Her Name was Lola...

Trip Start Jul 19, 2010
Trip End Aug 13, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another early to start to board the Catamaran back to the mainland after our visit to this beautiful island which was, again, like something out of a film or a catalogue which makes any human being, regardless of their love for travelling, want to pack their bags and leave normal life and join the Pura Vida. We arrived at Rio de Janiero, the Capital of Brazil around lunchtime and we immediately organised what we wanted to do during our time here. So much to do and see in this Capital I could've spent 1-2 weeks there, it was truly magnificent. Unfortunately I wasn't staying long enough to catch a match at the Maracena stadium... next time!

All of us went for a walk around town and finally visited the Haviana shop in which we had heard so much about from Sebastian. There were around 500 pairs on display, mental! There were so many varieties and different colours and designs to choose from! I came away with three pairs- two for myself and one for my sister. Instead of braving the glow in the dark options, and the kitsch designs, I stuck with the standard design which first attracted me to the Haviana label- plain, block colour design with the Brazil flag on the straps, and the colours of the Brazil flag embedded in the sole of the flip flops. The Brazil flag meant so much more now that I had actually been travelling from the West to the East of Brazil, and I was now at the end of my solo adventure. Black and Royal Blue pair for me and a White pair for my sister.
"Her name was Lola..." We then "lost our virginity" on Copacabana beach, as we prepared ourselves on the side-walk lining the beach and then all leapt together onto the famous beach with cheers. Beautiful moment. What I noticed on Copacabana beach was the fact that everybody in Rio, more specifically, everybody on the beaches in Rio are obsessed with their bodies and/or fitness! I'm not saying this is a bad thing, in contrast to the usual beaches I've been to in Europe/the USA where you are constantly fighting to avoid having a nasty body walk into your sight, in Brazil, you are happy to find your eyes wander from the well-built, tanned bodies to another. They were honestly built to perfection, the male abs were almost glistening in the sun- I wouldn't be surprised if they had oiled up their bodies, they obviously care so much about their appearances. This leads me to the somewhat questionable beach wear that was on show for us. The banana hammocks, and that was absolutely fine to see on all the beautifully carved male bodies walking past us, however some old men were perhaps in denial about their youth. Lining the beaches of Brazil there are loads of outdoor gyms planted at ever entrance and they were filled with huge men wearing their banana hammocks and working out to their boom boxes. Completely different to anything I've ever seen- amazing! We spent a lot of time walking the beach and walking along the sea, and as the sunset we came across a local fisherman who let us have a go- success! Massive fish. That is how limited my knowledge of fishing is, all I can say about that is "Massive fish" - bare with me, please.

The night market ran parallel to the beach, and it went on forever. It was amazing, this was the first time I had properly had a shop for souvenirs in Brazil, and most of the little market stalls were selling home made products which was even better and even more interesting! Spent so much time walking from one market stall to another, it was brilliant. Such a variety of goods were being sold, signs, scenic photography, jewellery, photo frames, clothes, ornaments of the famous sites in Rio and more!
It was then time for our last meal together as some people were leaving to go elsewhere or home! This was one of the best meals I've had in my life, truly amazing. I would pay $200 dollars right now if I could have that exact same meal right now. The location and the company added to the spectacular atmosphere. Dinner right in front of a beach in Rio de Janiero, outstanding. I had Milanesa de frango but 'Parmeggiana' - it was massive and had melted cheese, topped with ham and finished with tomato sauce, spaghetti and chips- unbelievable! Om nom nom.
We then hit this really cute bar for a couple of drinks each, I stuck with the delivious coktails and then we went back to say our farewells which was very sad :(
My mattress that night was as hard as a coffin. I'm serious. Disgraceful.
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