evacuation

Olinda Travel Blog

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i ended up moving back to the HI hostel in olinda last night. there were still a few people hangin around so i didn't feel bad paying a few bucks to stay there, as opposed to sleeping on a couch in recife for free with one other person in the house. At the hostel i taught some kids to play tranca, a brazilian card game, and met a swedish girl who was planning on going to pipa as well. expecting to pick-up my camera on saturday, we arranged to travel together.

so saturday rolled around and i woke up early to call the camera repair place, which was supposed to be open from 8-1. by 10:30 i gave up, and was caught in a quandry as to stay in olinda till monday or jsut abondon my camera. i had originally picked up a relatively cheap digital camera to begin with so i wouldn't feel bad if it got stolen or broke (both of which had basically happened), so i decided to chalk it up as a loss and keep moving.

before i left, i offered up the receipt for the camera to any takers who would be here on wed as a free 1gig SD chip, and this kid james who was planning on heading north anyway said he would pick it up for me and if our paths didn't cross, he would gladly chuck my camera into the amazon.

i missed my opportunity to travel with the cute swedish chick, but headed out anyway. the ride from recife to pipa was pretty uncomfortable and i found myself visiting the bathroom on the bus a couple of times. i had to take a kombi into pipa from the city the bus dropped me off in, and as soon as i got there i found the first bathroom i could. i was in kinda bad shape.

the first hostel i went to was so full there wasn't even anyone at the reception. walking around a little ways further i found my way to the HI hostel which had 1 vacancy and a few friends, including aussie phil from olinda who'd left the day before, and richard the kiwi who i had been traveling with for about 3 weeks now.

the room that had the vacancy had locks on all the lockers. suspicious.

i passed out in the hammock outside the room to be rudely awaken at around 1am by the receptionsist, who told me they didn't inf act have space for me and the owner wanted to speak with me. as i groggily went downstairs i plead my case as a kid too sick to find another place who just needed a place to stay for one night and was happy to sleep in a hammock. his response was surprisingly angry. he sent me back upstairs to get my stuff and had the receptionist acompany me, as if i'd broken in or something.

when i got downstairs he said he'd called the police to give me a ride to the hospital. seemed excessive, but i thanked him anyway: i'd planned on getting checked out in the morning.

after waiting out front for a little while, he came back out smiling and laughingly told me that the only squad car was broken so i didn't have a ride, and that he'd let me crash in a hammock for one night.

probably my most dramatic arrival thus far. lesson learned: showing up without a reservation usually works and will find you a cheaper place, but only if you're willing to do the leg work to find it.

for the record, i got away with not paying for the night.

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Olinda
photo by: Paulovic