Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And that's how we traveled...Part 1

Have you seen those videos that teach kids about all the different modes of transportation? I feel as if our trip to Brazil would be just as effective in teaching kids as Baby Einstein. My passport cover had a picture of a train, boat, car and airplane...and those were just the beginning of the list.

I must say, before I begin to describe our adventure, that God is faithful and ordered our steps. He provided for us to be able to go on this fantastic trip - and He was definitely the one orchestrating each step along the way.

Our adventure began with a road trip to Ohio or a friend's wedding.

Lydia had been in my wedding, and I was so excited to help her celebrate her big day.

Her wedding was beautifully decorated in a wintery way.

Here are just a few of her creative ideas.

Since I lived in Ohio during my high school years, we stayed with friends of my family. Here is where I first fell in love with Fiesta Ware - I began to dream that someday, I would own a set for myself. (And I now do thanks to our wedding registry).  Thanks, Grandma Hefner, for being a wonderful host!

It was great to see some friends from my Lima days and to visit my old church.

From there, we drove to Chicago.

We were to fly out a few days later - meeting up with Dave and Sarah in Houston, TX. We were so glad that we were able to get on the same flights at they were. Since Jeremiah had never visited Chicago, we took off sightseeing...in the freezing cold.

From the Navy Pier

to the Willis (used to be called the Sears) Tower.

We left our car in long term parking and rode the train into the airport. Our flights down to Brazil went smoothly. We had an overnight flight to Columbia, and took some naps in the airport in Bogata.

Evelyn entertained us all - She had a new pair of sandles that had a squeaker in each heel.

It was an ideal way to keep up with a little girl in an airport. It was also quite the climate change. From freezing Chicago to humid Bogata - I was definately ready to find some summer clothes to change into.

We safely arrived in Leticia, Columbia. I failed to take pictures in this tiny airport - it was a bit caotic, to say the least. Actually, I had my camera in my hand when a worker began yelling something....the only part I caught was "no photo." - So I put my camera back into my bag quickly.

Sarah got us two taxis to take all our luggage to a little hotel.

I was snapping away, taking pictures as we drove through this colorful town.

But half way to our hotel, I again, put my camera away...Dave and Sarah were in the car in front of us. Our car, was pulled over by the boarder police. They had the driver get out and were beginning to look through our luggage in the trunk. Keep in mind, I know no Spanish and no Portuguese. Jeremiah knew a little Spanish...enough to tell them that we were Americans traveling to Santo Antonio do Ica. That information seemed to satisfy them, and they let us go. We were releaved to be back on the road, however, we had lost the other taxi. Our driver began to ask us where we were supposed to be going. We, of course, had no clue. Jeremiah kept telling him, "With our friends..." We eventually found Dave and Sarah  --

We stayed in small clean hotel in Togatinga for two nights.

I was so thankful for that shower! Even though the water was freezing cold.

The hotel provided a great breakfast - I love trying different foods! (Please note, Jeremiah did not know he was in this photo...ha!)

We walked around the city, sightseeing and doing a little souvenier shopping.

Since it was raining Evelyn got to carry around her new umbrella. She was upset because the umbrella kept getting wet.

After shopping for a while, we took these little taxis to lunch.

We ate lunch at an adorable little restraunt that resembled a grass hut.

Grilled chicken, rice and beans never tasted so good.

This is also where I was introduced to the Brazilian drink, Bare'. It tasted something like vanilla Coke.

The "Creative Ghetto Award" clearly goes to this little town! They had a huge Christmas tree made entirely out of 2 liters.

I'm sure this hasn't made it to Pinterest yet!

To get to our final destination, we would need to take a boat down the Amazon River. Early Friday morning, we went down to the port to board our boat. Jeremiah warned me, "You're going to have to walk across this plank." I have a small fear of bridges...but I did it.

I waited until no one else was walking across.

We then waited for the Federal Police to check ALL our luggage.

After this very thorough search, we were able to board the brand new boat.

Sarah was so excited to have a new boat for our journey.

Along the way, the boat stopped in little ports and towns.

It was great to see the country side and the people along the way.

These little boats (pictured above) are called "peckie-peckies."

Upon arriving to their city, I had to cross a much steeper plank.

A kind Brazilian man must have noticed my apprehension and helped me down. Jeremiah and Dave carried all our luggage down the incline to the little VW van that would take us to Dave and Sarah's house.

Due to the large potholes, dirt roads, and the fact that everything arrives to these towns by boat, the main mode of transportation was bicycles and motorbikes.

While staying with Dave and Sarah, I got my exercise. We would ride our bikes to and from the store. I loved it, once I got used to the hills.

I loved seeing the different way of life.

There is an airport in their town, but it's not used for commercial flights.

Instead, it is the exercise track for the town.

One evening, we biked out to the runway and rode laps.

Sarah had a new trailor for her bike so that Evelyn could be pulled behind.

The entire town knows Evelyn because of her light skin and bleach blonde hair. The town people yelled out her name as we rode past. "Evelyn....Evelyn...Evelyn." Sarah stopped to manuver around a pothole and a group of children ran out to touch the trailer. Evie is quite the celebrity there.

In Brazil, the motorcycle is the new mini-van. I think 5 people on one bike was the most I counted - Dave says he has seen 6 or more.

Jeremiah rode on the back of a motorcycle while carrying 12 two liters of Bare'. I wish I had taken a picture of that!

Stay tuned to hear about our return trip! That's when the real adventure began!


  1. Love it! I was very glad that you were able to make it to our wedding also :)

  2. i fully expect cool to construct a 2 liter tree for next years holiday season.....if not sooner.

  3. Wow those planks looked scary to walk across. I love the runway picture with you and Jeremiah in it!

  4. Super awesome trip....excited to see more pics and stories!!! I wish you had taken a pic of Jeremiah on the bike with the 2 liters as well...LOL...In my head it just looks hilarious!

  5. yes I love the runway pictures too! It's beautiful and especially Evelyn and her little bonnet haha. Thanks for sharing and documenting so well! I'm looking forward to posts about food soon! please?

  6. I love all the details! I'm looking forward to reading the other posts :)