We left the ranch before it was dark and drove the short way to Pirinopolis and our next hotel. Pirinopolis is a small historical town full of old colonial buildings and very bumpy cobbled streets. Again, by Brasilian standards, very affluent. We were staying in a beautiful old Pousada (small hotel).
The next morning, after negotiations which took the form of we girls telling Matt we wanted to go shopping that afternoon, we set off for Santa Maria waterfalls. It was over an hours drive up a long uneven dirt track and then a long, hot walk down a path through scrub/grass land - but SO worth it when we got there. South American waterfalls are world famous and rightly so.. The water was freezing !!! But very welcome as it was such a hot day. Even in winter here the sun is very powerful and I had to cover my newly sensitive skin (or 'sensible skin' as Luke calls it) with factor 30 just for a paddle - then it was back in the shade for me whilst Matt, Ana, Julia and Luke swam. Thanks to Sutent I don't tan any more. My skin is pale and very sensitive and burns very easily now. So different from a couple of years ago when I could fry myself all day long and went the darkest brown !
It was heaven lying on a fine sandy beach watching the hundreds of butterflies that gather there - but as I said, very hot. Goodness knows what its like in summer.
Sunday morning we drove back to Brasilia to fly back to Rio. A long drive but in the daylight this time. Its been fascinating to see this other 'face' of Brasil, away from the rainforests and the beaches, the bits we see and hear about back home. There is so much more to this fantastic country and the more I see the more I fall in love with it and want to return time and time again. I want to see the wetlands in the south west on the border with Argentina, the north east around Natal, and also go deep into Amazonia where it borders Bolivia. You could spend a lifetime exploring this multi faceted country.
Im beginning to understand Brasil a bit more now and subsequently its not quite as frightening as on my first visit - although driving around Rio still has to be the scariest thing on the planet !!
Brasilia is a purpose built capitol city - like Canberra in Australia - and is very modern and very ordered. And for a modern city very beautiful. The architecture is outstanding. It was built in the late 50's/early 60's but still has a very contemporary feel. And as such just doesn't seem to 'fit in' with the rest of the country. Its as if someone had picked up Milton Keynes and dropped it into the middle of Brasil (a tempting thought but I wouldn't wish that on the poor Brasilians!)
I've started to get some pain the the large tumour below my right breast and it does feels bigger and harder, so I've started taking Sutent again, Cycle 13 !!
I've had a 12 day break and its been fantastic, I feel SO much better for it but its time to let Sutent start doing it's job again. I just hope it kicks in quickly so I don't have the severe pain I had a few weeks ago. I'm taking paracetamol at the moment which is doing the job and I really don't want to take anything stronger. Not whilst I'm here in Brasil.
I'll know how well Sutent is still working, or not, when I get the results of the CT scan I had just before I came away. I see Dr P. two days after I return home but I'm trying not to think or worry about that right now...(But ofcouse I am - its right there at the back of my mind niggling away)