How to be made to feel right at home straight away: stay at Terra Brasilis where first Anna offered to cook for me, then Guara and his mum, then Callum… I’m looking forward to being able to offer the same in kind to other people as I travel around!
Then Guara opened an invitation to go out with his friend to see a ‘clown show’ – which was brilliant, a one-woman show in a theatre in Centro (I think), which I really enjoyed even though I only caught the odd Portuguese-sounding-like-Spanish word, but I got the drift of the show! Outside on the street the group I was with were all playing football on the pavement, cos you know they’d just taken a ball out with them, and they all had some impressive skills. A sight that would, tellingly, not be seen on the streets of England!
We walked through to Lapa and under the Arcos, to sit out for a drink in the warm evening just by them. Another non-British thing: beers ordered for 5 people but instead of a big bottle per person, two bottles and 5 little glasses to pour into – because otherwise the beer would get warm. Such a better way I think! It was so great to be there with some lovely local people, and having some proper and sometimes deep conversations; hm, how unusual for me! 🙂
Saturday was my trip up to Corcovado and more helpful people, helping me find where to go, taking the pictures of me, speaking slowly in Spanish so I could understand. Back at the hostel it was great to watch a Brazilian match on a sofa on a terrace looking out over the city, feet up, people sharing popcorn, hearing the cheers outside a second before on the telly! Now the point of the title: after Callum had cooked for us all, I was going to stay in and revise some Spanish as the day had taught me that I’m rubbish at it! But the fab people that are Anna Clément and David convinced me to go to a Samba party instead…! 😀 Ah yes, the point is to have fun!
The bad Caipirinha will not be forgotten! “It has the ingredients but it doesn’t have the heart.” Great night, thanks guys! 🙂
Sunday I was going to go to one of the beaches and up Pão de Açúcar, but thanks to Clément’s suggestion and Guara’s generosity of time, we all decided to go to a pacified favela, fortuitously picking up a couple more people on the way, Alex and Harish! Complexo do Alemão gave us a magic trick and some dancing from a very switched-on kid, Juan, some rain, a football game temporarily stopped by a tiny girl wandering in, a lesson about what a huge proportion of the city lives in favelas and the rubbish-collection and potential-landslide issues. And lots of laughs, as there were the whole time with these guys! For some reason the one I remember is “cat on a hot tin roof”. You probably had to be there!
When we got back the hostel was filling up for a pizza party, but first Guara stopped me from starving with some rice, potatoes and brazilian beans, so so kind! My whirlwind time in Rio came to an end with an evening of laughter and guitar-playing on the terrace. “Blackbird” was a perfect choice, I can’t stop singing it now, I didn’t let on at the time but it made me a bit emotional! Fantastic start to the trip, thank you all. Rio’s weather was grey but it shone because of the people. Tengo suerte!