We arrived at about 10.30 pm into Rio after an effortless flight. Thanks go to WG for trying to get us upgraded, but they ran out of classes!We were picked up by Andre, who was a very helpful well turned out taxi driver with reasonable English.He did not understand the words "Grand Prix" or "Formula one" though, and was not that impressed with my impression aof a racing driver. Only when I mentioned Masa did he all of a sudden become animated and gave me a run down of the race. It seems that everybody would be reasonably happy with the outcome.
We had a twenty minute drive through the industrial areas of Rio and the smells and sights were rather, shall we say, raw. My heart sank when he told us that we were nearly there but were still in an area that seemed properly intimidating, but not half as intimidating at the thought of Jodie's reaction had we indeed been dropped off there. Hell has no furrey like a women who has to stay in a shanty town in Rio for the fist two nights of a trip of a lifetime. I was relieved when we went up a steep cobbled street and were deposited outside a lovely colonial house on the Santa Theresa hillside and were met by the lovely Bindu who could not have been more welcoming. She even brought us drinks to our room at midnight.
Bindu and Anton ran the B&B which had two rooms and a very small pool in lovely tropical gardens. They were both creative's (documentary making and musician), had left London to live in Rio two years ago and seemed to have a near perfect life.The best bit is that we had monkeys and tortoises for breakfast. Not literally of course… Jodie is a veggie(see photos).You will see that I have taken a photo of our breakfast.I know that is a very odd thing to do and I have spent many years remarking upon those that feel the need to video a cheese and ham toasty, but those that are used to seeing me at my desk in the MOD nibbling at my 40g's of Alpen from my Tupperware travel cereal bowl will understand the contrast!
We did little in Rio as we were a bit tired after the trip and plan to return in a week or so to have a proper explore, but it seemed to be a city of huge contrasts in a stricking setting, but I will do more on Rio in our return.
Yesterday we bussed up to Buzios, which is a small peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic 3 hrs north of Rio.The journey was uneventful but the gum chewing, serious looking, grey haired driver with a fantastic handlebar moustache was obviously re-living Masa's victory from a few days before and our rather large bus was without doubt the fastest thing on the road.
Ourbeachbungalow is a little further from the sea than we hadhoped, and the bungalows are a littlecloser together than we had hoped, but it is not the `Butlins` that some of us have suggested. I think we need to get used to the fact that we are no longer able to eat and stay in the best places in town. The plan for the next seven days is to sleep, read, sunbathe and try to get used to the new pace of life.
I have just had a lovely, though odd experience when chatting to a couple next to the pool.We did the normal 'where are you from' bit and narrowed our locations down from Wilstshire to realising that we live a few miles away from each other and Sue and (?? I missed Mr Sues name) know the couple who have moved into our house. It is a small world.