With a relatively lengthy process to return to the main pier, we decided to relax on the beach by our hotel with a nice breakfast and time to finish our postcards. We actually woke up to pouring rain, so we really had some pretty limited options in terms of outdoor activities anyhow. Our original plan was to take capoeira lessons on the beach which would’ve been really fun, but we were completely wiped by this point (and broke!) and the hotel had forgotten to book the instructor anyhow.
At 10am, it was time to take the shuttle back to the main pier only for it to have departed already. The rest of our nightmare adventure back to the mainland continues here:
Following the catamaran nightmare, we were far too traumatized physically and emotionally to carry on so we literally sat in the ferry terminal staring off into space (but not the ocean), drinking ginger ale to calm our tummies. I will say that my stomach did not proceed to feel right for the next WEEK. Not solely due to the catamaran of course, but it certainly did not help for us to schedule this experience on the same day that we had to fly back home. For the rest of the day, the nausea followed us on land, in the cab, and certainly on the plane. And lucky me, I got a stomach bug on top of all that from eating some bad bacteria (I don’t even want to think about how that happened) which left me not feeling right for another week after returning home!
Being the procrastinators that we were, we had a chance to finish shopping for gifts at the Mercado Modelo briefly before having to return to the airport. Given our luck with air travel thus far, we wanted to allow for extra time at the airport to confirm our flight. Brazil must really not like us, because of all the flights we had on this trip, the ONLY one that wasn’t messed up in some shape or form was the one returning home.
Overall, we had a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience on this trip, what with attending my #1 sporting event in arguably the best country to experience it in. While the transportation infrastructure was generally a mess throughout our trip – I have never had so many issues getting places – we learned to take the bad with the good. After all, it’s the world’s largest sporting event in what is still a third world country, with millions of people descending upon Brazil in a concentrated period of time. It was amazing to see an entire nation that was so supportive of their beloved seleção, and to meet a people so proud to show off their country. We also learned that it was very difficult to balance our two goals of immersing ourselves in World Cup fever and visiting a very large country, and often times we didn’t do either one enough justice. While we may never get another chance to attend another World Cup, I fully hope to return to Brazil as despite having 2 weeks, we only scraped the surface. Next up (one of these days)…RIO, Lençois Maranhensis, the Pantanal, and the other side of Iguaçu Falls!