Road Angels

Carine and AmeliaInspirational Female Figure of the Day: The incredible seventeen-year-old, Carine Ferraz.

A couple weeks ago as Mechi and I approached Salvador, Bahia with only 360 kilometers left of our 5,000 km journey, our roadship, Carlotta, finally gave out one last time. Out of all the places we could have broken down at along the last hours of the route, we broke down in an oasis. A posada in the middle of the Brazilian landscape, one that was completely obscured by the thick vegetation with only a simple cheeky road sign “Be curious! Come see us!” to indicate anything existed beyond the forest wall.

They also advertised free internet. THUS why we stopped.

After all the mountains, steep inclines, insane 18-wheeler drivers, and impromptu trips to the mechanic for many (many) other fixings… a final short cobbly hill was her demise, rupturing her front left wheel well cylinder.

Like I said, OUT OF ALL THE PLACES WE COULD HAVE BROKEN DOWN AT…the Universe conspired us to stop there. We arrived right as they were setting up the lunch buffet… a spectacular display of a variety of Brazilian cuisine. We felt like queens that forgot they were queens until we bowed down to the great, big Universe for reminding us that we were. Even though we were covered in grime, smelled like strays, and wore 3-day old clothing.

Trying not to freak out, as it was the day before Easter and I had only 2 days to catch my flight back to the U.S., we just tried to be patient, allow ourselves to be with the moment and trust that everything would work out. (THIS IS VERY HARD TO DO BTW.)

A mechanic was called. He came. Took Carlotta apart. And said: “I will either come back, call you, or you’ll call me, or I won’t come back at all.” He didn’t come back, and we couldn’t get in touch with him.

Commence Not Freaking Out Freaking Out.

It was also the full moon. Coincidence? Me thinks not.

Then that evening, Carine came along with her friend, Mateus Gonçalves. And they helped ease our (my) troubled brains. They explained that I could get a bus from the nearby town to Salvador, and Carine said her boyfriend could give me a ride!

Not only did her boyfriend (who looked like a young Brazilian version of Channing Tatum) give me a ride the next afternoon, but Carine WENT WITH ME, took me to the bank so I could get out more monies, sat with me as I waited for the bus, and helped carry my backpack until I was safely onboard.

There were many, many road angels along the way. But, she took the halo cake. I am forever grateful for her generosity.

I’m also happy to report that Mechi and Carlotta finally made it to Salvador on the back of a tow truck.

Where there is a will, there’s a way. And the Universe will send help, always.

Muita, muito obrigada, minha amiga.

Photo credit: Carine Ferraz

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