Hectic begginings Rio Carnival!

Trip Start Feb 13, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Well the trip finally begins!  Although it started slightly more hectic than planned, although that is mostly down to the fact that there was no plan!  First off me and Alison went to terminal 4, were just in the car park, having paid, when gemma rang to say it was terminal 2.  So we then drove and parked in terminal 2 and met them.  Turned out our flight, with united airlines, not american as we had both thought was actually in terminal 3! So alot of walking later we arrive in terminal 3 to be told our flight had been cancelled.  We then go over to a very annoying man on ticketing who tells us that we have been transfered onto a BA flight which although doesnt leave until 9pm ( our flight was at 4)  actually got us there 5 hours earlier and on a much better airline! So that was great.  We gave him our tickets to upgrade at which point he got even more rude and arsey when he realised we only had one way tickets.  He said we wouldnt be allowed to fly if we didnt have proof of onward travel out of brazil!  Eventually we managed to get him to sort out this flight, as that was his job, and we would book an onward flight in the next 5 hours before we left.  So we then ran around the airport and eventually managed to book a flight with BA from porto Alegra to Beunos Aires on 5th March. 
However when we finally got to Rio and after being in the que for immigration for literally 1hr 50mins, we were never even asked when we would be leaving, just were we would be leaving to!  We have since been told that although alot of the countries say they want that stuff, none of them actually do.
So we are now in a chilled hostel.  Very hot!  We went to copacabana beach, huge waves!  I already have stupid burn marks, from only an hour and a half.  Very burnt hands and 2 triangles on my hips.
So just going to have a relaxed evening, gemma is a bit ill cos left with a cold which has got worse.  So after sitting in the jacuzzi spa!  She is having an early night in preparation for beach party tommorow and I am heading to the hostel bar.
Hope you are all well.  Keep in touch.

Well Rio is just as mad and frenzied as everyone says!  Hostel is cool, basically everyone hangs out in the bar from about 9 til 12 and then goes out into town.  Nothing here starts until then.
On Thursday we decided not to go to the beach party and actually aquaint ourselves with Rio a bit.  So we went of on the bus, driving here is completely insane!  We basically wondered around town for a few hours by which time we were very hot and tired, so came back to hostel and Gemma went to sleep for a bit while I wondered down to the beach and relaxed.  Although got completely covered in sand when a rescue helicopter hovered over the beach dropping off a guy they had just rescued.  The waves and sea are so strong here.
In the evening we deicided to cook dinner and stupidly bought a tin of pasta sauce, it was disgusting!  I couldnt eat it, and wot made it worse was the hostel were doing lasagne which looked bloody good.  Food wise here breakfast is great cos it lots of fresh fruit and ham and cheese rolls with amazing bread, and its served unitl 1, which is essential as no-one gets in til at least 5!
Yesterday we went on a boat/ booze cruise around the bay.  Felt a bit like I was 18 again but was a good laugh, free food and drink all day so you cant complain really.  Although we did try and take it easy as we new we were going to a street party in Lapa that night.  Which was very sensible because the street part was totally crazy.  Basically I have never been to Nottinghill carnival but from what I have been told it is like that times about 100!  There are just people and music a dancing and drinking absolutely everywhere.  Unfortunately it is a case of dont take anything with you that you dont mind loosing, so no pictures.  But it was a lot of fun, dont think I have danced so much in my life!  So feeling a little bit tired now.  Gemma has gone off to the beach for a bit while I slept because this afternoon we are going to the Maracanna stadium to watch the football match derby between Vasco and Flumensa!  Very excited, think its going to be mental.  As long as I dont get gassed like I did at the Fiorentina game in Florence I will be happy.
Also, completely unrelated, there is a girl staying in the same hostel as me that I really thought I recognised but couldnt place it.  Then on the boat yesterday I asked her if she went to Alton College and it turned out we had Art together for 2 years!  And her friend she is with went there too, although I dont recognise her. Dont have a photo yet but will get one and see if anyone else remembers her.  Her name is Lauren and she was friends with people like Steve Sorbey.  Was very weird.  Very small world.
Off to lie down for an hour before the football.  Hope you are all well. xx

