We’ve been sleeping around way too much this year – hello bed number 100

100 not out! Celebrating a centenary of different beds, on Lake Titicaca

Hostels, hammocks, tents, floors, sofas, bus seats.

That’s where we’ve been getting our night’s shut eye for the last nine months.

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Boarding the overnight bus in Brazil from Riachão to Belém

We celebrated our 100th resting place and 262nd sleep on the road in a little cottage on Amantaní Island, Lake Titicaca.

It was a chilly one, so sexy long johns and traditional Peruvian bobble hats were donned.

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A rare fellow Brazilian redhead, charismatic hostel worker Jose in Alcântara

Since landing in Rio de Janeiro on February 24, we’ve averaged a new bed every two and a half days.

Yet despite doing it so regularly, packing – trying to squeeze too much stuff into too little space – is still a traumatic experience.

Weighing in at 18 kilos each, launching our hefty rucksacks onto our shoulders and then wandering to the nearest bus/taxi/boat is not much fun.

Still, it’s what we signed up to and, for all its frustrations, carting your life around in a 50-litre sack definitely brings a sense of raw freedom.

Our backpacks have faithfully looked after our gear en route to many a new home.

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The swimming pool at Juan’s amazing mansion on the outskirts of Bogotá

The most amazing ‘place’ we have slept in so far was a mansion a few hours from the Colombian capital of Bogotá.

It was an incredible, sprawling complex complete with basketball court, tennis court, swimming pool, jacuzzi, snooker room and more than 40 bedrooms.

We slept in a four-poster affair and all we had to do in return was cook a traditional British dish – we opted for our tried and trusted favourite, Cottage Pie!

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Home under a rock ledge, before the storm set in…

The worst night’s sleep we’ve had was during a trek through the Brazilian national park of Chapada Diamantina.

Having laid out our sleeping bags under a rock ledge by a river we headed off for a bite to eat.

Unfortunately, while we were happily stuffing our faces, a storm set in.

When we returned to our rock, one of the sleeping bags had seemingly been swept away down the river. The other one was saturated.

Cue a shiveringly cold night with little sleep, followed by a 20km trek the next day.

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Sophie enjoys the awesome breakfast at Condominio dos Nativos

Many hostels that we have stayed in have included a breakfast in the price. These have varied in quality.

Top of the charts was Condiminio dos Nativos in the beautiful deserted coastal spot of Trancoso on the east coast of Brazil.

It included muesli, yoghurt, hot fresh bread, homemade jam, coffee, cheeses, eggs, fruit and a jug of freshly squeezed orange juice, all served to us in bed.

The worst – mouldy crackers, a hard, dirty half an advocado and a frozen block of cheese at a back of beyond settlement called Palmeiras, in Brazil.

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One of the ones that didn’t make it to our room, a baby turtle in Pipa, Brazil

We’ve also felt like the Pied Piper at times, attracting a plethora of animals into our sleeping quarters. As well as the obvious: mosquitos and flies, we’ve also had the pleasure of sharing our bedroom with a rat (in Carolina, Brazil), a possum (in Pipa, Brazil), an army of ants (in Leticia, Colombia), scores of cockroaches (in Manaus, in the Amazon), a dog (in Bogotá, Colombia) a cat (in São Luis, Brazil) and fireflies (in Jamaraquá, Brazil).

We have tried to save money along the way by taking overnight buses to new destinations. The quality of these ‘moving beds’ has varied widely from, at the top end of the scale, ‘full cama’ (180 degree reclining leather seats in Peru, with aeroplane-style arm rests featuring music and film options) to a cramped, broken and ripped upright chair for 15 hours on a bus with no suspension over a rocky dirt road in Bolivia.

So far we have spent: one night on a bed made of salt, two nights under a rock ledge, a week in tents, two weeks in hammocks, three weeks sleeping on overnight buses and five weeks staying with locals.

Like I say, we’ve been sleeping around way too much this year.

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Chilling on our Amazonian hammocks…with a jungle bug

About travellingtoothbrushes

We are a couple of journalists with restless toothbrushes. Our teeth scrubbers seem unable to leap out of their respective washbags to take up a permanent residency on the bathroom shelf. So, we've decided to let them live the way they want to and take them on a trip around South America...
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2 Responses to We’ve been sleeping around way too much this year – hello bed number 100

  1. Pete says:

    There’s a free room waiting for you at Fir Trees. Its full of Teddies and other unreal animals, but if you are missing the wildlife, there’s a snail hiding in there somewhere!

  2. Tia Annegret says:

    Chapeau! I thought myself heroic when I survived four weeks trekking thru Nepal… tent and all…😉
    Keep distracting me… the hex on the fam trip is far from solved…:-) but we shall have a great sunset today! As orange as they can get in the city!

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