Thursday afternoon we flew out of Rio to Brasilia, which looks very close on the map but takes an hour and a half to get there.
The mountains which surround Rio are young, raw and jagged and covered in rainforest - a narrow strip along the coast which are the remains of the great Atlantic rainforest - most of which has been cleared now. Flying inland this soon gives way to more gentler rolling hills. Brasilia itself is on a high plateau and the land is dry grassland/scrubland called the 'cerrhado'. Its cooler here inland during the winter but the summers are terribly hot with very little rain and outside of the city of Brasilia sparsely populated.
It was a long dark drive to our ranch style hotel in Abadiania where Joao de Deus lives. The ranch is in the most incredibly beautiful setting in a valley surrounded by hills and next to a small lake. I had my own little timbered chalet which was simple, but spotlessly clean - it was also a bit scary in the dark to be honest. There were all sorts of strange scuffling noises coming from outside during the night and I was imagining them to be a panther or something similar - in the morning I discovered the scary beast was in fact a goat ! (Actually it WAS pretty scary - it wasn't a friendly goat at all and butted Luke a couple of times)
We had dinner sitting outside under the stars - millions of them. The southern hemisphere has so many more stars than we have and with no light pollution in the country you can see them all so clearly. The country also has lots of creepy, crawly, flying, stingy, bitey things too so I sat there covered in insect repellent strong enough to melt plastic. It worked though. Nothing living dared come too close to me tempting though my lovely pale gringo skin must have been.
Dinner was typical Brasillian rustic food - bbq chicken, presumably one of the ones running around the ranch as it tasted wonderful - not at all like the chicken you buy from Tesco. Beans - a bit like baked beans but a million times nicer, rice and salad. Simple but very very tasty and also very healthy. All washed down with very strong, very sweet, very black coffee.
We were all really tired by then and as Matt and I had to be up very early to go and see Jaoa we went to bed.
Im still not sure how i feel about this - I am completely open minded but Im not sure Im totally prepared for what may, or may not, happen. Im still slightly concerned I may end up tied to a post with chicken entrails draped over me !
All joking aside I am pretty nervous, spiritual surgery is still a concept that is fairly alien to us in the west. And yet it is accepted and even used alongside conventional medicine here. Lets just see what tomorrow brings....