After getting off at Sao Luis, I realised my Japanese friend wanted to go to a place called Barreirinhas. I´ve been travelling without a travel book, and have been relying only on recommendations from fellow travellers and locals, so I decided to follow him. He told me that a friend of his had told him to definitely go there because of the sand dunes and lakes.
Got there around noon, and after 5 days on a boat, a 12 hr overnight bus ride and a 4 hr ride, I was exhausted. I also had a slight cold and fever, probably due to all the travelling for the last 3 weeks, so I took it easy for the next 3 days. The only thing I did, apart from lying on a hammock and reading, was go with some other people on a trip to the sand dunes and swim in the lakes.
Barreirinhas is a bit of a resort town, but it´s low season right now, and it was quite deserted. There were a bunch of cheap posadas waiting to let out rooms at low rates, and we picked a nice one on the waterfront. It had hammocks dangling along the river, and only 3 other occupants in the entire hotel. All of us were solo travellers, who´d been travelling for at least 6 months each.
The Japanese guy opened up a bit finally and told us how he started in Mexico city, went all the way down to Argentina, took a cruise to Antarctica, came back up to Venezuela and is now heading down to Chile. In the next week, he plans to do 2 long bus rides of 48 hrs each. He barely speaks Spanish and Portugese and is probably the quietest, loneliest traveller I´ve come across. It´s his 4th trip of about a year in a different continent so he seems pretty comfortable travelling his own way. I asked him considering the Japanese work so hard and travel very little, why he travelled so much. He said - I don´t like working.
One of the other travellers is an American, who´s on a 5-6 year trip around the world on his motorcycle. He started 2 years ago from Colorado, went up to Alaska, then all the way down to Argentina and is now back up north. He´s had more problems with visas and permits because of his motorcycle, and was telling me about how he´d sneaked across various borders to avoid getting his motorbike impounded for lack of registration or insurance. Unfortunately, he´s heading further north and not south, otherwise I could have dumped some of my luggage and gotten a ride with him down to Rio. Another time. This is the link to his website.
The other two travellers are more normal...just backpacking around Brazil for about 6 months. There were headed to Sao Luis, so I shared a car ride with them. Sao Luis is a beautiful city. It´s a world heritage site with lovely colonial architecture, friendly people, great nightlife, nice beaches and .... not much else.
Will head out of here tomorrow to Olinda, spend a few days there, go down to Salvador, spend a few days there, then reach Rio by May 1st. If you look at a map, you´ll understand the title.