23.04.2009 - 24.04.2009 87 °F
So, I was reluctant to leave Búzios after 11 fabulous, fun filled days. Sad to leave all of my new friends and a nearly perfect location, but thus it was time to move on and make my way up to Bahia and Ceare in the northern part of Brazil in search of the perfect spot to learn how to kite surf.
Wanting to break up the 26 hour ride to my next destination, Porto Seguro, I decide to spend a night in Vítoria in Espirito Santo, Brazil. Not only did I not find any information in my handy dandy Lonely Planet guide, which should have been a major hint, but there also weren´t any hostels listed on HostelWorld.com, a second major hint. Still not reading the signs I grab an overnight bus on Aguia Branca from Rio (I had to catch a bus from Búzios to Rio first because there wasn´t a direct bus) scheduled to arrive in Vítoria around 7:00am.
I arrive in Vítoria tired, disoriented, and mapless. Most rodoviárias (bus terminals) have an information booth of some sort, but not in Vítoria, fyi third major hint. I´ve had bigger problems I think. I decide to splurge on a taxi to my hotel but after finding out they wanted to charge me R$15 for a 5 minute taxi ride (I´m way over budget so this is out of the question) I ask where I can catch a bus. Not quite understanding the directions that were being given to me, which of course were in Portuguese, the older gentleman who I later found out was a native Vítorian, kindly walked me to the bus stop where he scribbled the number and destination of the bus I needed to take.
After waiting several minutes and making small talk with some of the other people at the bus stop my bus arrives, #202 headed towards Curva da Jurema. I tell the driver with my best Portuguese accent that I need to go to the Vítoria Cathedral, which is where my hotel is located. I meet a very nice lady on the bus, again a native Vítorian, who had spent some time in Florida and invited me to stay with her at her house. I graciously declined exhausted at the thought of trying to maintain a conversation in Portuguese for the remainder of the day when I know a whole 3 phases and my Spanish is barely understood. The bus driver signals to me that we´ve arrived at my hotel, Cidade Alta. Major hint number 4.
I´m not sure if I had just been spoiled by my last couple of hostels or if this hotel was THAT bad, but I´m pretty sure it was the latter. My filthy, poorly lit, shoebox of a room (this should have been expected for R$30 or $14 a night) was probably tied for 1st place for scariest accommodations EVER! Then to top it off the bathroom, I can´t even begin to explain what was going on in there. I thought about taking a picture but didn´t want to make anyone sick.
I contemplated grabbing the next bus out to Porto Seguro, but trying to be the "glass half full" person that I am, I found a small little market/lanchonete (where they serve basic snack food and juices) where I happily ordered a pão con ovo (egg sandwich) and an abacaxi suco (pineapple juice). I finally decided to stay the night, thinking how bad could it really be, after finding a gym and place with a great Internet connection.