17th Feb 2012
Let the blogs commence............
After a succession of leaving do's we had our last two nights in Blighty with Kev and San. It was a little oasis before the big day.
Kev dropped us at the airport and we checked in smoothly. A small breakfast followed by a pint and we were ready to fly. Our aircraft was a Boeing 777 with no annoying passengers . Our captain was James Hill. Funny how they never call themselves Jim !!!
12 hours is a long time on a plane and I get bored easily. Harry Potter Hallows 2 was good and passed some time. If you've never seen Cowboys and Aliens with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford save your money. What a lot of tosh. Clearly two top actors with time to kill and money to make.
Anyway we touched down in Rio and our taxi awaited. Is it genetic? Why do taxi drivers drive one handed at break neck speed? We came off the motorway and down a spiral ramp. Now to me the absence of a centre white line suggested it was a single carriage. But hey concrete costs money so lets use it all and force down the inside of another car. 20 minutes and a couple of heart stoppers later we were at the hotel.
It's situated on the edge of Centro and Lapa. Nice room with a king size bed. Also a small roof bar and pool (see pics for the views). It was very late and we were very tired but blog followers will no the drill by now. Throw the bags on the bed and find a beer.
The roof bar was shut so it was out into the dark streets of Rio with murder on our minds......ours that is !!
We went up a dodgy side street and found ourselves in a bar area. A pavement seat and a chat with Pablo and a beer was being enjoyed. A few doors down the samba drum band fired up and the whole street started dancing. Not us though we barely had the energy to blink. We sat quietly enjoying the beer before heading back to the hotel.
Why are hotels like hospitals? You go there to rest but they are always noisy. The aircon was like the 777 taking off, the fridge was like a drowning dalek and the next door shower sounded like a waterfall. Aircon off, fridge off and next door went quiet so it was sleep zzzzzzzzzzz.
Next morning up and down for brekkie. Very nice buffet with lovely coffee. Out we went into the busy streets. This is largely a business area and I was the only person with a camera. Mugging victim or what?
Everyone was carrying small rucksacks so we went back and got ours. All set again and it was down the metro station. Jill has the gift of tongue (easy boys!!). She has been learning Spanish but was soon buying tube tickets in Portugese. A short ride and we were at Ipanema beach. Queue the song and get it stuck in your head all day. It's a fab beach with a stunning mountain view ruined by sooooo many people.
We walked along it and then on to Copacabana beach. Same story there. Still we did both get something while we strolled along.......sun burnt ouch. A trip back to the hotel in rush hour had Jill reminiscing about commuting to the city.
We are now in the room getting ready to go out and eat and watch a blocco. Thats a samba parade apparently. I'm more a funky chicken man myself.
Tomorrow we are going to attempt the bus system and go to Sugar Loaf mountain.