Leaving Cardinot for Vidigal

Today I leave Cardinot, Rio de Janeiro. I have been here for 6 months now building a massive Eco house. I am definitely going to miss this place a lot. 
This place has made me realise that people are pretty much the same all around the world. When I first arrived here I would tell people that I wanted to live in a different country because of the weather and people in England. But actually the people in England are just the same as people here and anywhere really. In rural places people are more likely to say hello as you pass them, and in really busy cities people are more likely to push past you on their way to work. It is the same in England and Brazil in that respect and I am glad to have realised this. 

I was sitting outside the volunteer house just now taking in the mountain view one last time. It is so peaceful here and you can walk down the main road through the village without seeing anyone for 5, 10, 15 minutes. The nearest shop is half an hour walk away and if you walk there in the day you can always get a lift off someone when they pass. It is very abnormal for someone not to stop when you ask and common for people to stop even when you haven’t asked. 

Yesterday I walked to the shop to get beers for the leaving party and on the way back, about halfway home, some random guy stopped on his motorbike and offered me a lift. I could barely understand what he was saying so I hopped on and hoped my heavily pregnant dog would keep up. She did for a few minutes but then he sped off and I lost sight of her. He dropped me off a few minutes later, about 5 minutes short of my house, and then the local (every 4 hours) bus came past so I got on and it dropped me off at home. I decided to have a beer and then if the dog hadn’t returned I would go on the bike and look for her. I forgot about this plan and a few beers later she showed up panting heavily after clearly sprinting home. I feel she has abandonment issues. I found her a couple of months ago and she follows me everywhere, so when I leave in the car for work and she hasn’t got in in time, she will sprint after the car for as long as it takes.

(Marcio sent me photos a week after I left of Kim with her babies) 

I asked one of the local builders if he knew anyone who could take the dog when I leave, as he seems to know everyone, and he offered to take her. About a week ago we found out she was pregnant which was a surprise since I chase any horny looking male dogs with a stick as soon as they start sniffing, for the reason that I didn’t want her to get pregnant. Anyway he was still happy to take her which was lucky. Marcio Cardinot lives on a farm and already had about 5 dogs and they are pretty much wild. They don’t seem to like people that much and just mess around on the farm all day, so for me that sounds like the perfect dog life and I am happy that after we found her starving all those months ago, that she is now going to have a family and live on a farm. 

So it is time to leave, the place where everyone’s second name is Cardinot as just two generations previous was the big Cardinot don, the guy who named this place after himself and clearly spread his seed far and wide. I didn’t find out till yesterday but the majority of people I have worked with have Cardinot as their second name: our landlord in the previous house (the local police chief), the building manager, the head carpenter, the random guy who shows up every now and then, and probably many more.

So now to go live in Rio city in favela Vidigal. Where it is never fully quiet, always hot and…something else I dunno. 


  1. Tom we have enjoyed keeping up with your adventure through GYPSY TOUR. You write really well and give such a good flavour of life in Brazil. We hope the next stage of your journey goes well.
    And keep writing.
    Lol Mum and Dad


  2. Hi Tom, I am so enjoying reading about all your adventures. A very long time ago , I remember having a chat with your Dad when you had been poorly and he said he felt you were destined to do great things and this just shows how right he was. Lucy and her boyfriend are going travelling to Asia, New Zealand and Australia soon and all you have written has inspired them. Em also reads all you write about too. You write so naturally it makes such good reading. Keep safe, take care and can’t wait to read more. Lots of love and will keep your Christmas socks ready for you when you come home next love Lynn xx


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