The changes in the world and the limits of tourist visa renewal in Brazil had sent us back to the USA. We arrived in the USA in March of 2021 and traveled, visited friends, loved on precious grandbabies, bought land, bought and sold rigs and longed for our life on the road. You can read many stories of our time there at https://slowcarfasthouse.com/2023/01/14/what-is-a-pie-town-playground/
But now it was time to return to our camper and finish up our drive throughout South America. We had explored seven of eleven countries.
So we loaded up 8 suitcases and 2 dog crates and flew out of Miami, Florida, USA to Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Upon arrival in Rio we met up with a wonderful friend, Roberta. You may recall we stayed with her before when we visited Rio. Read that story here https://slowcarfasthouse.com/2021/05/15/a-trip-to-rio-de-janiero/
We arrived with exhausted dog, and humans but quickly settled back into the vibe of Rio and a Latin country.
A quick trip to the nearby grocery store reminded us of the beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables that are available in South America.
The visit to Rio also included a meetup. It was incredible to spend time with two other travelers. I call this photo “a tribute to badass women overlanders”. We shared stories, sushi and laughs as we reminisced about our past travels and discussed our current plans.
After a few days in Rio de Janiero we borrowed our friends car (thanks, Roberta! Your generous offer saved us a ton of money) and began driving south to the farm. You may recall that we had stored our truck in Dois Irmaos, Rio do Sul. This small town is in the far southern part of Brazil. https://slowcarfasthouse.com/2021/09/11/lets-get-out-of-brazil-maybe/
To get to the farm, we had to drive for about three days. We traveled through many small towns and stayed at AirBandB’s. We never have trouble finding a rental that will take dogs. And we also managed to find restaurants that would let them in also. Pizza with chicken and broccoli was hard for Pacha to ignore!
One of the cities we visited had recently finished a special memorial to a Brazilian man who was overlanding with his dog in a VW bug. They were both killed in an accident in Oregon, USA. Here is a link to the rather sad story- https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/brazil-influencer-dog-killed-car-crash-b2087823.html
We were both very moved by the memorial wall, signs and adjoining dog park dedicated to Jesse and Shurastey. Such a tragic end to a young life.
Eventually we arrived and started the process of moving back in. We had taken nearly everything with us, since we were not sure what the future held in store. So a lot of suitcases, patience and time were needed to get resettled.
We also had brought a lot of gifts for our farm family. These special folks took such good care of us, our dogs and our camper….. we feel forever indebted to them. A few fun things from the USA can never repay completely. This time during our visit it was Thanksgiving. Not a holiday recognized by Brazilians. But our farm-family (well, Jane) took the time to prepare a delicious feast for us. We love being on this little farm in Southern Brazil.
The dogs enjoyed many fresh bones and even some chicken feet while we were at the farm. Pacha also had an allergic reaction to the lawn on the days after the grass was cut. She got to take a trip to the vet. He comes around once a week to the local animal feed store. She’s fine now, but we have learned that she has super sensitive skin.
While there we took a day trip up the mountain nearby. We visited an extensive mosaic art garden. The creator is a well-known wood block print artist. We met her and I felt a powerful connection. Then we stopped for a delicious Brazilian-German meal before returning to the farm. Fun day spent with special people!
One of the issues we found inside the camper was ants. We seemed to have two kinds of ants that moved in. The honey-ants had created extensive hives inside two of our storage boxes. These hives were large and very sticky. Cleanup was really difficult, because the whole mess also attracted bees and flies while we were working on it. The other type of ant was a carpenter-ant. These ones were burrowing channels through the styrofoam insulation in the roof and walls. We were lucky to catch them early and eradicate them with poison.
After we got moved in to the camper and had cleaned up the messes, we were ready for a test run. We took a weekend trip to Canela to visit our friends that we made while we lived there. Dinner with the neighbors was amazing. And we were all so excited to see Guiliana again! It felt like a homecoming to return to our little A-frame in the hills of Brazil.
Staying on the farm also meant helping out when possible. Gathering eggs, making meals, cleaning the kitchen, feeding cats and picking kids up from school are on that to-do list. One day I went to the school to wait for a kid, and met this adorable dog. She is hanging out at the gate, waiting for her kids to be let of school. Just another reminder of how wonderful dogs are!
But possibly one of the very best things about being back in Brazil is-
PAO DE QUEIJO!!!! This Brazilian cheese bread is made with yuca flour, also known as tapioca,cassava or manioc flour. It is served warm and puffy, with a melty lump of cheese in the middle! MMMmmm.
4 thoughts on “Returning to South America”
Excellent post. Glad that I found you again. This time, due to the Snow and Curt referral.
Thanks for this whole series about your adventures since leaving Brazil and now getting back there to finish your epic explorations.
Fabulous! Thanks for catching us up. I love how you meet your challenges head on.