Published: January 21st 2009
January 17th 2009
There have been many different types of feelings that you have floating around the cerebral void when you are nearing the date of your return. You long for family and friends, comfort of your own space and most important the wet nose of a canine. Our time was closing, but we were not all spent out yet, we still had a few miles left in the tank. As seasoned travellers we ventured onto the next amazing experience and into the black hole of Copa.
Our next task was decidedly boring, we had to move hostel to place just down the road and into a far more welcoming environment. The Best Rio was our new abode, with immediate effect it was clear that we had found a great new pad. The owners spoke a little English but we got by with the general outline of where things were. Our only confusion was when they mentioned that there was a 'favela' overlooking the street, it was somthing that we had noticed immediately but had chosen to ignore. Our new host repeatedly imformed us not to go right outside the hostel but to always take a left turn, the one problem being that
it would lead straight into Hades. We both agreed that her lefts and rights were a little dodgy and she was not trying to get us mugged.
After loitering around a few juice bars and setteling our stuff into the cramped room we decided to head for Ipanema beach. This attracts hoard of sun worshippers that could probably put all the girls to shame with their dedication to the bronze effect. We strolled along the sand and then took a dip in the fresh, clear and translucent water. This place was far better than its tacky neighbour with the cliffs overlooking the whole of the strip and providing that iconic beach scene that you have of Rio.
As we have down with most of our spare time while circumnavigating the globe we decided to sample some of the local fodder and opted for a Rodizio, all you can eat, including sushi. When we were down you can have rolled us out of the restaurant, sweating and with large grins around the chops. As with the aftermath of sizeable dining you have to lie down for some time, a very good friend of mine would be able to empathise,
however after eating he sleeps, copulates and then repeats the process.
The average temperature was around 33 deg most days and the next was no exception. We wanted to sightsee again so we headed for the Pao De Azuçar or to me and the layman, the Sugarloaf. This natural giant overlooks the majority of the city and provides a double cable car bonanza. If any of you have watched James Bonds 'Moonraker' then you would have seen the character, Jaws bite through the cable car lines. Our experince did not include an acromegaly giant but I provided the teeth, so we were half there. The view is amazing, it provides the best view of the city and beaches, all of which were bathed in uninterupted sunshine. We toured the views for most of the morning until our body temps reached 33deg we had to retreat to some shade. If you are in Rio then you must visit this place it was the tourist highlight.
The hostel had invited us to a Samba club in the evening and when you are Rio how can you refuse? They are based in a few dodgy areas but we were told that
it was a cool place to visit. Each favela has a Samba school and they practise in the week and display their talents on the weekend. The best of which would then go on and make the parade in 'Carnaval'. We thought that it would be a bit full on if we approached this situation sober so we had a couple of swift ones at a local bar. This again was an opportunity to witness the live for the day attitude that these people swear by. The bar contained a lively mix of people, all middle aged and none without a beer in hand. We started talking to many people and were finally clobbed with an amazonian lady called Maryhelpy. One of the Smith traits is to chat with anyone, this however is not the one that attracted Emma to the throng of Smithlove. Well, to be honest she hates it, but this time we got stumped with the language barrier. We eventually ended up getting awful necklaces from the lady and in return we bought her a beer, it was all a bit strange and we were glad to move onto the Samba night. Our ride to the place
was suitably an hour late and we finally arrived two hours after the start time. The club was like a school hall but packed with people, all drinking and thankfully none carry weapons. Once inside the first view was three almost females dancing on the stage to a samba number and throngs of people cheering and yelping. We quickly go to the bar and helped the night on with a steady flow of Caprinhas. The highlight of the night was the live Samba band that we perched above the crowd, the atmosphere crept up a notch or two once the heady beats we sent across the floor. Apart from them it was a bit cheesy, groups of men watching young girls dance and the odd dance off occuring all around. As you can imagine both of us are now Samba legends.
Our next day was a write off, we chilled around the hostel, popping out for food at various intervals but all actions were focussed on trying to make oursleves feel a lot better. We packed in the morning of the next day and braved the bus journey over to the long distance bus station with all of our
bags, this turned out to be more excitment that we had bargained for. Our driver I believe was the reincarnate of Aryton Senna and he started to race other drivers along a very narrow carriageway, the bus skidded and screeched its way towards the station. At regular intevals you would either see an old passenger on the buss lose their footing and tumble or hear the jibes of the driver through to the passing traffic. So as we jumped on the bus to Squarema our jangled nerves matched the approaching storm front and we tried to calm ourselves for the next chapter.
There are more photos below