Well the football was amazing.  Think the best game I have ever been to. The game itself was good, ended 4-4 which meant that Vasco went through to the semi-finals of the cup, we were in the Vasco stand.  But the best bit of the game was being in the crowd.  They are totally bonkers.  Its like being in the Samba club.  All dancing and chanting away.  There was one scary point when a fight broke out and the whole stand started running!  But was all back to dancing and chanting again in 5 minutes when Vasco scored to make it 3 all.  Hopefully will put a video of it on in a bit, but need to get it off Gemmas camera cos I didnt take mine.
So that was completely exhausting, especially after the night before in Lapa, so had good intentions of going to a street party, but got back at 9, had some food and then was spark out for the rest of the night!
Sunday we decided to just chill on the beach.  Although chill would not be the best way to describe it in any sense of the word.  Firstly it was rammed!  As carnival is public holiday its just manic.  And it was completely roasting.  We actually got a parasol, we figured it would be a good investment for 50p each.  But a lot of good it did me.  I sat under it all day and was lathered in cream.  However I somehow have ended up with the worst sunburn on my legs I have ever had.  And that is saying something for me! My legs must have poked out.  So know after the agony, I am just left with legs and feet 5 times their normal size, think from water retention or something, and starting to blister.  Which is very pleasant.  Although I think it might be a combination of the burn along with the general heat and rediculous amount of walking and dancing.
In the evening on Sunday we went up to Sugar Loaf Mountain for sunset which was great.  Can see all of Rio and the sun sets just behing the Statue of Christ Redentor so good views and photos.  Oh yeah, and after that we had yummy yummy bbq.
Then after that we set of to Impanema beach party for the night.  Basically the same as Friday but on the beach.  People everywhere, lots of music drink and dancing.  Which along with sand probably didnt do my feet much good.  But was really fun.
Yesterday we decided to try and get a few things done and organise ourselves a bit by booking bus tickets to Sao Paulo for tommorow.  But no suprise that wasn´t as easy as it sounds.  Because its carnival all the agents are closed.  So we had to get the bus all the way to the main sation the other side of town.  But we missed the stop and had to get off, run across the road and get one going back.  Slighty dodgy area so was bit scary.
But we managed to book it so we head there at 10 tommorow, got an express with aircon for 20 quid, so shouldnt be too bad.  Means no going out tonight though, which will be good to just relax.
Once we achieved that mission we set off on another to go up Corcovado mountain to see Christ the redentor up close in person.  It is pretty bloody big!  Hard to actual fit it in photos.  Again, amazing views of the whole of Rio.
Set off back to the hostel to try and rest before going to the madness of the Sambadrome, but the traffic was horrendous so the bus took and hour and half. So just had time to have a quick shower before jumping on the metro with everyone to the main event of Rio Carnival.  This is were thousands of people parade in crazy costumes on big floats and dance samba all along a huge purpose built corridor type stadium.  It doesnt even start til 12 and then finishes bout 6 in the morning, thats how many people in the parade there are.  And thats nothing compared to the number of people watching!  Got quite squashed and rammed trying to get to good spot, so gave up and went bit further down.  Was amazing experience.  Couldnt quite last it out till 6 though, got home bout 4.30.  Feet couldnt last anymore.
So apart from having to get up to change rooms, today has been spent doing absolutely nothing.  Apart from this.  Oh yeah, and the room room we moved into is a 4 bed dorm, and the 2 other girls are the ones that went to Alton College!
So I hope your all well.  I am looking forward to a nice relaxing evening before heading off tommorrow.
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salsals on

Re: Hi!!
Hello ForestMere crew! How are you all? Hope your all missing me lots! In Uruguay at the moment, so rediculously cheap, struggling to spent 10 pounds a day including going out for fat dinner and accomodation! Keep in touch and keep me updated on the inevitable gossip! xx

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