The Milton Keynes of Brazil

Brasilia Travel Blog

 › entry 21 of 123 › view all entries

Had my first shocker of the trip.  Had an early flight from BH to Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.  I had planned to get up at about 6am to get into the city centre to catch the bus to the airport which takes an hour.  However, I forgot to set my alarm properly (duhhh!) and duly woke up at 6.55 - oh crap!  So chucked my stuff in my bag and left.  I had to leave my HI card there as there was no-one about to give it back to me (even though I told them I was leaving early), and ran out into the street to get a taxi - about 10 went past me without stopping and I was panicking at this  point...thought I was going to miss my flight! Managed to grab one eventually and got to the bus station at 7.

25 and the bus was at 7.30, so ran to the platform and just stopped the bus as it was leaving....a very close shave indeed!  So thankfully I made it to the airport ok and onto my flight with Ocean Air.  The plane was a bit like a step back in time and pretty basic, which didn't fill me with much confidence! But got to Brasilia ok.  I had planned to stay 2  nights to have a look round the capital, but hadn't been able to book any accomodation - I asked at the airport, but the cheapest they could find was $100 (£33) a night - a bit steep for a backpacker!  So I decided to laugh off staying in brasilia and changed my flight to fly out the same day - could only get a flight at 23:45, which wasn't ideal as meant I would be landing in Belem in the middle of the night.

Had enough time to go into Brasilia for a look round.  Quite a bizarre city really - built in 1960 from scratch to move the capital from Rio de Janeiro for national security and population reasons, it reminded me very much of the concrete jungle of Milton Keynes back home.  Lots of modern buildings and masses of space between everywhere, so its not really a city for walking.  The city centre is shaped like a aeroplane fuselage which was a bit different, but you could tell not many travellers come here as it was gringo-solo time again for me.  I did manage to bump into a dutch guy at the TV tower and he told me why there were no cheap places to stay - apparently the mayor has shut down any hostels as he owns about 5 or 6 big hotels in the city and wants people to stay there....somewhat shortsighted me thinks as the majority of travellers will be put off coming here because (a) there's nowhere cheap to stay and (b) its not that easy to get round the main sights due to the distances involved.  But hey, it filled a day and I returned to the airport later on to get my flight to Belem.  I've finished my latest book ('The Echo' by Minette Walters) so need to find an exchange soon!!

It was a bloody long day, so the first time in living  memory I managed to sleep on a plane...I hope that trend continues.


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photo by: vulindlela