Our stay with Christoph Heuermann on the Staatenlos Catamaran in Rio – Was it worth it? [AED-S01E10]
In the previous episode of the “Adventure Escape Diaries”…
(https://youtu.be/yXm4OcrWXzE) we were rushing from Paraguay all the way to the Brazilian border. We had to arrive in Rio de Janeiro in time for our free sailing trip with German Expat coach Christoph Heuermann. We were in no way prepared for this long roadtrip and were uncertain if we are even allowed to cross the locked border. Defying the lockdowns, we equipped our car, the 4×4 Toyota Prado Land Cruiser, with all the equipment needed for a long South America Rodtrip.
Now having arrived at the Brazilian border, we didn’t know if they would let us into the country.
The plan was to have a Sailing trip with Christoph and his skipper Josh. One week at the Island Angra dos Reis with their Catamaran SY Staatenlos. How will the the expat coaching with Christoph turn out? Will he be able to help us?
Learn in this episode what to expect when going sailing with Christoph and his crew and if Christoph is the person to rely on when planning your new life abroad.
Be surprised by our change of plans and this final episode of the first Season of the Adventure Escape Diaries – Travel Documentary.
How is it all going to continue?
No worries, the second season is already in the works and will be available soon!
I can’t wait to share this and our coming adventures with you!
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Ask us your questions about life in Latin America and the residency process in the comments!
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Alexandra Allover’s Blog
How can you do it? As Digital Nomad around the globe! – https://alexandraallover.com/as-digital-nomad-around-the-globe/
Christoph Heuermann @christoph.today
How it continues
We got our residency in Paraguay and Alexandra and me were fortunate enough to win a Sailing trip with Christoph Heuermann on his catamaran the SY Staatenlos on an island close to Rio in Brazil.
We equipped our car for a long journey and drove all the way form Asuncion to the border of Brazil, not knowing if we could actually cross the border. Officially the land borders are closed, no foreigners were allowed to enter the country at that moment. We crossed over the border bridge anyways but now had to face Brazilian custom officials.
Our first experience with Brazilian officials…
pretty much summarized our overall experience with Brasilian people. We entered the immigration office at the border, having missed the border crossing, having had to go back to the border to get an official stamp in the passport. Without that stamp, just being a Paraguayan resident, it wouldnt be a big deal, being at the border region around the Iguazú waterfalls. Though once you are deeper in Brazil, at a checkpoint, police could assume you to be an illegal immigrant in the country. So it is important to have a 3 months valid stamp in your passport.
Uncertain if it was possible to get that stamp in times where the official Brazilian Websites say that border crossings via land are currently not allowed for foreigners, we were standing in front of three, kinda surprised-looking immigration officials. It was already late in the evening and we thought they didn’t expect some foreign tourists to show up right now. We explained our attempt to get a stamp in broken Spanish, coz our Portuguese at that time was non existent.
To our pleasant surprise, the officials started to smile and gave us an excited feeling. “Bem Vindo a Brazil!” They were excited that we wanted to see Brazil, examined our passports a bit and gave us the stamp we needed. They happily explained that we can stay 3 months, then would have to leave for 3 months and then should totally come back for another 3 months. No one was concerned about apparent border closure for foreigners. They were just excited to have us.
With that immediate positive experience we continued our journey, fortunate that most of our troubles and worries of the past weeks were unfounded. We made it to Brazil!
The following days were a race against time.
It was important for us to arrive in Angra dos Reis just south of Rio De Janeiro, in time for our planned sailing week around the island of Ilha Grande. We kept in contact with the skipper Josh and were confident we would make it in time. This meant 8 hours of driving, every day for the next 5 days.
So our first experience of the country were the fast streets, in a way better condition than Paraguay. And the relaxed Brazilian driving… compared to Paraguay. I personally felt the Paraguayan style of driving already rubbed off on me and now it was the other cars on the streets that were worried about the “Crazy Paraguayos” on the road.
Initially we were a bit worried that our foreign Paraguayan license plate would stand out a bit and would cause us to have lots of unnecessary police stops… but in all our time in Brazil, that really just happened twice.
The policemen always were very friendly and didn’t really care much about our documents. They wanted to hear why we were in Brazil and then see the content of our trunk. A small tour of our fully loaded vehicle pleased them and they send us off with a “boa viagem” and “Enjoy Brazil”. Generally speaking, driving in Brazil stayed a positive experience.
The 5 days of driving passed by really fast. (Audible)
Especially when listening to lots of interesting Audiobooks. In combination with the beautiful scenery, an exciting story or an informative non fiction book can be the best companion for long trips. For this we love Audible. Audible is an Audiobook subscription service that gets you one Audiobook per month. Even better, we teamed up with Audible and with the link in the description below you support the Escape Diaries and get your first audiobook FREE of charge. So sign up right now and tell me in the comments what’s your favorite audiobook and when do you like to listen to them?
Steak anyone? (State Steak)
Notable on our trip was our stop in the City of Londrina with the best Steak House of Brazil – “State Steak”. I was generally hoping that South America would open the doors to some good Beef Steaks but I feel overall very disappointed about it. My last hope is Argentina, but they still had their land borders closed at that time. Sure, in the bigger cities in Brazil you can find some Steak Houses or Churrascarias (grill places) but Brazilians generally speaking don’t understand that a steak needs to be grilled hot and stay rare. Most traditional Brazilian places overcook their meat, which leads to a unsatisfactory chewy experience. So far, of all the time we spent in Brazil, the steakhouse “state steak” in Londrina was my first and also the really best experience I’ve had foodwise in Brazil. Maybe some of you reading this can point me to another Brazilian Steak house that can upgrade my cuisine options. My favorite is a big rare Ribeye Steak with some good chunks of fat on it, but I am happy with any beef steak that melts in my mouth. I’m looking forward to the suggestions in the comments!
