Monday, November 21, 2005

Final Post

Welcome to our honeymoon Blog.

The content goes from the last post to the first, so you are reading it in reverse. The best way to navigate is by using the "Archives" Links that you see to the right. There is one link per entry. On this page, you can see all the entries from Costa Rica to Brazil. For earlyer entries use the "Archives" Links on the right.


Our Final days in Rio.

It is hard to believe that our trip is now at an end. Over 140 days of excitement, relaxing and exploring. Our last few days in Rio, we did some new things. Yes, after all this time, it is still possible for us to find somthing new to occupy ourselves. Don't worry, this post won't contain phrases such as "crystal clear, warm, blue water". Those days are over. We will spare you all further torture. Believe me, the water in Rio is cold.

We chose to fill our time with other things, although we did of course, visit the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.

One unique thing we got a chance to do was a favella tour. Here we have been trapsing around the country, going from ideal location to ideal location, when all around us 65% of the population lives in the squallor of the run down favellas. In favellas, which are large portions of the city edges where slums have sprung up, a different set of rules seem to apply. Run by the drug lords and shunned by the government, these self-contained systems are worlds within worlds. We met the only man in Rio who is allowed by the drug cartel to do an actual 'walking tour' of a favella.

All the other tours just drive in and take photos and drive out. Our tour was on foot, where our guide, Richard, who has been doing this for over 20 years, showed us all the different aspects of how the favella functions. Richard is beloved by the people in the favella we visited, named Tabajars. He has raised well over 1 million dollars for the people who live in Tabajars and has done a great deal to educate people like Amie and myself about the injustices that go on every day within this amazing country we are in.

He took us up the winding streets and down the twisting alleys. Everywhere we went, we were greeted by the people with smiles and kindness. We were invited into a home, and offfered drink from people who have nothing. You can see the favella stretching up the hillsides of Rio everywhere you look.

We met some children who were happy to see us and even more happy to pose for some photos as we watched them play in the sun. The smiles on their faces do not seem to relfect the horrendeous surroundings they are forced to live in.

After the tour we did some sight seeing. We went to explore Sugar Loaf, which is the name given to one of the huge rock-mountains that jut up out of the earth all around Rio. From the bottom, we took a series of Trams up to the lofty heights of the rock cropping.

From the top we were awarded with great views of the city around us including many famous beaches and undulating mountains. The weather had been poor the previous few days so this bright and sunny day was perfect for us to spend some time gazing down on the city sprawled out before us.

A few days later, after missing our plane ride and a little too much time sick in bed, we went out for one more night. We went to see a big stage show, Rio-style, to top it off. The show was cheesy in a fun way and the costumes were impressive and grand in a way that would make any Las Vegas show girl green with envy.

Now, it is time for reality. As I write this, we are hours from getting on an airplane. Our trip, all the way from Mexico to Rio, plays out in our minds.

Our bags are packed. Every thing that can be made ready is ready and waiting. Our tans are as dark as they are going to get. Our honeymoon has indeed come to an end.

We will miss the adventure of it all but we will be happy to spend time with our family. Now comes the time to get on with the amazing things that are waiting for us.

The last 8 months have been a dream come true. Thanks to every single one of the people who helped make this fantasy a reality. We will never forget this time we spent together. The first 8 months of our marriage just couldn´t have been more perfect.

From our arrival, in mexico , our fun days in Playa De Carmen, to the change in plans caused by the Hurracain, and the long night that ensued.... From our journey into Belize where we swam with sharks to Guatemala and all the fun we had exploring that amazing country.... Then it was on to Honduras , where we learned the true meaning of crystal clear blue waters. Next came Nicarague . Then we were on the road into Costa Rica where were amazed by the beauty and enjoyed the good life. We forged on to Panama. From the cultural richness in Panama we bounced right into the vast territory of Brazil. Starting in Jericoacoara, we made our way to the Marafolia in Sao Luis and then on to the north eastern coast. Olinda and Salvador gave us a break before we headed back to the beaches of Itacare.

Sad that our journey is at an end, we are comforted to know that it´s only going to get better from here......

Jordan & Amie