I remember reading a book called Around the World in 80 Days as a child, so it seemed like a good choice for the title of this post: #rtwsoon (which is first detailed here) is 80 days from today.
Stuff I’ve done, stuff I still have to do. Hmm.
First. This visa for Brazil. The Brazilian government requires all tourist applicants to provide proof of entry (a plane ticket, which I have), and proof of departure (a plane ticket, which I didn’t have). They want to know when you are leaving. In addition, they often require a screenshot of your bank statement, which proves that you are capable of financing your stay in Brazil. Mildly tedious, but whatever. I ended up booking a flight from Porto Alegre, in the south, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pretty short, and pretty cheap. The flight actually has a layover in Montevideo, Uruguay, and I might just stop there and not actually go to BA just yet. I’d like to see Uruguay for a few days, and the flight from Porto Alegre to Buenos Aires (again, with a stopover in Montevideo) is actually cheaper than a flight from Porto Alegre to Montevideo. So yea, might game the system and do that.
For the rest of the visa materials, I was kind of all over the place. Probably took me 10 hours to get everything in order. Do not know why. Was running around everywhere, getting proof of vaccinations faxed here and money orders there, and searching all over campus for a color printer. Sigh. The thing is finally in the mail (addressed to my cousin, actually, who will bring it to the Brazilian Consulate in NYC). Let’s hope for the best.
As for my stay in Brazil, the current plan (which I was again “forced” into by these visa requirements) is to first land in Rio–
–and spend about a week there. I’m arriving the day before the start of Carnaval, which is in fact the single biggest party in the world. It’s 4 days long, and my hostel in 3 blocks from this:
Ipanema. Maybe I’ll meet the Girl (From Ipanema).
After Rio, I’ll head towards Sao Paulo, and spend the next 2+ weeks making my way down the southeast coast towards Porto Alegre. The coast is lined with some beautiful beaches and some hopefully funky towns, so we’ll see how that goes. 25 days in total in Brazil, as of now. Might rent a car. After that, it’s looking like Uruguay.
The next area of preparation is my plans for Africa. I really feel like I should do some sort of training for Kilimanjaro–
–which I’ll be climbing about 3 months from now, but I’ve been super busy writing my thesis and trying to graduate. The climb is supposed to be a bucket list thing, so I anticipate climbing with a lot of people in their ~50’s. I guess I’m hoping that an un-trained Will is in comparable shape to a trained older-aged human. Seems reasonable, right? The above picture is one of my favorites of all time, by the way.
Lastly, I’m just trying to be frugal these days, and limit my spending as much as possible. Going to start buying a lot of gear in the next 6 weeks, so I’ll be staying in cheap-o mode for a little while.
I’ll update this again soon. Thanks for reading. Please process my visa application promptly, Brazilian Consulate.
To the readers: Any travel advice for Brazil? Any training advice for Kilimanjaro? Any advice for not getting caught in the midst of a casual car-jacking in Nairobi? Leave me comments!