More confessions of the clumsy

There was once a more innocent time when our (my) clumsiness resulted in the mere destruction of a glass table or the loss of a toy dog. Well, those days are well and truly over. The start of the new year coincided with a significant escalation in items we have lost or broken. We also regrettably introduce a new category for this round of confessions – theft. The only good thing about that category is that I am not completely at fault for it, and instead am the victim of the actions of an external party.

So in a continuation of our confessions from last year we present the latest update of how clumsiness has continued to blight our travels.

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Confessions of the clumsy

There have been a few constants during our trip despite all the regular change that comes from travelling. Amber’s love for her Bunny is one, persistently exceeding our daily budget is another. What we have also noticed is our relentless ability to break and lose things. Accidents happen but it is a small wonder that our AirBnB reviews remain consistently positive – we ascribe much of this to Amber’s charm as it most certainly isn’t related to the trail of destruction we leave in our wake. And if we’re not breaking things we’re losing them instead – no doubt when you try to carry over 60kg of stuff around South America some of it will go missing, yet we’re still surprised by our ability to misplace.

So, in a slight detour from our typical blog entries here we have listed just a subset of the various items we’ve either broken or lost since August. Note 1: don’t tell our kind AirBnB hosts. Note 2: a reward for anyone who finds any of these lost items.

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Amber

We feel it is time to dedicate a post to Amber. Given the amount of time we spend playing with her, cooking for her, talking about her, and worrying over her (the order of which changes regularly), a post about her is probably overdue.

She is at a exciting stage in life – less a baby, more of a toddler – her understanding of the world increasing by the day. We are in a privileged position to both be around for all her ‘firsts’ – the little things like her first ice cream and all the new words she keeps coming out with, as well as the big stuff (which make me cry) like her first hair cut and the first time she walked properly. As clichéd as it sounds, all of a sudden it feels like she is growing up unbelievably quickly. We did a double take in unison the other day when we realised how big she has become – suddenly before us was a little girl where I swear less than two months ago there had been a baby.

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Amber’s first haircut – what a concerned little face

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Food in Brazil

Third on the list of things I love after numbers and plans is food and this was always going to be a major part of our experience.

Before leaving we were intrigued by what we would and wouldn’t find as we went from country to country. Claire and I love food, from the odd Michelin star treat to a hungover Burger King, so we were both excited about the new foods we would discover and how we would adapt from place to place.

The other major factor in our food journey was always going to be what the hell would we feed Amber. It’s safe to say Amber is a typical toddler (it’s taken me quite some time to accept and understand that) in that her preferences seem to change on a daily basis. Just when you think you can always fall back on some bread and cream cheese suddenly both are off the menu and you’re scrabbling around the fridge searching for something she will like. New foods, even new brands of old foods, are treated like extra terrestrial objects – probed, poked and if you’re lucky they may touch the lips before somewhat inevitably being rejected.

So take that fussy toddler and drop her into Brazil with two hyper-sensitive parents and you have a recipe for a rather emotional start to our trip, at least when it came to meal times.

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8 things to do in Rio with a baby

We knew before arriving in Rio that visiting with Amber in tow would be very different from the trip we would have had before becoming parents. For this visit at least, the city’s infamous nightlife would remain out of our reach.

But caiprinha fuelled samba parties are not all there is going on, and after two weeks in the ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’ we feel that we got a great taste of what it is about. Stunning, massive and fascinating, it had more than enough to occupy us, and despite thinking we were taking it relatively easy, we covered a lot of ground.

Rio is far more accessible than you would think given its reputation. Where we were staying in Barra Copacabana was safe and secure, and easy to get around by foot. The metro system is handy and linked us to various points of interest. Taxis are in abundance, and with Ubers as cheap as they are it often cost less to travel by taxi than by metro.
Here is a list of the things we did that we particularly enjoyed, and that we found to be either baby friendly, or at the very least baby accessible.

1. Parque Lage. The place we loved the most during our whole stay and the scene of Amber’s first official hike. Once the residence of a rich industrialist and now a public park, it has an abundance of fish ponds, woodland paths and, most enjoyably, grottos and caves to explore. As enthusiastic but novice spelunkers, we could barely contain ourselves.

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Spelunking for beginners

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