Both my mood and the weather have been unfriendly to us, with respect to traveling. Yesterday, the first of this four day weekend, was rainy and overcast and generally the saddest day the world has ever seen. Or at least that’s how my emotions were processing the day. So while we’d already purchased tickets to go to Rio, I knew I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to try another bus ride to a city I’ve seen several times already, I couldn’t bear to sit in traffic or go to the beach where every other Brazilian who has the means would be there, too. Now is the season for beach travel and I realized, in the middle of the day, that being around the rest of the world was something I didn’t want to experience.
It didn’t help, also, that the forecast for Rio’s weather went a little something like this: Tonight: rain showers. Tomorrow: more rain showers. Tomorrow night: exactly the same thing. Sunday: I’m not kidding, it’s still more of this same shit. So with a forecast like that, no place arranged to spend the night, and the prospect of a long bus ride exacerbated by traffic, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to go. So we returned our tickets last night, I got a good sleep, and woke up ready to confront the traveling world again, only with a shorter trip, during the day, and with a cup of coffee in my system.
I’m writing from the rodoviaria in Campinas. We arrived here a little before 10 with the intent to get on a bus direct to Campos do Jordão, a beautiful city in the mountains, away from the majority of travelers. The weather today is on the sunny side, but nice and cool. It reminds me of New England fall, actually, which as I was telling Dennis this morning, invigorates me rather than puts me to sleep or makes me cranky. We are going to wait here until 12:30, at which time we’re getting on a bus to a city called São Jose dos Campos, and from there we’ll pick up another bus to Campos do Jordão.
I’ve wanted to go here for a while now, considering it gets really cold there at night. The place is known for good beer and lots of trails and hills and, as far as I know, the highest train ride in this country. So we’ll see what happens, but all I know is that I feel a whole lot better about leaving today than I did last night, especially when I know that what I’m going towards is cool (temperature and fun-wise) and is away from the majority of people. I don’t know what it is with me these days but my desire to be among the masses is quickly waning. That’s okay, too, I think. This is a really crowded country, and Campinas itself, while spread out on the land, is full of people all the time. Full buses, full restaurants, full streets. It’s just full. The skyline is full of tall residential buildings, themselves full of whole families crammed into two bedroom apartments. I am craving space and room to breathe and it feels like the best thing to do is to go up into the hills and do just that.