I don't have anything to use for a camera besides my iPod so Bianca's parents let me use their compact digital camera. It was really lucky but the whole thing really made me want to get a camera for myself because I loved taking pictures!
When we finally got to Brazil, we took another plane right to Rio where we met up with Bianca's mom and her friend. We spent that weeks end going to all the tourist places like the Christ statue and the Sugarloaf Mountain. Our hotel was walking distance from the fluffy white sands of the famous Copacabana! We also checked out some nature parks and reserves there where I saw the macaques for the first time! They were kind of cute.
After Rio we went back to Bianca's home in Jundiaí where there was an amazing view of the city; especially at sunset and night time. It would have been great to get some nighttime pictures while I was there because the lights were amazing! I think it was a result of the smog from the city but during most sunsets, it was really easy to see the sun as it reached the skyline. I had never seen it so clearly before. It looked so huge and red!
We did tons of stuff while we were in Jundiaí with Bianca's family. Luckily for me, a few of them spoke English so Bianca could take a break from translating. It was great to see all the people and try some of the best food I've ever eaten!
One of the last weeks we spent in Brazil were at an inn in Ubatuba. It was an amazing place right next to the beach and right against the jungle! One of the first things we did there was go into the woods behind the inn and look for the crabs. I'm not sure why but I think crabs are awesome, especially these ones that look like they have animal skull designs on their backs!
I've always wanted to explore the jungle ever sense watching Indiana Jones when I was a kid. I finally got to experience that when we took a hike into the mountains! It was beautiful and there was a few caves along the way that were bound to have a golden idle inside somewhere.
One of the best experiences I had while I was there was heading out on a kayak at sunset and waiting on the open ocean until the stars came out. Once the twilight goes away the only lights left are the stars up above. I don't think I have ever seen the night sky so clearly. Being out on the water opens up nearly the entire view of the sky, from one horizon to the next.
Another amazing thing about the ocean there at night is when the water is stirred, you can see little glowing sparks lighting up all around! There are luminescent plankton in the water that glow when you move them. With those combined with the night sky, it almost felt like I was in The Life of Pi!
After we got back from Ubatuba and the last few days before we left, some of Bianca's friends invited us out to visit a local nature reserve. It was a great hike through the woods and I saw a lot of interesting insects, plants, and animals. As we walked we could hear a bunch of monkeys howling in the distance and it really made me feel like I was in Indiana Jones!
After the hike, we met up with Bianca's older sister at a really beautiful flower guardian in the middle of the city. While we waited, the little old lady working there showed us a tree with little fruit growing from its branches. They were a lot like the grapes I had had there with tougher skin and a small seed inside. Unlike the grapes, the skin of these fruit were normally discarded and the seed was eaten along with the goo inside. They were a little funny to eat but we kept snacking on them.