Cocaine, prostitutes and touch down in Sweden after three months! -
Lund, Sweden, August 2002

Before spending more than a month worth of travelling on very cheap but at the same time very nice clothes I had to get out of the great city of Buenos Aires. Before leaving I had time to attend a tango theatre which was very energetic and passionate. We also tried the good restaurants and the wild night life which doesn't kick off until 3 o'clock in the morning, which meant I had time to get to know some locals, one of them the local drug dealer, very innocent and nice though. Vanessa, my travel mate for almost two months, is an Ozzie and she did skip Uruguay since they have to get visas for many places (bet a Swedish passport is one of the best ones for travelling). So after that trip I was travelling on my own again which never means alone. You always meet people and especially if you're alone.

After a 17 hours buss ride I arrived to the Igazu Falls which is a real beauty of nature. The fall is split up into 275 different falls from huge to minor ones all divided and surrounded by a stunning thriving nature. The falls are on the border between Argentina and Brazil. I did spend one day on the Argentinean side where you walk on paths over and all around between the falls. Since I was seriously running out of time at this stage I did chose not to visit the Brazilian side which gives you a grander scenic overlook but I felt it was just a view from another angle. Instead I jumped on a 23 hour bus towards Rio de Janeiro on the south eastern coast of Brazil. The ride did take 26 hours though due to a thoroughly police check en-route. The police didn't seem happy finding a plastic bag of a white powder in the bottom of my back-pack, scarily close looking to cocaine. But after looking up the word washing detergent in my dictionary, a taste test and showing it to his superior he finally handed over my stuff in a big mess. Someone tried to smuggle some illegal birds though which took a fare amount of time. Settling the bribes takes time I suppose.

Tired after the bus ride I arrived to Rio and joined the hostel going to a game of soccer. It was Santos and Fluminense playing in the Maracana stadium. That stadium is the biggest in the world and have been able to seat almost 200 000 people. This day it only hosted about 40 000 so it wasn't full but the attitude was great since football is a religion down here and the samba drums was trying to drown the chorus of voices cussing and blessing. The evening we spent at a live concert on the world famous beach Copacabana where I was staying. The remaining two days of my visit in South America I touristed Rio seeing the Sugar Loaf from where you have an excellent view of the city, the big statue of Christ and of course the beaches. We also tried hard to find the night life which was not too great. The last day we ended up in the famous "South America's biggest dance club" which I highly doubt, named HELP. It was a nice club with good music and beautiful women but since the major part of the girls was escort girls and you really couldn't be certain who was "real" and who wasn't, I was much refrained approaching them. A fare few you could easily tell though - or maybe I should say feel - since they for sure approached you.

The last day I joined up with two Italians from my room that happened to be on the same flight as me to Europe. We took the six hour bus to the enormous city of Sâo Paulo with 9 million people. We went straight to the airport and after a few beers drinking goodbye to this interesting continent for this time, it was time for lift off. The flight was about 11 hours to Amsterdam and after an hour I had another flight to Copenhagen in Denmark, where I took the train to Lund in Sweden and after a final cab I was very tired but finally home again. Home sweet home! It was good to get back home to my bed, my friends, my family and my room. Everything went back to normal in a flash and the summer's adventure seemed nothing but a dream. A dream with beautiful landscapes and nice people with the echoes of the music changing from romantic Salsa, to passionate Tango to the rhythms of Samba and Bosanova. Feels like I have eaten my way through all these countries with the cheap three course meals always starting with soup in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, the tourist pizzas in Chile, the enormous steaks and rich barbeques in Argentina and Uruguay and the filling "per kilo" buffets of Brazil.

After all this food and doing all these long bus rides I can't say I feel fit. I haven't gained any weight but lost muscles and stamina, so I started working out yesterday. I have a very sore body now which actually feels good. I have tried to get settled in my apartment, seeing some friends, went to see my folks today and got some of my mum's cooking. The reality has finally caught up with me and I'm starting my final year of university Monday. Have a fare few pictures which I hope to be able to share with you all in a month or so, I'll let you know. I hope you have read some of the mails and that they have inspired you a tad to get out there and travel. The adventures and the people are there waiting for you, don't let them wait to long! That was all for this time and this trip, over and out.

Love Emil