The flight to Recife was scheduled to take only an hour and fifteen minutes, but we got there twenty minutes early. We were there in no time, as I told Earl I have had longer poos than the flight. The flight was fine no yapping dogs or screaming kids and I pressed on reading Game of Thrones for the short journey. We landed and made our way to our hostel which wasn't too much of a walk from the airport. We then set about our usual routine of finding a supermarket and getting in what we would need for our four night stay, we bought the usual rice, noodles, past and tuna amongst other things and made our way to the checkout where we were in a queue longer than our flight to Recife it semt to take forever. We got back had some lunch rice, peas and tuna and then I had a little power nap. I was feeling shattered as the night before I was up until the early hours hustling and bustling in the transfer window on Football Manager. When I finally arose we decided to have a few beers, we made our way back to the shop and couldn't decide which beers to have so we decided to mix it up and have six different beers between us. We opted for three we had already tried Antarctica, Skol and Braham and we tried three new beers Schin, Brahama Fresh and Schin No Grau. I'd like to be able to give you a favourite a description of all three but truth is they all tasted the same. We were joined drinking in the hostel by three American guys Tim, Drew and Yang who I initially hoped was Korean. We also had an English girl join us called Kitty. We played a drinking game called Hello Guvnor where you went round in a circle counting to twenty one and who ever got to twenty one had to say hello guvnor and then make a new rule for a number, there were some fun rues, like dancing to Gangnam style, stupid rules like having to tell a joke, all I had in my head was my dad's greenhouse joke and rules that made things complicated like 11 being swapped to ten and 13 made the direction reverse. It's fair to say we were getting fairly merry playing this game and Earl and myself got even more so when we decided to get rid of some of the £1.25 rum we had been putting off drinking since Sao Paulo. To be fair mixed with a bit of fizzy orange it was very drinkable, but it absolutely turned me into a train wreck of emotion. Still we made it to a place called the UK pub which was nothing like a UK pub, it had a band playing and there was some dancing, but truth be told that's about all I can remember as I stumbled back home telling Earl how much I missed home and about my problems with the world. Cheers Rum!
The next day I woke up an absolute mess, I missed the free breakfast but was dying in my bed, this was the perfect time for a greasy bacon and egg sarnie or fry-up but Brazil was seriously lacing in this department. Instead I set my sights on a greasy McDonalds to cure my roughness. Unfortunately my path didn't cross the home of Ronald McDonald and we ended up going straight to a pub called The Underground. To be honest a pub was the last thing I needed but it was the first day of the quarter finals. First up was France vs Germany and then the big one Brazil vs Colombia. We go to the Underground just before kick-off of the France v Germany got its name. It's easy to see why the pub got the name The Underground as it's actually situated underground. It was a really nice pub with TV screens everywhere you couldn't fail to see one, infact at one point I think I was watching three. I was in no mood to drink during the France vs Germany game so made do with a couple of coke's and some food to sort out my stomach. Germany won in an efficient 1-0 victory to set up a clash with the winners of the Brazil vs Colombia game. By the time the game had come around I was ready to sup some ale's again. The Underground had filled to an almost unmoveable capacity as people from Brazil and cheering for Brazil gathered around. Once again the fans took the roof off with the rendition of the national anthem and then the game started an early goal settled nerves and the pub went mad, a second spectacular goal from David Luiz made the game look safe, but a goal ten minutes from time endured a nerve wracking last ten minutes for the Brazilians. The game was also marred by a nasty challenge to Neymar, Brazils' golden boy of the tournament. It would now make it hard for them to progress against Germany without their most creative player and also without their captain Thiago Silva due to suspension. I was eager to stay at the pub they were just about to start some karaoke and they had songs in English, good songs too like The Strokes - Last Night and The Killers - Mr Brightside. Unfortunately I couldn't persuade Earl to duet with me and cut loose on his vocal chords so we made our way back to the hostel to have dinner. That night we made our way to place called Haras BV. Haras BV, was basically just a cattle shed with a stage at one end. We had been recommended it by a Brazilian girl, it semt to be in a rough part of town and I'm almost 100% sure we were the only non-Brazilians there. Though despite all the stories you hear about Brazil not being safe we never felt any danger or saw any trouble, this might because Earl gets mistaken for a Brazilian a lot of the time. The cattle shed were littered with alcohol stands and food stands. It was an interesting set up. The act on stage wasn't really my cup of tea it was some kind of Samba rap and every song semt to have the same beat and rhythm by the end it even got fairly annoying. Eventually the samba / rap act finished and they put on some more bearable music. So we had a few more beers and moosed about and then returned to our hostel. What was particularly great about this hostel was the fact they had air con. The temperature at night was still warm and humid so the blast of air con was delightful.
