A three hour journey from possibly the ugliest bus station in the world -they print postcards of that building!- and I´m impressed by my seating arrangements. This scantily clad Brazilian angels legs would rub continuously against my own for the whole journey while I myself am pushed closer still towards her by a girl standing in the crowded isle who eventually gives up and begins sitting on the edge of my other leg. Offer her the seat? Fuck off!
She talks to me -hot one at the window seat- and I´ve no idea what she´s saying. Could be anything, anything!
“Have me you sexy tiger. Rip me apart right now”!
-Probably- “Stop touching my leg you beast”!
She grabs my hand, peels my fingers open and places a boiled sweetie inside and continues to talk quietly in Portuguese while pointing at herself and then towards me. I´ve not a fucking clue.
Two hours later she leaves the bus and I want so badly to go with her but she arranges with some guys who are also on their way to Bonito that they should show me where to go and help me out. When I depart the bus I fuck off and get on with my own thing. Thanks but I don´t need a baby sitter.. Especially male ones!
The small town is mobbed completely due to the festival taking place and I might be completely fucked for finding a place to stay as it´s nine o´clock at night and it´ll have to be tomorrow before I make my way towards the farm where I plan to work for the next three months. The police I talk with point out a posada (hostel) and I get completely ripped off. Not wanting to think about this any longer or of what I´d like to do to that fuckin prick, I move swiftly on to going out to check out what this party´s all about.
I´m drinking alone beside one of the many small beer stalls when approached by the only other caucasian here and she instantly makes a drunken bee-line towards me. “Where are you from, what’s you´re name”? Standard shit but she´s really drunk and staring directly into my eyes while rubbing my arm up and down. Fucking LOVE this country!
After maybe forty minutes of talking shit she leads me towards her friend’s house, actually her Dads friend’s house, but I´m getting the feeling Daddy and friends won´t be in.. Wrong!
On the front step of the house sits her Dad with his bit on the side who´s younger than his daughter and his friends.
The second I´m introduced words are exchanged in Portuguese from father to daughter while he politely smiles at me.
“My Dad is being an asshole. He´s asking why I brought you here and doubts that you do anything decent for a living”.
“He wants to know what you do”.
His fucking daughter by the end of the night I hope but no, biting my tongue does nothing for me and soon after he leads her away from this tattooed punk of a man and I never see her again.
A dead end sure, but it´s all going in the right direction. Two girls I want to fuck and two guys I want to kill so far, but things are gonna get pretty interesting this side of the world. That´s a promise..
Waterproofing your camera.. Remember you have it in a condom for when pulling it out to tell someone the time!
Holly shit it´s like I´ve never travelled before!
In Edinburgh airport with two hours left before my flight and I´m sitting alone in the departure lounge. Always makes me wonder if I´m in the right place when there´s no one else, but still two hours so kick back, relax..
“Here, you going to Recife”?From an official looking member of staff.
Emm, yeah but my flights not for another two hours.. I think? *Quickly checks watch.
“Aye Andrew, ye left yer see-through folder with yer passport, flight details and boarding tickets in the bathroom”!
Not even begun my adventure yet and I´m fucking up. His final words to me should have ended with a clip round the lug (ear) then maybe I would have learned my lesson.
Landing in Gatwick (England) with time to kill, I park my arse down in a restaurant and demolish a fry-up before gathering my shit and making my way towards the departure lounge.. Something’s not right.. Fuck!
Running back I find my fleece jacket thankfully still there complete with wallet, bank cards and money still inside. What’s wrong with me? I need to get a grip!
Finally off the island and upon seeing the hostels, hotels and bed n´breakfasts so close to the airport while landing in Lisbon, I make my decision to fuck the idea of sitting for twenty one hours inside the airport for my connecting flight. Instead I will get myself a nice wee pad to lay up in. Something cheap and close and so I venture towards the girl behind the tourist information booth.
I pass my bank card to her while she books a cheap bed n´breakfast for me. She loads it into the machine and hesitates for a while and so for some reason I assume she ´s waiting to hear my pin number.. I tell her my pin number! “DON´T TELL ME YOUR PIN NUMBER”! Ohh, I know. Why did I just do that? I´m doing everything wrong so far, surely I´ve run out of stupid things to do?
