Another day another coconut on the beach!

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End Jul 28, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm behind on my blog again...I know. Thanks to all who pointed that out and lit a fire under my butt! Let's look at it this way though. If I'm not going and doing stuff, what would I write about?!

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! I don't know if I offered an accurate perspective in my last let me restate it this way. I paid more to get from the airport to my hostel than I did to get from Houston, Texas to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! Reccooccloouussnesss! (I only paid 133.00 for my ticket here because I religiously put every penny I spend on my Continental World MasterCard to accumulate flight miles.) If I can't use a credit card for something, I pay it through paypal which is linked to my credit card (Thanks Jack for letting me do that!). If you're interested:

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. She introduced herself as Asli from Turkey. I just so happen to LOVE Turkish people! Really, I only know two...Hey Erhan!...but I think he is super great. I also got to meet his mom when she came to visit from Istanbul and she cooked me a quite lovely brunch with Turkish tea. She told me she was going to Sugar Loaf as well and suggested we go together! See...TLOTWOMWYMNP!

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, Po de Acar), 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 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. Often, when I feel like I've reached a pennacle of my existence, such as this, I meditate upon all of the things that have happened in the course of my life that allowed me to have these once in a lifetime experiences. If you randomly found my blog on travelpod, you probably have no theory or at least an inaccurate one about where I come from and how I got here. In all reality, you probably don't care and that is fine...and undestandable. I think that will be best left to another blogging session as I'm in a bit of a hurry and don't have the time to go into depth as I know I will when I delve into that realm.

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. If he is stuck across the table from me, surely I can pump some information out of him, right? Disappointingly, I didn't reach any solid conclusions. He doesn't seem to have a reason to be here, he does seem to reside permanently at Leblon spot...Im assuming off his parents' money since he doesn't seem to have a job or direction in life. Anyhow, we did have a lovely dinner consisting of rice, french fries, and a cut of meat famous in Brazil call pirhana...or something like that.

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?! Have some consideration!

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 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've also been lost in Spain, so being lost is no longer a cause for alarm. Hey, that kind of just comes with the territory of being a part-time nomad! Here is what you do: 1) Chin up 2) Shoulders back 3) Quick pace 4) Pissed off look on your face. Nobody will mess with you. If you look scared, the dog will bite. The simple solution would have been to get in a cab and have him take me to my destination...the lake. I'm far too stubborn for that...I was bound and determined to do it on my own. I did.

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 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!

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Amy on

You did it again! Awesome BLOG (as expected). It is beautiful there it looks like. I hope you keep up with the adventures! Keep it safe, I need reading material ALL summer: ) It seems you have met great people. I like the name you give "Hank the cow dog". For some reason I thought it was going to be colder there, but it looks like that is not the case at all by your photos. hummm I misunderstood (story of my life). Love you!!!!!!!!

De Nephew on

Cool blog...the pictures are B-E-A-utiful!!! One day I will travel...but probably not as "carelessly" as you (for lack of better words).

Amy Keene on

You read my mind Lori but, that's all water under the bridge. Looking forward to reading more soon. Those pictures are awesome!

Cheryl on

So, this is how I changed your life? Having you roam around a foreign country with random folks???? The old Cheryl would have been like "go for it, you have other Fing friends" the new Cheryl says "your freakin nuts but I LOVE YOU!" You will change the world Lori Fryman but not without thanking me, WINK, Wink!

Nealio on

I love the blog...I happened to see your link on Jesus' FB page....Anyways, you know me from CS in Houston!
Have a blast! We're all jealous!

Terry Ady on

I finally realized that you posted another entry about 4 days after the fact. Thats how long its been since i turned my computer on. However, the first link I clicked is your blog link so that should be something that brings you some pride. :) I enjoy following your adventure so far and look foreward to reading more of what your doing this summer. Just remember...Dont stop to write something in this blog if your on the verge of embarking on an adventure. For you, your priorities should be 1) Have FUN 2)Have more FUN 3)Write about the fun so you can share it with the us (the people stuck within reality for the summer).... :)

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