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Published: January 8th 2009
... and after a fourteen hours and a half plain journey, including a two and half hour delay due to frost, I finally arrived in Rio de Janeiro.
After having checked into my hostel in Leblon, an area west of Rio, I went out to explore the city centre, by foot. Which turned out to be not such a good idea, as the city is surprisingly large. If you look at the map of Rio, everything looks within walking distance, but in reality the scale is somewhat deceiving. So I managed to walk to the end of Ipanema beach and towards Copacabana, when I stopped to have lunch.
I there met two men in their late 40s who were having a drink at a table next to mine. We started talking, teaching each other our respective language (in my case, french), and ended up staying there for over about an hour and a half, during which time one of the two men had drunk about 6 large bottles of beer. In the end, it was a very taxing lunch as it was very much an intensive portuguese lesson, including an inspired speech (in portuguese, but I got the jest
of it) about how Vasco de Gama was the best football team in Rio. I was then kindly walked to the nearest metro station, and actually realised that they were street sellers on the beach, as they explained how they worked. I was pretty happy considering they didn't really speak either english or french, it was a successful lunch.
After a failed attempt to register my passport at the french consulate (opens till 12 only), I went up to the Pão de Açucar, where I enjoyed the magnificent view over the bay (my photos unfortunately do not quite convey that enough unfortunately).
I am absolutely exausted, but considering the amoutn of walking I did, it wasn't too bad a day.
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