Another notable city we passed on our race to Rio was São Paulo. Unfortunately we just had a few hours to hunt for food and then went right to bed. Driving there was chaotic, but fun. Our car was much bigger than all the others. That really helped when pushing them out of the way to clear the traffic. Overall it felt like an interesting place to me. Whenever we’ll get the chance we would love to come back.
Rio de Janeiro
Eventually we made it to Rio in time, but over-eager as we are, we arrived before the boat was actually ready. Also our Skipper Josh had to tell us that there was a change of plans. Due to some time constraints with Christoph, we weren’t actually meeting up in Angra dos Reis south of Rio but at the marina Gloria in Rio itself.
No problem for us, we are great at improvising, took a hotel in Rio and enjoyed the beautiful view of the city. Rio has so many cool places to discover. A truly beautiful city with warm and happy people. It really seems like a place I could call home for a while. Lots of nature and great living quality. Just the weather was surprising to us… where was the heat that we were expecting? When we were leaving Paraguay we were dealing with above 30 degree Celsius, around 90 degree Fahrenheit. But now, Rio gave us 24 Celsius / 75 Fahrenheit… which is fine, but a lot lower than we expected. I assume the weather will be satisfactory though when summer comes around again. Overall, Rio stayed in our hearts. If we had one wish though, we would recommend to place more urinals throughout the city. It really stinks like piss on many street corners of the city.
We’re moving on the boat! (Sail Staatenlos)
The day after our arrival we finally moved onto the boat. Our first meeting with Josh the skipper was very pleasant. We moved our luggage into a cabin on the boat and parked our car at the airport parking for the days of our stay.
That night we met some more people of the Staatenlos community and finally met Christoph after he came home to his boat from a helicopter trip through the skies of Rio. It is always a special feeling, meeting someone for the first time that one had followed online for a while. We knew more about Christoph and his journey than he knew about us. His business and his trip is fascinating to us and through his YouTube videos, blog posts and online community we were able to learn a lot of helpful tips for our nomad journey.
We went out for a welcoming dinner with him, his girlfriend Alana, Josh and the crew couple Debora and Eduardo. Also joining us was German expat Michael with his wife Priscila and his friend Alex. It was a great feeling to have so many people around us who have a similar mindset and attitude towards life. Throughout this whole current worldwide political fiasco, there is so much polarisation going on with people. It’s sometimes hard to have honest conversations with people you can trust and this night gave us back this long lost feeling.
The consecutive days on the boat were a bit more difficult.
The boat itself had just come from a long journey across the Atlantic and after months of intensive use had some technical difficulties that needed to be attended to. We still managed to get a good day of boating out of her.
On our boating trip to the Sugar Loaf Mountain I was reminded of how life on my sailboat used to feel. Around the year 2014, I owned a 33 foot sailboat in Florida. I used to live on it for a few months and was planning a big trip through the Caribbean. Due to unforeseen circumstances at that time I had to scrap those plans for a while. But not forever. One of my goals is still to get that boating vessel that is going to get me through the seven seas and lets me explore our world from pole to pole.
I am not sure yet when but as soon as it is going to happen, I will make sure that you guys will be able to follow along those adventures.
Rio by boat was making our mouths water for more! We still have to be a bit patient for now. The Staatenlos boat was going to get some major maintenance and would be out of service for quite some time. Christoph and Josh promised us to catch up with the rest of our sailing week as soon as the Catamaran is setting sail again.
Christoph’s business coaching
The night before his departure, Christoph gave Alexandra and me his promised business and nomad lifestyle coaching. We had no shortage of complex questions but were happy to see how Christoph is knowledgeable in a wide variety of topics and knows the rules of the game on a worldwide scale.
The meeting with Christoph was a full success for Alexandra and me and was well worth the adventure we took in order to make it to the consultation in time. We hope to see him and his crew again sometime in the near future and are looking forward to the rest of our sailing adventure.
With that completion of our Staatenlos Rio goal we found some rest in some nice hotels in and around Rio for a few days to consider the next steps of our Journey.
While Alexandra had an 8 hour !!! Hair day, I used the time to go running at the beach and collect my thoughts.
Winter was coming! It for sure wouldn’t be really cold, but we knew that the temperature would get warmer, the further north we would go. So there was our plan, north along the coast, until our 3 months stay in Brazil was almost up, and then back to Paraguay… or at least so we thought… In no way we expected our journey to take such a different turn. Now with our drive north along the Brazilian coast, our Adventures really just began.
The beautiful and hidden treasure Island of Canavieiras, the untouched nature of Brazilian Fazendas in the jungles and fascinating mountains, that have never been ascended before; and hear about how our little DJI Mavic Mini drone was gaining popularity with the locals. These and many more stories about our continued journey you will find in the next season of the Have Your ADVENTURE – Escape Diaries.
With this inspirational journey continuing in the next season of the Escape Diaries, I want to make you aware of my current offer for a free Online Coaching session with me. With the ADVENTURE Escape Diaries you can follow my journey to personal freedom and now let’s make YOUR dream life possible as well! You want to talk to me about reaching your fitness goals, healthy eating on the go, or you need help emigrating from your country and finding a new home?
I am here for you and can point you into all the right directions. Get inspired by this one time session or join me for regular coaching.
So go ahead, follow the link in the description and book your free appointment right now.
I can’t wait for YOU to plan your own Escape and join the ADVENTURE!
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