I had to leave the bike. I didn’t want to, but I had to. I needed to cover more distance than Thatcher would ever allow. I wanted to see Brasilia then I wanted to spend my birthday in Buenos Aires surrounded by lovely drinks, large steaks and Argentinian girls with ready smiles. To do this, I need to leave the bike behind. I gifted it to Gabby, grabbed my bag and leather jacket and headed to the bus stop. There were  no busses to Brasilia for six hours, so I found a small jazz bar in the town of Pusso Alegre to kill time.


There was a doors/acdc cover band, and hipsters were milling around stencilled walls and furniture made from vintage blenders welded together.  I found a cute young girl with a Andy Warhol velvet underground tattoo and was drunk enough to ask for a photo. I knew that after traveling for several months through various counties that I shouldn't ever really be surprised by anything, but I couldn't help but be surprised by the resemblance this bar bore to the ones I would drink in at home. Brisbane has blackbear lodge and rics, Sydney has goodgod, and Melbourne has the black cat. The patrons looked the same; the bartenders carried that familiar atmosphere of surly contentment. 


Grabbing a local IPA, I headed to the smoking area. Asking for a lighter (despite the one in my pocket)  enabled me to strike up a conversation. A short time later, I was surrounded by interested locals and was chatting away with new friends

As tends to happen when the booze is cheap and the music is pumping, I ended up on the dance floor. It was a heaving mass of bodies and the doors/acdc cover band was giving it all as it shifted from the slow melodic numbers to the more lively hits. There was a cute girl throwing occasional glances in my direction and soon we were doing that awkward dance floor dancing where there is too much of a crowd and you are not really sure whose arm it is that rubbing against you, but you really don’t care. She sang along to “break on through to the other side” with an impossibly cute accent as I ran my hand ran along her responsive body. 

I was midway through wondering about marriage and Australian immigration laws when I remembered my 15-hour bus trip. Midway through “highway to hell,” I smiled, kissed my Brazilian hipster goodbye and ran for the bus stop. 

I missed my bus.

I had legged it to the station with my bags, leather jacket and a plastic cup holding half a warm caprihina. When I got to the bus station, my bus had left, and I had no caprihina left. Suspiciously,I don't recall drinking it. 

Beautiful hours move so quickly.
— Irene Hunt, Up a Road Slowly

I wasn't so keen on heading back to town, and there wasn't another Brazlisa bus for 12 hours. Cute singing girl would have left brics (Brazlian rics) and falling asleep in a seedy bus/truck stop downtown didn't sit right with me..It might have just been the paranoia, but I thought a few days beach side would be the best course of action. There was a bus to Rio shortly and a petrol station selling beer.   I stocked up on the necessities (beer and what I thought was beef jerky) and boarded the bus.

It was the first time leaving a city in South America not on Thatcher. The sun came up on the highway as the bus pulled out of town, and I felt intensely incomplete without her.