Brazil, Brazil I´ve fucking made it! I’ve made it in one piece and somehow not managed to lose anything or EVERYTHING!
Grabbing a taxi in the middle of the night from Recife airport and finally making it to my hostel where I´m booked into for the night, I throw myself down and start to rela.. I´m so fucking hungry! I go out.
I´m walking down the street with a Brazilian room mate who speaks no English and combined with my knowledge of Portuguese (absolutely nothing) we sit down to eat in silence. Conversation extends to names of famous Brazilian footballers and my finding out that as far as Brasilians are concerned Portuguese has no resemblance whatsoever to Spanish.. I think/hope that’s balls!
I check the time.. Try to check the time.
Where´s my phone? Oh fuck Andy, not the phone! Where did I have it last?
We finish our meals and make our way home -or to the hostel- where I hope beyond hope that St Christopher (Saint of travel) hasn´t given up on me and find to my great relief my phone sitting in the middle of my bed in a room of five bunks. I am one seriously lucky idiot!
Now I can finally kick back, relax.. I´m in Brazil!
I´ve made it!
I think of the backpack I´m travelling with for the next year and wonder how the Hell I managed to get all my belongings down to only ten kilos. What have I forgotten to pack?
Packed! Ok, so to avoid the whining of fuckin hippies believing that I’m taking my machete overseas to maim a leopard.. I’m not.
No, I’m sure they’ll give me one while I’m there!
Flicking through my wad of Brazilian reais (currency) and taking note of the variety of wildlife displayed on such colorful notes, which might actually eat me at any given time. I consider that my occupation whilst living there –shepherd- combined with my location of such job – 200km West of Belem or Amazon territory to you and me- makes my notion of becoming a predators bowel movement not as farfetched as it might seem.
I’m feeling pretty much prepared as I sit in my bedroom surrounded by paper work of flight details, travel insurance, health..fuck, I don’t want to even look at that pile of time consuming shite right now. So that’s all there, clothes folded and ready to be crammed into a bag at some point, camera, few books and my tablet. Even that stretchy rope thingy for keeping my arms in shape, all present and ready to rock.
I’m informed that mosquito repellent isn’t cheap and I don’t expect it would be but my minds more focused on the acquisition of leopard spray as harsh language will only see me so far.
*Images of a Tarzanesque Andy decked out in junglewear aimlessly crashing through dense rainforest muttering “Nae fuckin’ danger!” while hotly pursued by a carnivorous jungle kitty.
. . .
So what can we expect from this forthcoming adventure?
Something really stupid involving snakes and crocs no doubt. I can pretty much guarantee that as I am that idiot that has to touch. My ways have served me well so far, but feel free to tell me you told me so if I return minus a limb. Ten months in Costa Rica and the most savage attack came from the jaws of a terrapin (although it could have been far worse if we’d found that puma we were tracking in Corcovado or Derik the fer-de-lance snake we pestered) so do your worst mother nature for you are my bitch. –ok, so I do respect nature a little more than that-
Being something of a football fan although not obsessively, it hasn’t escaped my notice that during my time there a certain tournament will be taking place. I may however, be the only living thing in Brazil who will miss it all entirely. Just can’t justify to myself the possibility of forking out £300 per night in a city to watch sport. Especially if England win the fucking thing! –I’m Scottish- ‘Boo’, ‘yeah’! Fuck off, it’s just a bit o’ banter!
So don’t expect a 2014 World Cup review or even a travel guide of what’s hot in Brazil. Just expect the tales and photos of a man exploring something new.
Think Bear Grills meets Mr. Bean!
Well versed in the ways of the mighty Leppard!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.
Click here to see the complete report.
From donkey whisperer to goat herder..Lets forget the in-between!
If sound could be seen and viewed as a colour,
This moment would be an ominous shade of FUCK!
This is the sound emanating from a hairy, four-eyed, balding little man awaiting a response to a heart wrenching e-mail *a shit one to boot, that never should have been sent. -Please note; I’m not always a miserable shite-
I’m sure we’ve all done it. The age of text messages, facebook and e-mails giving those of us with that red mist descending, ‘this is a good idea let’s do it now’ mentality, far too much opportunity to dribble our half-baked thoughts and schemes and punch ENTER quite appropriately as I now enter, or re-enter the ever growing and over populated land of Thefuck’dIdothatfor.
