my nut in and that if something wasn’t done, that I would be leaving without paying. After that I was transfer room and I slept for 10 hours. 

What an amazing day!

Brazil: Day 9

Today I am taking my first long hall bus in Brazil. Very happy to be out of Salvador, I got an cab (after giving up on uber!) to the bus station. The next stop on my trip is lenciuos, a small town located 7 hours driving from Salvador. It is a small town that a hub of hostel for those giving to give the national park. The bus ride turned out to be more my pleasant that I thought it would be. I was seated behind some Aussies, that were from Brixton, London. So spent much of the trip talking to them. They both said that I seem to be very well prepared, as I was talking about all the backups I had for money (multiple cards) and all the apps (like Google translate) I had installed. This was a nice feeling, as I have felt like I have been winging it for my whole trip, but these guys seemed much less prepared than I and they seem to have not died. 

Getting into lenciuos, the first thing you notice is the town is extremely small. Some reports put the population was less than 1200, but I would believe it was less. Than town has about 15 shops (most of which are for tourist) and 7 restaurants. 3 of these are pizza places. Later checking into my hostel, I decided to have a pizza. 

Big day tomorrow, have a tour of the national park planned. 

TTFN

Brazil: Day 5 – 7 

I got in late from an extremely expensive taxi ride to be hostel. My hostel is located in the historical part of Salvador. This area is world famous for it’s 18th century buildings and has even received funding from an international historical body. The area is so famous in fact, that all of the photos you see of the city online of the old builds could easily have been taken for a window at the hostel. However, the historical area of town is located between two of Brazil’s worst ghettos. In the historical area, there are police every 300 meters, armed to the teeth with guns and other weapons. However, if you walk for 5 minutes in any direction then the area gets very unsafe. Locals will stop you and say not to go down the end of roads. This gives you a feeling of being trapped in a 3 x 3 block cell, that if you walk out of, you will be mugged within minutes. This gave the city a vibe that wasn’t enjoyable. I was told about the person that ran the hostel, not to take anything of value out with me and to only carry as much cash as I need to eat / needed. The old buildings are really amazing, but I really would not advise anyone to go to this city for longer than a day. The feeling of being trapped and that the city was unsafe, very left me for a second. 

To make a change from the horrible feeling of being in the city, I ordered an uber to the beach. This turned out to be a pain, as none of the uber drivers seem to understand how to get to the old city or are unwilling to come up the hill for it. It took 4 drivers to get to the beach. After getting there, I saw there was nothing special about the beach. Enjoyed a little time by the beach and decided to get some food. The first and only time while in Salvador, I found a nice restaurant and eat a meal. The restart was full of the local rich people, as every seemed very well dressed. It is very interesting to compare these iPhone using, well dressed young 20 something that as earlily be located in Spain or London, compare to the cleared drug filled homeless that are everywhere in Salvador ghettos.

I have been told that the police present is only because the olyipics are currently on, that in a matter of weeks, the town will go back to the hell is used to be. Others have said that the police are currently in a all out war with the crime lords that run the town. That in fact the police are in the process of killing off the slum lords to make the city safer. I am not sure what to believe, I am just happy to get out of this crazy place. 


Getting a lot of early nights while in this town, down want to be outside when it’s dark. 

Brazil: Day 3

After the long couple of days that I have had, decided to have lie in. Slept in 10 and didn’t get out of the hostel until 11. Today’s focus was getting to the Jardim botánico gardens. This was a slow as it was a cross town. After taking a metro train and a 45 minute bus ride, the trip took over 2 hours in the heat. With such a long trip, I decided to treat myself to a burger in this hipster looking burger joint. I managed to order (some how) and waited for the food. It took 1 hour 30 minutes for my burger to come. It seems as if they were only making 8 burgers at a time and with a place full of punters look for food, it was slow going. 

The gradens were truly amazing. They have been around for over 100 years and have planet life from all over Brazil and the world. The planet life is so good in fact, many scientists use the planet life in there research. 


Getting home was long and I had interesting thing happen on the metro. A guarded dragged me out of my seat and pointed at a sign. It turns out in Brazil they have women only cars. I am not sure how I feel about this and what is says to the culture that a woman only car is still required in Rio in 2016. Seem very backwards to me. Not sure how they got the olyipics… 


Had a few drinks in the hostel bar. Ment some interesting people. I think I like the none English better, as they are friendly. They were some “gap year” girls there from England and they refused to be speak to me. To hell with my countryman, I had good time. 

Not to unreasonable late tonight, have to get a flight tomorrow. 

TTFN

Brazil: Day 1

I landed into Brazil, into the world famous, Rio de Janeiro. The first thing to note about the airport I landed into was it was over and hour and a half by car from where I was staying. Rio is a massive city, but that being said, the airport really is in the middle of no where. It isn’t too painful to get into town with buses running every 10 minutes that will get you into the main city bus station. From the main city station you can get another bus nearer to where you are staying. For some reason when I landed and with no sleep on the flight, I decided to walk the 1.7 miles to the hostel. This may have been the stupidest thing I have ever done. It took me over an hour to walk in the heat and the walk wasn’t even useful, just horrible and by the time I got there I was completely wiped out. It didn’t help also that the hostel is on biggest hill I have ever walked up. Rio is built up over a series of hills and mountains. This means that many of the street is hard to walk up, as they are so steep. Getting to the hostel at around 7 in the morning, I couldn’t check in for another 7 hours, which meant I had a lot of time to kill. So I left the bag with the hostel and went for a walk. This is where I leant the true scale of the city, with small jumps on the map, ending up to be 45 minute walks. I walked aimlessly around the city for 7 hours, until I got back at 2. Once in the room I slept the sleep on the dead, waking 4 hours later.

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The hostel is nice and was visually very beautiful. Being a bit posh, went for a private room, that only worked out to me around £10 a night more expensive a night which was worth for me. The hostel is the “cool” / “hippy” part of town. This means that it has a reputation about being a little Alternative. Lapas is cool and there are wonderful graffiti everywhere. However it does like most cool parts of town seem to be located next to the bad part of town. There are a couple side streets that looked a bit tastey and I have already noted which ones to avoid.

It was a long old day, now time to sleep! Night folks.