Edit Blog Post
Published: March 31st 2012
The hostel kindly arranged an early breakfast for everyone and we were pouring our coffee at 7.00 am. Those camping were due to arrive in Amber at 8.00 am to pick those of us sleeping in comfort (the majority of the group) for the five-hour drive to Rio.
8.00 am came and went as did 9.00 am and no sight nor sound of Amber. I suppose we could both have walked the five minutes to the camp site down the road but with our luggage awaiting collection, we were happy to use the hostel WIF, sit in the sun reading our kindles and see what would transpire. Two girls disappeared off down the road and didn't return Josef followed and didn't return so Jo decided to go and investigate.
Ivan and Dave were totally unable to push-start Amber as the truck was on rough ground in the camp site and there was no way for the bus to get a proper run so that the starter motor would kick in. Apparently, someone got hold of a man on a tractor who got the truck going and our transport finally arrived at approximately 10.15 am.
The scenery was very
Rio de Janeiro
The Morinho Project - a favela
pleasant along the way as we kept to the coastal road with the sea on one side and forested hillsides on the other until we hit the outskirts of Rio. We had a comfort stop at a garage and eventually arrived at our very nice hotel at around 3.15pm.
Our room was quite luxurious with a really good strong shower and the room had been recently refurbished.
The group was split into two and one group was taken out at 3.30 pm and ours left the hotel at 5.00 pm to tour a 'favela' - one of Rio's shanty towns built on a hillside. We were collected by a smart and air-conditioned tourist bus with a guide who drove us to the favela twenty minutes away.
We were both a little puzzled as to the point of this tour as we had assumed that we would be shown a little more of the actual favela community and the way they lived. However, the guide gave us very little information and concentrated on the Morinho Project which had grown up over the last few years. Basically, this was a model favela village made out of chopped up breeze blocks, painted and written on to represent a real favela. Despite the boys who built in having gone to many places worldwide (i.e. Barcelona, Paris, Venice) building replicas of a favela, we weren't quite sure what the point of seeing a Maduradam/legoland village, a video about the project and a further short animated video about a swimming pool with broken breeze blocks and painted lego pieces which appeared to be aimed at five year olds! We were told we could take pictures of the model village but we really only wanted pictures of the real thing..... We tried asking the guide about daily life in a favela and the type of people that lived there but he wasn't particularly forthcoming and an hour and half later, we were none the wiser.
We returned to the hotel (where Ed looked up 'favela' on wikipedia for further information..............).
At around 6.30pm, we walked to the local supermarket and bought a couple of smoothie-type drinks and then walked to the bar on the corner where we joined the group for pre-dinner drinks before 'the last supper'. This was a local bar and most people had a beer (or five).
Following drinks, we walked a couple of hundred yards up the road to a buffet restaurant where you choose your food which is weighed and you solely pay for the weight that you eat. There was really excellent sushi and sashemi and some good salads and freshly grilled fish and yummy desserts.
The rest of the group were going to Lapa, the young person's going out area of Rio and would probably party until late. Despite the fact that this would be our last night with everyone, we decided that partying until 6.00 am will never be for us and we walked back to the hotel knowing that they would be there at breakfast bleary-eyed for goodbyes the following morning and went to bed just after 11.00 pm.
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