Now I could say I never learn, but this is actually a vast improvement on the time I sent a valentine’s message during my school days through the morning notice board that 1,500 people had the pleasure of reading. I spent a loooong time brooding in the land of Thefuck’dIdothatfor after that one, but that was many years ago and long forgotten, until now –shit.
So, back to the present and a pulsating heart pounds out toward a stupid little brain;
‘What have I done’?
You did what you had to
‘I’ve really done it now’
Indeed, but you gave it your best
‘But I did it all wrong’
Well, yes. You did it by fucking facebook you fucking idiot!
Waiting, waiting, w-a-i-ting..
To hear that familiar rendition of ‘let’s just be friend’s’, followed by the classic ‘it’s not you it’s me’ and finishing off with a slightly different version of ‘you’re a good guy, but not for me’. Yeah, I get it. Better than a kick in the balls, but I don’t have to be happy about it.
INBOX: 1 NEW MESSAGE
God, I hate being right all the fucking time!
Not really looking for another pen-pal to be honest and that’s really what facebook is –if you see them every day then what’s the point?
Despite the lols, dining updates and self-righteous ‘look how great I am’ dribble from people who want us to know how they support every humanitarian issue going, not to mention endless fucking games requests then yeah, facebook is a great thing. Not so many friends in Scotland, but a fair amount scattered across the world from seven years of travel and adventure. Maybe 90% of these people I will never see again, not because I don’t want to but because life goes on, new things happen and I’ll most likely make new friends tomorrow. So to the future ‘let’s just be friend’s/pen-pal’s’ lady’s out there.. Let’s not.
In my bid to get a grip and stop acting like a big Jessie crawling from the pages of a Helen Fielding novel, I did what any man would do. Any non-religious man not long off a 30 year drought would do.
Thirty years. Thirty fuckin years and you better believe I give up. No one will ever have that chance to let me feel I’m just not good enough again, so as I crawl my way back towards the open arms of a masseuse named Crystal I wonder to myself if this is just the way it’s going to be, possible start to a no-strings physical relationship with a prostitute. How could this possibly go wrong?
-Smallest violin? Smallest fuckin’ orchestra jammin’ to this shit!-
Think we can guess the only possible time she can offer me is during her working hours at the cost of £75 and when I arrive she’s not even there. I’m met by an old, fat, smoking Romanian dwarf telling me it’s just herself on today and I’ve to take it easy as she’s pregnant. New lows in life, is this still the way to go? Futures bleak, this futures shite!
I’m out the door and fuming at life, at myself and with my morning horoscope which was a complete load of bollocks:
Today, Venus connects with the Sun and this is going to give your sex appeal a boost. Indeed, lots of people are likely to want to be with you. With all this popularity bubbling away, enjoy the plaudits and praise.
Fuck you Metroscope! Only person getting wet at my presence today is myself –by way of it being a miserable rainy day out there-.
My time back in Scotland has been a brief one but a brief one to soon forget. So close to falling in love with a girl so completely my type AND learning that when it comes to finding ways to move on then all the Crystal in the world won’t make things right.. and either will a pregnant, Romanian dwarf.
*At time of writing this
TEXT MESSAGE (from Crystal):
Where were u 2day?
Fuck this, I’m going to be a shepherd in Brazil.
And that is how we get from A (Aruba) to B (Brazil)!
Not yet in Brazil shepherding goats, but here’s one I worked for previously in Italy
Who nose?! -See what I did there?-
Around ten minutes south of the sanctuary, under construction and eight times the size of the one we have now, a new sanctuary we lovingly refer to as donkey prison begins to take shape with a roof placed over the large storage containers and a little juggling around of the perimeter fence.
The forty eight donks residing here are a little less passive to human interaction as they only see people when a volunteer comes to feed and clean the area. They’re a little more boisterous but not so bad, but you definitely don’t want to go dropping your soap in this place!
I leapt the fence wishing to avoid a repeat performance of last time when I almost got trampled by two donks intent on escape. SNAP went the brush handle as he went through my pitiful attempt at blocking his path. An hour of running my ass off quite literally –another donkey/ass joke- before I managed to get both of them in and I can say I’ve learned my lesson. Nothing escapes these donkeys apart from themselves when given half a chance!
