Back to Stand Fast hostel & 1st nights out in Rio

Trip Start Dec 03, 2012
Trip End Feb 25, 2013

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Flag of Brazil  , Rio de Janeiro,
Friday, December 14, 2012

Litterally feels like weīve come home! Entered the hostel with a big smilly face from Eddy on reception, who kindly put us back into our old room on the top floor. This was our strategy to get almost exclusive use of the bathroom as there are only 14 people in total staying on this floor, with separate male a female bathrooms with 2 toilets and 2 showers in each, double sinks and big long mirrors, hairdryers the works! Bliss compared to Misti.

Checked in and headed straight to the beach (shock horror!) to meet with Miles and Steve (our new bessies). This time we did our research, and didnīt just sit on the nearest bit from the metro stop and walked up and down the beach a bit before choosing the best spot. On reflection, this is probably why the favela kids and pick pickets have chosen their posto as the closest one to the metro stop as they know that unsuspecting gringos will wonīt know about the posto system and sit in the most convenient area.

This time we had a lovely day, once again the wind and therefore waves were high so swimming in the sea was dangerous and we both wiped out and got sweaped under once or twice, but apart from a small graze on Amyīs leg and a mouth full of salt water it was a good laugh.

Now poor Miles, another v. white gringo from Chicago, made a school boy error on his first day in Rio and didnīt put any suncream on AT ALL and got very badly burnt. Or as he calls it, "A good base burn!". Baring in mind weīre using factor 50 and still burnt in a few spots we missed, he was litterally a lobster on the beach, so much so that two separate Brazilian guys came up to us to comment and advise him to wear suncream. One was the beach bartender who used this as an excuse to sell us all some very nice but rather expensive cocktails from a recipe handed down from generations of drunkards from his family, and the other was a doctor who opened with "Iīm a doctor and itīs my medical obligation to advice you to wear suncream and ideally cover up on the beach, if you stay with your back in the sun like that you will get cancer!" Hilarious tho it was, really made us aware of the seriousness of burning here, and that Brazilian sun is much stronger than European sun.

Shortly afterwards the clouds began to decend and the heavens opened. The whole beach emptied in seconds as everyone ran for shelter and thunder and lightning striked with torential rains. Used to the rain, we both loved the novelty of warm rain! Bikinis on and already wet from the sea, we walked the almost clear streets towards a cafe in the p*ssing but warm rain whilst all the locals sheltered under awnings. Knew being British would come in handy for something! Gaging for a burger and chips and to sit inside in the dry, we headed for the only place we knew we could trust to get served promptly, but mainly to get a cultural insight into the culinary variations between this establishment in Brazil compared with the UK and the rest of Europe, it had to be Macdonalds. Here they serve the local delicay of chicken, rice and beans; and you can also have a salad instead of chips and a selection of fresh exotic fruit juices. From our previous travels we know that you can get beer and wine in a Maccy Dīs in France, and find it interesting how the enterprise tailors itīs menu for each country to reflects the culture and traditions of the country. It was a great burger!

That evening Miles and Steve met us at our hostel and we got a taxi to the world renound Rio Scenarium club. Often a famous person seen here and with recommendations from many friends and fellow travellers, we had to go. The taxi pulled up outside the club, unsure if it was the right place as it looked pretty bland and empty, we checked with the taxi driver and he pointed to a club called Lapa 40s which didnīt look anything like what we had been told about it. Trustingly, we paid R$20 (about Ģ7) entrance fee and went in. It was basically a snooker bar with a cheesy 40s Brazilian band. We knew something was up so after checking google maps we realised the taxi driver had completely lied to us and taken us to the wrong club! We left and went walking to the right place. We've since been told that it's the nature of Brazilians to not admit when they don't know the answer to your question and make something up instead. We reckon he either didn't understand our broken Portuguese or just didn't have a clue where it was and took us somewhere else for the hell of it without asking us. Great!

Rio Scenarium club was awesome!! Imagine a vintage antique stop, nothing matching with typewriters, old fridge doors, bicycles, marionettes, mirrors, cars and even a London phone box, all in one huge 4 storey club with a 1920s metal cage lift between floors, and an amazing live Samba band playing. Everyone was dancing and there were no letchy guys. We both got asked to dance by a sweet but short fat man who taught us some simple Samba steps. Great night had by all and even some popcorn on the way home. They sell popcorn here practically on every street corner, it's not like english popcorn though this stuff is fresh, covered in sugar syrup and melts it your mouth like crisp air. Gorgeous! Best popcorn ever. Fact.

Friday nights is the night to go to the infamous Lapa Street Party. This is where the shut down traffic among the streets throughtout an entire district, put up temporary stages and rigs on every street, a different genre per street, as well as food and caipirinhas stands every 10 meters. We saw an awsome live jazz band and danced in the street to live samba music. It's like Notting Hill Carnival happens every weekend in Rio!! Sang Beatles songs with our taxi driver on the ride home. They are the only thing that Brazilians seem to know about the UK.

Saturday is a similar deal but not as busy as the Friday night. We went again with our newest hostel room mates, first to a typical Brazilian/Portuguese restaurant which was great food as long as you like a lot of meat. Had about 2 roast potatoes between 7 of us and 3 plates piled high of various meaty delicacies. Yummy but couldn't live of that diet everyday, it's no wonder there are some big booty mammas around town! After we headed to the street party again, and into a Brazilian Funk club. This is a type of music which originated in the Favelas around Rio and has now become mainstream. We got taught how to do the proper "Funk Dance" aka how to shake your behind like a favela girl. Amy was of course a natural and picked it up in no time, Steph could use some more lessons.  Another fun night out in Rio.
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