Brazilian Adventures // Photo Journal // pt. 2

Time for part two!

After our first few weeks in Brazil we started to get the hang of things, which leads us to February. So much happened in our first full month there: we moved into the house, explored the rainforest, got to experience Carnival, went to the local tracks, and Ian has his first few races.

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We went to a national forest type park and spotted this awesome butterfly. It was so big that I first thought it was a bird.
We went to a national forest type park and spotted this awesome butterfly. It was so big that I first thought it was a bird.

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No matter what country you're in, life is always spent at the track.
No matter what country you’re in, life is always spent at the track.

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On days when Ian would ride his trials bike, I always got to go along for a hike.
On days when Ian would ride his trials bike, I got to go along for a hike.
We went up this really awesome trail with a view of million dollar homes.
We went up this really awesome trail with a view of million dollar homes.
Even though we weren't shacked up in one of them we did find shade under this awesome rainbow eucalyptus tree.
Even though we weren’t shacked up in one of them we did find shade under this awesome rainbow eucalyptus tree.
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These rocks are so weird.

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This was at the beginning of the trail. There is a cow at the end of the road.
This was at the beginning of the trail. There is a cow at the end of the road.

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Our favorite drink, chocolate milk.
Our favorite drink, chocolate milk.

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PC: Ian
PC: Ian

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Only time I have ever enjoyed coconut water was when it came out of a freezer and promptly cut open with a machete.
Only time I have ever enjoyed coconut water was when it came out of a freezer and promptly cut open with a machete.
View from our hotel.
View from our hotel.
Ute-gene!
Ute-gene!
We finally got all moved into the house. (week 3)
We finally got all moved into the house. (week 3)

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Best memory: spent the day in a cloud.
Best memory: spent the day in a cloud. Ian’s jersey was actually white.

Before we moved out of the hotel, Ian did his best to bring me along when he could. One day his teammate said there was an awesome track they made not too far away. Our understanding was that it was a few miles, it ended up being more like 10. So I was soaked by the time we got here but it was worth it. I’ve been in fog and seen clouds as they hang out in valleys but being inside an actual cloud, acting like it would 20,000ft up in the air was magical. We were on top of a mountain in the area where Ian normally would ride his trials bike (see pictures above). I never got to go back on a clear day but I will never forget the stillness or the feeling of being consumed by millions of tiny little water droplets.

Lavras, MG
Lavras, MG

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This thing was the size of a flip phone.
This thing was the size of a flip phone.
Mel!
Mel!
Ian is holding me here because I was starting to panic. We came to Lavras for a weekend of riding and to celebrate Carnival. There were supposedly some nice walking trials, which in Brazil apparently means overgrown trail turned into almost dried up creek bed.
Ian is holding me here because I was starting to panic. We came to Lavras for a weekend of riding and to celebrate Carnival. There were supposedly some nice walking trails, which in Brazil apparently means overgrown trail turned into almost dried up creek bed.
Our friend Ronnie trying to calm my worries by telling all about the spiders and mini ticks I should look out for. Oh and the snakes too.
Our friend Ronnie trying to calm my worries by telling all about the spiders and mini ticks I should look out for. Oh and the snakes too.
First race track walk.
First race track walk.

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We were led into the rainforest where we found a giant worm/leech thing, big blue butterflies, and how a Km doesn't always translate correctly into miles.
We were led into the rainforest where we found a giant worm/leech thing, big blue butterflies, and how a km doesn’t always translate correctly into miles.
This is a small, yet very poisonous snake. Ian was strolling along the road when he almost stepped directly on this little guy, noticing him only when I screamed,
This is a small, yet very poisonous snake. Ian was strolling along the road when he almost stepped directly on this little guy, noticing him only when I screamed, “YOU ALMOST STEPPED ON THAT SNAKE!”
Race day.
Race day.
Chaser van views.
Chaser van views.

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We had a lounge and uncomfortable ride back to Nova Lima so Ian decided to lounge in the back .
We had a lounge and uncomfortable ride back to Nova Lima so Ian decided to lounge in the back .

Quick elaboration of how ridiculous this idea was. Scene: Van with non-reclining seats, hour 6 after  racing for two days.

We were driving along the highway when all of a sudden traffic came to a dead stop. The truckers were protesting the gas companies because the Brazilian government was said to have been ‘paid out’ by them. Civil unrest at it’s finest. Along with many other people we ended up turning around driving straight into traffic led by a lone police officer with a tiny glowstick. Ian found this turn around the perfect opportunity to jump into the back to get some sleep, completely unaware of the chaos going on around us. We had to backtrack through a bunch of tiny sketchy towns where one guy even started yelling at us for driving. (He thought we were a commercial vehicle.) It was scary and thrilling and something that I am totally fine never experiencing again.

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The beauty here never ends.
The beauty here never ends.
Press conference at the shop.
Press conference at the shop.

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Ian somehow got coerced into doing a Super Enduro race. People flew in from all over the world, most of the top guys are from Europe. So outside of Brazil it’s a pretty big deal. I was 100% not a fan. The track is built in the arena and it’s full of giant boulders and impossibly sharp turns, along with some big jumps where there is almost not enough room to gain the speed to get over. People were falling and slipping all over the place. Ian was obviously my biggest concern but a few of our friends had entered as well. The locals loved it though, very big into the crashes.

Super Enduro
Super Enduro
We met this really awesome German guy who was a manager for one of the other riders.
We met this really awesome German guy who was a manager for one of the other riders.
Scariest thing I have ever witnessed. There were guys all over the place. Definitely my least favorite style of racing.
Scariest thing I have ever witnessed. There were guys all over the place. Definitely my least favorite style of racing.

I promised you all I would tell you the cockroach story but there is actually two of them. It seems that they come to me at 3 week intervals. Right before we moved into the house, we were at the shop and I had stepped into the bathroom. As I’m sitting there, I look at the black painted door and see something move. Introducing cockroach #1. I washed my hands, making sure not to take my eyes off of it, slowly talking myself into opening the door. Like any good unsuspecting victim I left my phone on the table so there was no calling for help. To make matters worse it was about 3 inches away from the handle. First I had to und0 the lock which led to it scuttling at lightning speed across the door. I let my panic get the best of me and threw open the door running towards Ian who just so happened to be speaking to the boss. They all looked at me really confused and I tried to catch my breath and stop myself from bursting into terrified tears. I told them there was la  cucaracha (spanish for cockroach) and they just shrugged and went along with there business. Eventually, one guy was nice enough to kick it off the wall and smooth it with his boot. Not so indestructible now, are you cockroach? Muahahahaha! When we moved into the house I made sure to scan behind every door and crevice before I shut myself in to any room.

If you enjoyed the story of how I almost was killed by a giant bug, just wait until next week when I tell you all about how our stay at the Brazilian Stanley Hotel (think the Shining) lead to my unavoidable breakdown.

Hugs & Kittens,

Sammi

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