Barra Shopping

Trip Start Dec 26, 2005
Trip End Jan 25, 2009

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Friday, November 17, 2006

An update to let everyone know that Iīm still alive and surviving Rio. Between you and me, I think a month in this city is going to be a bit long (damn those inflexible tours with GAP... in hindsight, I should of stayed in Buenos Aires longer as everyone encouraged me to do so)... so far, I havenīt fallen for Rio as much I did with the likes of Bangkok, Berlin, Belfast etc but it is still a beautiful city, perfect for lovers of the beach.

I havenīt done much since arriving except to get use to my surroundings and try to figure out the local bus system. I managed to catch the number 175 bus from Ipanemaīs beach to the suburb of Barra... took about 1 hour to get there through peak hour traffic. Barra is beautiful and a welcome retreat from Ipanema. But the beach is too far from the shopping complex... need a taxi and a lot more time. The shopping is first class and has everything you need... cinemas, restaurants etc. I did some clothes shopping... wish I could of done more but will wait until Melbourne for that. Having dressed and gone out in the same clothing for a year is doing my head in and I canīt wait to get new stuff. The footwear is particularly good here... the flip flops being legendary.

The weather has been crap. Today was the first clear blue sky... yesterday was awful. Honestly, it felt like winter. Wet, cloudy and damn miserable. Like Buenos Aires, the weather is extremely erratic here. I was thinking that it would be all sunshine... how wrong I was.

The nightlife is pretty good (cheap as well by international standards). I have a nightclub down the road from me which Iīve been to a couple of times (another recommendation by Julio... he sure knows his stuff). It was unfriendly on Saturday night but much better last night... got speaking to a few locals but nothing special to recount.

Today I stayed in my apartment... boring. But I still havenīt fully recovered from my gastro upset (5th day now). Iīm now on the drugs for diarrhoea... which I donīt like to use. I hope itīs not giardia or amoebic dysentery... It would be a real pain if I was sick in this city. But as I write, I feel a lot better... good enough to hit the nightlife again.

I have 3 weeks to go before heading back to Australia and Iīm starting to think that I should be returning early... at least I know that Sydneyīs weather will be mostly great now... and to think that everyone I speak to will speak and understand English. Last night was a little frustrating in that I met a group of guys who were fun, but only spoke Portuguese. At least I was able to figure out that it was one of the guysī 25th birthday. Itīs a real inhibitor in meeting locals in foreign lands and itīs starting to turn me off... my patience level is starting to decline and I long to be understood once again and avoid having to communicate in pigeon English.

There is a lot to do here... I have yet to see Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf... there are also many fine cycling and walking routes you can take which I intend on doing. Off to Copacabana beach tomorrow where I hope the weather will be fine. I think the clouds are returning on Saturday. What the?
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