The next day was another blisteringly hot day in Recife and we were off to stand in the baking sun at the fan fest to watch the other two quarter finals - Argentina vs Belgium and Holland vs Costa Rica. The fan fest was around a thirty minute bus journey away in the old part of Recife. We arrived early so had a steady walk around the cobbled roads of the old part of town and grabbing an ice cream. I was particularly excited as I felt fan fests were my best option of ticking off fans in my World Cup Challenge, I had always seen a variety of shirts at them even for teams who were not playing and I still had seven left to complete my goal. I ticked Belgium off easily after their 1-0 loss to Argentina, and also upgraded my Argentina picture to a massive one with all their fans. There were other shirts there at the fan fest like Japan, Spain and Chile. But unfortunately no Portugal, USA, or the hardest one left in my opinion South Korea. There were Holland and Brazil shirts about but I was still waiting for the perfect picture with a big group of them. I did manage to also tick of Costa Rica though during half time of their quarter final with the Dutch. It wasn't long after this Earl left, he had met a girl from tinder who had invited him to a protest / party / occupy sight. Apparently it was against the proposal to build some high rise buildings. I wanted to watch the rest of the game so decided to stay and assured Earl I would be alright. I watched the rest of the game which the Netherlands won on penalties thanks to an audacious goalkeeping substation in the 120th minute by soon to be Man Utd manager Louis Van Gaal. My journey home didn't go exactly to plan, the one way traffic baffled me so I was unsure on where to get the bus back, so I began to walk following the main rad until I hit a bust stop. I did eventually and every bus just flew by me, so I carried on walking. My walk took me over bridges, hard shoulders and walking on concrete blocks in the middle and sides of roads. Sometimes paths would run out and I'd be left with a section no more than a few inches. I ended up walking for nearly two hours when I made it a bit of civilisation, I knew I wasn't too far away but decided to flag down a taxi. I did and I was back at my hostel in a couple of minutes. It had appeared I had walked pretty much all the way back. I'd say the distance was about 11km. My ankles were in bits especially after being stood up in the sun for so long. I got back and collapsed in a chair, only for Earl to stroll in moments behind me. He had managed to go to a protest, party and get a bus back while I walked. We didn't end up doing much that night as I just wanted to rest my weary legs.
Porto de Galinhas was our destination the next day, this was a two hour journey south of Recife but was recommended to us and I later had found out it had been voted Brazil's best beach eight yours on the bounce. It is said to be famous for its water pools and bright beaches. We made our way there and the town was like a small seaside town, which it was, the first thing that struck me was the amount of chicken related items which were there, there were even statues of celebrities such as Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Amy Winehouse as chickens, it was weird. And I didn't get it. Later I found that Galinha means female chicken or can also mean a woman which sleeps with a lot of men. One google search later and I found the origin of the name - "According to history the town was called Porto Rico (Puerto Rico) until 1850 when became a place where people traded slaves to work in the plantations of sugar cane. To evade the control of the illegal transaction, slaves were transported together with guinea fowl and passwords were created by traffickers ("Tem Galinha nova no Porto" — "There are new chickens in the port"), hence the origin of the name" Still I think they could have given it a better name. When we first hit the beach we weren't at all impressed, we looked at and all you could see were hundreds of touristy boats who just wanted to sell you some type of trip, it really put me off the beach and spoilt the view. Luckily though walking up the beach things became clearer, still the beach I thought was over rated, personally I thought Rio's beaches were better and this was not a patch on any of Australia's. I think that's a problem with Brazilian's they are quick to tell you everything is great and beautiful there country or place and it's great that they are proud but it doesn't help when you are travelling and could have been told about somewhere maybe a little better. Still I wouldn't not recommend this beach, it is nice. We strolled along the beach to the end where we found the Pontal De Maracaipe. This beach is the meeting of the river to the sea and has a huge sandbar with warm and extremely clear water. Earl even managed to spot a Mangrove Crab. The beach was also popular for kite surfers which looked great fun. After our walk we decided to catch some rays, have a dip in the sea and I read some more of Game of Thrones which I was steadily getting into. A short burst of rain and the sun going down put an end to our time at Porto de Galinhas, but we had fun and made the two hour bus trek back. We didn't do much that night a few guys were off to the UK pub again but I fancied a cheap one opting instead for a few Skol Beats and cooking Earl and myself a pasta, sausage, onion and carrot concoction.
It was to be our last day in Recife as we were off to Salvador on a night bus that night so we decided to go up to Olinda, a place that everyone banged on about being so good. It took about an hour to get there and myself an Earl were there for less than that time, it wasn't really our thing, the town itself was only as big as Sutton Lawn and had sixteen churches. The place did look beautiful with its coloured houses and cobbled street and had nice views into Recife, but there was nothing else for me and Earl so we headed back to the hostel where I chilled in the hammock with a beer and Games of Thrones until it was time to head off again.
So until next time say safe and take care