Standing Room Only


This blog entry about the events of Thursday, February 05, 2004 was originally posted on February 08, 2004.

DAY 110:  I don’t know if it was from the horseback riding or the fact that I slept in a hammock that had sunk low from everyone’s drunken swinging, but I woke up with every muscle in my body sore.  Perhaps it was a combination of the two.

IT BEING THE RAINY SEASON, we were already tapped out of things to do — in fact, people who had signed up for four-day tours decided to leave a day early.  We had already caught a caiman and a puma and spent a day as cowboys.  The one thing left to do wasn’t nearly as exciting:  making necklaces out of objects of the Pantanal.

I walked out with Akuna and a knife to collect some aloe vera leaves — the same leaves that cut up my legs on our nature walks.  Akuna taught me how to scrape off the “meat” of the plant, leaving its stringy fibers, which he braided into string.  For my centerpiece I wanted to put a caiman tooth, but they were all out.  Rather than be a poacher and kill one — with my bare hands
I used what was available:  some backbones of a caiman they found dead near camp.  I spent a good two hours carving the bone out into something that looked like a tooth — others couldn’t tell the difference from afar. 

After a final lunch, a a truck took our group back down the bumpy road to the entrance of the Pantanal.  Michael the Aussie was quite loud when trying to figure out the certain “nocturnal activities” that had transpired in the shadows of camp.  Frodo and Matt talked about television shows, while Deb, Assaf and I sat in the back pretty quiet to observe the occasional emu running by.

The crew dropped us off at the intersection of Dirt Road and Paved Road and waited with us there until our buses came.  Half of us went to Corumba while the rest of us went to either Bonito or back to Campo Grande.  I bid farewell to Frodo, the Aussie guys, the Brits and the Swedes and got on a bus with the three Aussie college girls and the Israeli.  We flagged down a bus, the same line I took from Corumba to Campo Grande, but it was standing room only.  The next bus wouldn’t come for another three and a half hours, so we just got on and stood or sat on the floor.  With my body still sore, I endured an hour and a half of standing until we arrived at the midway rest point in Miranda.  Afterwards I stood another three hours (picture above), leaning on the bathroom in the back, reading Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones and chatting with one of the Aussie girls Storm, who sat on the floor with me for a while until two seats opened up when two people got off.  (By the way, Storm is her real given name — her parents must have been really hippy or really big fans of The X-Men.)

BACK IN CAMPO GRANDE, I got a room at the Hostelling International hostel near the bus station and got a sandwich back at the Disk Gugu food joint two blocks away.  I spent the rest of the night tending to Blog duties after a hot shower that didn’t really do much for my still sore body.

Next entry: Eat Your Heart Out

Previous entry: The Last American Cowboy

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Comments for “Standing Room Only”

  • ALL:  Hey, I’m in an NCHUZ right now… I’ll be back soon with more entries and photos—some from the emergency room!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  11:45 AM

  • There is a big knife in one of your pictures, and yet no mention of machete madness.  Hmm….
    Hopefully not you in the emergency room!
    And oh yeah, I’m first!

    Posted by Liz  on  02/08  at  01:33 PM

  • Hey Erik, I was wondering I know this maybe more work for you but for curious folks like myself & future globetrotters & I know how you welcome challenges - Is there anyway you can maybe have like a funds count-down. A combination of a rough daily expense report & total funds countdown included, if possible in every blog. I think that would add a little something to the blogs but I can understand if its more trouble then its worth. The Safari sounded like it was hella fun BTW.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  02:00 PM

  • i like the necklace you made outta bone. it looks really nice on you. and i hope that trip to the emergency was only a false alarm. or more of an bug bite…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  03:09 PM

  • you’re macguyver skills are growing…looks like you can teach a survival class soon enuff…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  04:13 PM

  • soccer??? you’re american dangit! U play football!

    no wonder you lost.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  04:34 PM

  • I’ll have to glean some MacGuyver skills from your blog before I leave!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  04:35 PM

  • The two guys at the counter in the Gugu pic looked like they want to jump you

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  05:11 PM

  • Erik,

    If your sore can’t you find a cheap masseuse somewhere?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  05:36 PM

  • Warren: hmm I’m sure he’s taking care of that right now ..hehe

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  05:58 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
Eat Your Heart Out

Previous entry:
The Last American Cowboy


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