We made it into our new temporary home of Bauru, Brazil yesterday afternoon, finally.
We celebrated last night with sparkling wine in our Brazilian apartment. But let’s rewind, to the beginning of the journey.
The days and hours leading up to our departure were hectic to say the least. We had social plans out the wazoo, catching up with friends and loved ones before we left (that was the fun part), we also sold the majority of our furniture, packed up the rest of our life into five (two of them were small) suitcases and boxed up the rest for storage. In between all that was a work deadline, another dentist appointment (though the case is finally closed there) and trying to stay sane (we succeeded, barely).
Wednesday morning, we woke up to head to the airport and checked in to see that our flight was on time, since there were reports of freezing rain in DC. We subsequently panicked upon seeing that it was scheduled to depart nearly an hour earlier than we’d thought. We hurriedly threw all of our crap in our suitcase and ran out the door. Turns out, that was just the boarding time. Amateur mistake number one, although I have taken international flights before and I’ve never seen a flight time posted in such a vague manner before.
We even asked the (very nice) person at the Copa Airlines counter if the flight had been moved ahead, and she said yes, they’d changed the flight time. But when we got our boarding passes, they clearly showed that our original departure time was still correct. Insert deep sigh of relief.
No harm no foul, except for the crazy/lazy eye situation I’ve got going on above, and my leaving my liquids bag on the bathroom counter at Tom’s parents house in the confusion. This turned out to be a great excuse to do some Duty Free shopping in Panama City. But I digress.
As you can probably see above, Ashton is a perfect little traveler. (He’s also the perfect dog.) He quickly made friends during our Panama layover.
These two little boys couldn’t get enough of Ashton, and he squiggled and wagged his tail as they played with him up until it was time to board our next flight. He took everything all in stride, particularly enjoying the food service whenever it rolled around.
We arrived in Campinas, Brazil a little after midnight, local time and got our luggage quickly. Going through customs, we realized that there was no agricultural worker on duty, which was needed to verify Ashton’s travel certification so we could leave the airport. A while later, we were finally on our way to our crash pad for the night, Hotel Opala Avenida, for a shower and a few hours of sleep.
We didn’t have time to explore Campinas, a city outside of Sao Paulo, but enjoyed the view from our room. As we were checking out, we met a group of students from Pennsylvania who had just spent several days in the city, and they gave us a list of things to do when we have time to return.
After enjoying cafe da manha (breakfast in Portuguese – look at me pretending I know things), we hit the road for Bauru. I had a hard time staying awake, as lack of sleep began to catch up with me, but the parts of the drive that I saw were quite beautiful. We passed the charming town of Paracicaba, another destination recommended by the students we met at our hotel, and enjoyed views of the distant mountains.
Although the majority of our desired travel plans while we’re here are fairly far from Bauru, we’ve begun to realize we’ll have a lot to explore right in our own backyard. I can’t wait!
We arrived to our apartment in the early afternoon and found a place to have an afternoon snack (lanchar, but don’t ask me to conjugate that) and coffee, and then walked all over our neighborhood sourcing various items for our apartment. People here think it’s funny that we walk so far, but we’re used to in D.C. We may eventually get a car, but for now we’re enjoying the exercise of walking around a new city.
Later in the evening, we had a great dinner at a nearby sandwich place, enjoyed our wine and crashed in bed, exhausted. A very successful first day in Brazil.