So I jump the fence and make my way to clean and refill the water perused by a mob of wild donkeys wondering what in the hell I’m all about. Why have you not fed us first and then dealt with the water? High time this hairy little human got told!
A shadow descends as Tiny approaches in the form of a trot. I see it coming but think he’s just saying hi.
“AAAHHH”! I turn my head to find my shoulder still in his mouth. “AAAAAHHHH”! I repeat in a more animated fashion to display the dislike of my shoulders current location.
Put in my place by a donkey called Tiny I almost Fosbury flop my way back over that fence with todays lesson freshly imbedded on my skin. Feed or be food!
Knowing that my time here is coming to an end and I have to leave this all behind is really killing me a little. Not once have I took for granted the fact that this just might well be the best job I will ever have and as small as the island is, it is a place I have taken to my heart and enjoyed immensely.
Everything from the brutal daily cycle that keeps me in shape and my own personal space of which I enjoy both at work and at home to the fondness I have for the other volunteers during the changeover at the sanctuary. The cheerful and effervescent crowd I’ve gotten to know at Arikok National Park, an amazing host family and of course a herd of donkeys that accepted me as one of their own!
A farewell party is put together for me at Eagle beach bringing together friends from both sides of my time here and I really am surprised at the number of faces gathered from The Sanctuary and Arikok.
I would later feel a little guilty for not making enough effort to speak with everyone there a little more but I have plonked my butt down on a comfy seat and I’m enjoying the company of two of the most attractive women in Aruba. I saw pictures, no doubt airbrushed and spruced up of Miss Aruba and she isn’t half as good looking as either of these girls!
Miss Aruba, if you’re reading then prove me wrong AND ANSWER YOUR FUCKING MAIL! Just joking. Was one wee email suggesting that she visit our sanctuary. Can’t hurt to try –unless she has a big boyfriend-!
So how, after spending the last six months of my life working on a donkey sanctuary in the tropical desert island of Aruba, do I even begin relate my story in a way that can really convey to the reader just how great this, life’s latest chapter to which there are not nearly enough word of grandeur, has been?
Well, I think that before I commence with that little riddle, I’d better put more thought into the latest addition of my CV as Ass Master might just give out the wrong impression!
Grow your own island.. Just add water
The red mist descends as I’m chased down and bitten once again by these fucking mutts left to their own device. Now I have no idea how you might react to having your legs and ankles bitten by dogs while cycling uphill every day to work. Maybe you’d blame yourself and say it’s your own fault for daring to pass a road it’s taken to as its territory. I prefer to stick my boot across the big fuckers head.
Some dogs will learn from that but some will not.
Again this mangy, feral fuck flies from its garden as I start to enter Arikok National Park to begin my daily chore of watering the desert and other duties which might lie in store. I don’t like kicking animals and it’s plain to me now that even as a last resort it’s just not working with this one and so when it grabs at me this time I bring my bike to a sudden halt, jump off and chase it back to its house.
My rattling of the door is answered by a middle aged, beer bellied prick telling me he’ll talk to his dog and tell it to leave me alone.
“Are you taking the piss? You’ll TALK to your dog. It’s a fucking dog. I’m talking to you and telling you to put a leash on it. Not all the time because it’s only in the morning it attacks but you can’t let your dog bite people going into the park and it really is every fucking day”!
“I’ll talk to him, really I will and I don’t understand why he’s doing that. Look at him, he is very sorry.” Says a man that’s just not taking me seriously. I know which one I’ll be kicking tomorrow if it happens again and it won’t be the four legged one.
Next day and I’m entering the park already fuming at the fact that it’s going to happen again. It’s sitting at the side of the road and waiting, waiting to pounce and take my legs off at the knees. I cycle by and prepare to go fucking nuts and.. Nothing. Just looks up and stays put.
Looks like he really did have a good talk with his dog and not a peep from it for the rest of my time here. I should have had it out with him ages ago and it would have saved me and the dog a lot of grief.
I did run into a dog with my bike on the way home one afternoon. After swerving many times I managed to get it in the end. No, I’m just joking about trying to get it but it did run from behind and then cut on front of me causing my front tire to bounce of it.
It could have been a much more painful outcome if I’d been traveling downhill when this occurred although our cute Belgian vet would have been well impressed with my special delivery of a mangled pooch. “’Someone’ must have run it down, but don’t ask me who. No really don’t”!