Another day another coconut on the beach!
Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
27Trip End Jul 28, 2010
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The first pics on this page are ones I forgot to upload on my last blog...they don't belong in this blog, but oh well. They are of our trip to the beach on...well I'm not keeping track of days at this point so I couldn't really tell you!
Let's start with yesterday morning, shall we? I was in the dining room on my laptop searching the internet frantically for information about how to get to Sugar Loaf or Pao de Acucar as it is known by locals. After 4 days, I have still not figured out the buses and am not in a hurry to get in another taxi after the shenanigans of the first day
Ok, back to yesterday morning. I'm telling you...when you travel freely with no plans...things always have a mysterious way of working out. I like to call it..."The law of things working out mysteriously when you make no plans." or TLOTWOMWYMNP for short. I asked Edgar, the hostel owner, if he could tell me how to go about getting to Sugar Loaf. He sort of explained it to me in his very best English, but I knew I was going to just have to head out the door with my already disheveled map and figure it out on my own. As I launched down the stairs and rounded the corner to disembark, Edgar grabbed my arm and walked me toward a new girl in the Hostel
Let me interrupt the plot to clarify that Sugar Loaf is not a place where they bake bread. I sometime forget that I need to clarify new concepts instead of just chatting away about them incessantly. That reminds me of when I told Spanish Club that I was inviting Salsa Eddy, my instructor, to teach salsa lessons to them. At the end I had kids wondering why I was inviting someone to teach them to make hot sauce. Welcome to teaching.
Please allow Wikipedia to explain:
Sugarloaf Mountain (in Portuguese, Pão de Açúcar), is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 metres (1,299 ft) above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar
Edgar drove us there and let us out at the biheteria or ticket booth. The process goes something like this...buy your ticket, take a cable car up to some mountain and then another up to Sugar Loaf. I'm not fond of heights, AT ALL, but I refuse to let my fear stop me from having an awesome experience. (Ok Amy Keene...I know what you are thinking. I backed out of skydiving b/c I was scared shatless.) Here is the criteria...if I'm so scared I have nightmares and wake up with a nose bleed, that is when I miss awesome experience b/c of fear. Otherwise, I suck it up.
When we arrived at the top, I stepped out of the cable car to see one of the most breath-taking scenes I've ever layed eyes upon rivaled only by Machu Picchu which is pretty much untoppable, in my opinion. I won't attempt to give a description... if a picture can't do it justice, I am not arrogant enough to think that my words in a blog can. I'll just suggest that you all experience it for yourself one day. Until then, check out the pics.
Asli left early b/c she had to go into downtown to take care of some business with her flight plans. I found a bench and sat and stared for an hour trying to soak in the majestic scenery
Edgar came to pick us up, and the rest of the afternoon was rather droll...nothing noteworthy to speak of, so I'll move on to last night.
It was a fairly calm and relaxing evening...the most, in fact, since I arrived in Rio lol. Ok...there is this guy at my hostel who I will call Hank the Cow Dog for now since he is right behind me possibly reading what I write. He is very....peculiar. I'm usually pretty good at summing people up in about 10 seconds after meeting them, but I can't figure out this guys modus operandi aka mo?
Why is his purpose for being in Brazil? What does he do? Where did he come from? How does he operate? On the way out the door with Asli, I grabbed him and insisted he join us for dinner
We went, next, to the Marina Hotel around the corner where Asli had a friend that she had met on a tour. We approached her and a guy to whom she was speaking. He was from Houston! He works as a lawyer for Shell Oil and is here on business. We had a nice chat and then he left to go back to his room. Asli, her friend, Hank the Cow Dog and I had a drink and left about midnight to head back to the hostel. I got in bed only to stare at the ceiling for approximately 3 hours. I forgot to mention that I drank an expresso after dinner. I was wired all night!
I woke up this morning to a vibrating bed and the sound of a pounding hammer. The area directly under my room here is being transformed into a restaurant. Why must these people start working at 6:00 in the morning. Dont they know there are people here who haven't slept late in 9 months and just want one stinking week to do so?
I went for a run on the beach, or in the lane of the street designated for runners and bikers, rather. I ran all the way...and walked a little too...to the big rock that seperates Ipanema from Copacabana. I found my own little place on the rock, layed down, basked in the sun, and watched surfers for about an hour before heading back. I got cleaned up and was headed down the hallway when this new guy said "hey!" I was like...YES!...another English speaker and quite possibly even from Texas. I was a little off...he is from Oklahoma but relocating to Dallas soon. He suggested that we should have drinks later after he comes back from his ju-jit-su class which we are...probably with several other people at the hostel as well. Maybe we'll invite the new guy from New Zealand with the really hot accent ;)
To sum up my afternoon, I walked. Walked, walked, walked and walked. The lake, only a mile from where I am, took me at least 2 hours to get to. I'm not lying when I say that the roads here are more confusing than anywhere I've ever been! I had a map, but I swear it is wrong. I got lost several times and wandered into some errr rather shady areas. Don't worry...I know how to handle that! I've walked through the worst neighborhood in all of NYC by myself Bed-Stuy..on accident of course
I got back to Leblon, the most expensive real estate in all of Latin America! I walked around and found an open air cafe. I bought a heart attack in a bag...I mean a piece of pizza and headed back to Leblon Spot. I attempted a nap with no success...music is blaring from the street and there is still construction under me.
My fingers can't take much more typing right now, so I'll end with my evening plans. Asli, Grant, and some others are going to a Samba Bar to hang out. Should be fun!