Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Brasilia, the next part of the saga, 14 August 2009

We had hoped that the breakfast at the Econohotel would justify the steep room rate we had been forced to pay. When we woke to a table of fresh fruit, yoghurt, pastires and chocolate cake we found the justification we had been searching for. After we had breakfasted (and stolen sandwiches for lunch) we packed up and headed out to the bus stop at 8.45. We had bought our onward tickets to Alto Paraiso when we first arrived at Brasilia and out bus was due to depart at 10am. To save ourselves the walk to the city cerntre terminal we walked to the bus stand so we could pick up the bus as it passed.

When we arrived at Brasilia we had taken note of the signage at the front of the buses as they arrived at the bus station. They said Pop Shop and something else, the Pop Shop was a shopping mall next to the bus station so we knew we couldn`t go wrong. Excpet we could. We couldn`t remember the number of the bus. The numbers printed in the Lonely Planet were wrong, and we ahd forgotten everything other than the sign to the Pop Shop. We flagged down a bus and checked it went to the Pop Shop. The driver concurred and we battled our way on through the ridiculouse turnstiles on the bus. We sat down and got comfy. After about 10 minutes i said to Luara that I didnt remember it taking so long to get to the bus station. She said that we had been talking the whole time so probably just hadnt really felt the time pass. I agreed she was right. We carried on. Do you remember that big shopping mall Laura? No, but I remember the Carrefour just along here. I think. By now it was 9.15. We leant over to the man who sold us tickets and showed him our tickets for the bus that we were supposed to catch. An old man behind us spoke english and told us that this bus was going to another Pop Shop, not the one by the station. NOOO! We panicked! Could we get off and catch a bus from the other side of the road. All the old men on the bus started saying bus numbers and taxis and metro to each toher. The old man told us that the best thing to do was to stay on the bus and catch the metro to Park and Shop and then take a taxi from Park and Shop to the bus terminal. If we did this we would be there by 10 and make the bus. Phew. Releif. Except by the time the bus stopped at the stop closest to the metro it was already 9.30am and we were dubious. The english speaking old man walked us to the metro and showed us on the map where to get off the metro. He enlisted another man to tell use the correct stop to get off at. After ten minutes waitng for the metro we got on. The Park and Shop was eight stops away. There was no way we could make it.

Just before we got off at the Park adn Shop the man who was entrusted to get us off at the right stop enlisted a girl who worked at the Park and shop to help us get to the taxi rank.

The girl spoke reallly good english. When we said we wanted to get to the bus terminal, she turned us round and put us back on the metro and sent us to the last stop.

Hmmm... this girl`s english was better than the old mand`s english, and we had already missed our bus so it didnt really matter.

We got off at the last stop on the metro and nearly wept. The girl had sent us to the city centre bus terminal not the long distance bus terminal we had tried so hard to reach! We were back at square one.

We asked the information man which bus took us to the long distance bus station and he told us. We walked to the bus and it did indeed say Pop Shop on the front, but had a different number! We sat on the bus and five minutes later we had reached the long distance bus station. We were an hour late for our bus.

The ticket to Alto Paraiso had only cost ten pounds, so we figured if we had to buy another for the next bus, it wasn`t such a big loss, an annoyance, but it could have been a lot worse. We got to the bus counter and with a little bit of Spanish and Portuguese mixed we managed to change our ticket free of charge for the next bus... at 11pm.

12 hours! We had 12 hours to kill!

First things first, we were going to be arriving at Alto Paraiso at 3am so we figured we would book some accomodation online and arrange a pick up.

We sat on the internet and found a cheap but nice posada with a pool! We sent an email requesting a room, but in the hour that we were on the internet we recieved no response.

We decided to head over to the Pop Shop, Laura had read there was a cinema there so we figured we would catch a film. We put our bags into storage to make life easier.

We walked over to the Pop Shop and discovered it wasn`t the mall we thought it was. In fact it was more of a covered market selling crap clothes, fake designer watches, pirate dvds. It didn`t tkae us long to wander around.

1pm - 2pm The reading hour. The hour in which we both read-

2pm - 3pm The Shithead hour. I taught Laura how to play this standard travellers card game and we played.

3pm - 3.30pm The toilet stop. We walked back to the bus station to use the toilets. There were toilets in the Pop Shop, but it killed more time to go back to the bus station.

3.30pm - 4pm Bubblegum blowing competion. Laura won.

4pm - 4.30pm We still had more things that we hadn`t talked about yet.

4.30pm - 4.55pm Journal writing time. Only 6 hours and 5 mins to go.

The journal entry ends here. But the rest of the afternoon was spent in the Pop Shop reading and naother Shithead tournatment took place.

When it started to get dusky we wandered over to the bus station and I started to knit an iPod sock for Laura. It was going to be blue and yellow stripes. I have never knitted with two different coloured wools before. It took a lot of concentration. Laura read.

At 8pm we went to the weigh your plate restaurant. We piled a plate with rice and a curry sauce and shared the plate between the two of us. We then found churros for dessert.

I knitted some more.

We checked my email and we ahd a room and pick up confirmed in Alto Paraiso.

At 10.30pm we decided to see if the bus was in yet. It was. We got on straight away and sat on the bus. The bus set off at 11pm.

What a long day! I felt awfully bad as it was a whole day out of Laura`s 21 day holiday. Thankfully, she didn`t mind. Just one of those things i guess. This is the first bus I have ever missed on this trip so far.

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