Old Ladies Outing

Trip Start Aug 22, 2006
Trip End May 13, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Monday, March 19, 2007

Hi All!

This part of the trip is where things are gonna get crrranked up and busy because I've got 4 cities to see in two weeks. WOOHOO!! Enough of sitting around and waiting what to do. Its very busy in the land of Jim these days.

On Monday 19th March I finally arrive in Rio De Janeiro - home to 6.5 million people (from Portuguese and Africo Portuguese decent) carnivals, wazzle birds, ladyboys and world champion football players. Not to mention healthy fat big beaches, rocks with rude shapes and plenty of favelas sometimes on fire and er banging?!

Yep this place is literally 'on fire' and by FAR the best city that Jim has been to in this world trip. Don't beleive too much of the hype about muggins. I've been out and about with old ladies, Australians and people as camp as christmas and not one mugging in site. I was more afraid of big gay Rodrigo and the dodgy taxi driving here. Much worse!

Anyway - Monday. I arrive in a very very very tiny little airport that someone's dad has obviously taken a great deal of time and effort into making from his shed, and set up one flight of stairs, 3 conveyer belts for luggage, an exit and oh yeah, a little foreign exchange booth to change US or Latin American currency (ahhhhh).

Rio's airport Galeao is titchy! STANSTEAD, YOU LOOK HUGE!

I then get the taxi from hell, as an old man in a beaten up red ford pulls up, checks my address of the Tupiniquim Hostel in Botafogo and the grunts... "Hablas Espanol"? Woops no sorry was my reply. He then gets out of the cab and asks every single taxi driver in the airport arrivals stretch, the way to my hostel (what a doughnut).

Ok so after some hair-raising and 'near death' driving, I arrive. The Tupiniquim Hostel is a funky laid back hostel with bean bags in the front room, free web on Apple Macs, its own residential barman (Marcelos), and chef! Classic, and for only $14 US a night, I'm not complaining. Monday was spent settling down and checking out Botafogo beach and the marina.

Tuesday was FANTASTIC with a big fat tour round the city (arranged through the hostel). This included Sugar Loaf Mountain, the statue of Christo Redentor, a drive through the Fevelas, seeing the Carnival Straight, The Catedral, the Maracana stadium and more. It was a quality trip and I well recommend it. All in for 120 Reais (contact andreesperidiao@yahoo.com.br to see the sights).

Today on the other hand has been shockingly crap, with a request from me to do some scuba diving up in Buzios (120 miles north of RIo). Well, big gay Rodrigo picks me up at 7:30 in the morning, and says "Cooeee, Jamie we are running late. Hurry!!"

So I leg it straight to his minibus, only to find that the local argentinian bingo club have joined the party too?! How odd I thought, that people over the age of 60 fancy doing scuba diving - I thought, nah that can't be right. We must be dropping them off somewhere on the way first!!

OHHH No (how lame). 2 hours later in the van we arrive at Buzio, a humble fishing town 180 km's north of Rio which looks like something out of southern Italy. Beautiful, and ideal for an old ladies outing out to the surrounding islands and beaches for a 'dive' or 'swim'. Or float.

Yes that's right, what a royal cock up I had actually made, by not only being stuck with 6 Argentinian oldies, 2 horny Italian blokes (chatting up anything), plus Rodrigo being 'super' and of course the 'gone past bed time' Chilian couple (one bloke thinking he was Engelbert Humperdink singing PLEAAAAASE RELEASE ME. I said to him in English "I know EXACTLY what you mean matey").

It was mostly awful, what with crap Chilian singing, the Italian pervs, the french air stewards ignoring everyone and some old bloke who seemed to eat by opening his mouth 10 seconds before his fork has shoveled food into his mouth. Like this... Ahhhhhhh ahhhhh hhhh hhhhh ...... .... yum!

Right top tip - to scuba dive in Portuguese you ask 'Este e um Mergulo' (I wish I knew this then). Because Rodrigo obviously thought by me asking whether I can go diving somewhere near Rio, he clearly thought "Diving? YES this is possible" along with the over 60 club. James was to dive off a crappy 50ft island ferry in Buzio Rio de Janeiro! OF COURSE Eh?! Why would be Scuba diving be an option? Silly me.

Well just for the record folks, I did do a dive (of sorts) and it was like an olympic entry with minimal splash and worthy of 9.9 - however not really worth the 110 Reis I forked out for this crap day. Hey ho. You live and learn.

Ok enjoy the piccies. Go to Rio, and stay away from Big Gay Rodrigo's boat ride. Tomorrow I'm off to Ipenema beach before the flight out to Dallas.

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