Morro de Sao Paulo

Trip Start Oct 10, 2006
Trip End Apr 03, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Tuesday, February 6, 2007

I found a scuba shop. I have been looking for a good opportunity to fish my certification. After completing the class and pool portions days before leaving Denver, I needed 2 days of open water dives to get certified. I planned to do it in Miami. I only completed 1 day because of bad weather. Now is my chance. I make arrangements for tomorrow. A lot of time has passed since I learned everything. Fearing possible failure, I arrange to borrow a textbook. They don't have one in English so I take the Spanish one.
I hike to the other side of Morro, to Gamboa. Rather than follow the beach, I follow some paths  which I assume are directionally correct. I find one that follows along the cliff. I hear some really good Brazilian music from a small bar that looks more like a patio of a home. Chickens are scattered around, laundry is hanging ... It has an awesome view. Far away from anything touristy, I presume I am one of the very few gringos to stop by.
Eventually I find my way to the beach I was sinking. It is nearly empty. A few people walk toward me covered with mud. I go to where they came from where I saw a few people covering themselves. Not sure whether it is a beauty type mud treatment or more ritual like, I just jump in. I walk back along the beach to a bar with some good reggae music, grab a chair and beer and let the mud dry. I am studying my diving text and wearing sunglasses. What a sight. Finally rinse off to continue my walk.
For lunch, I find a beach restaurant with a great view. Right after being served it starts to rain hard. I just put up the umbrella. My back gets wet but I am in a swimsuit. Everyone else took cover. Nice meal and I enjoyed the rain.
So, at dinner, I figured out how the low priced Churasca Rodizios (all you can eat steak skewer restaurants) make money. The taste is actually pretty good but they hope you get bored and leave. The servers are probably providing food at 20% of the pace of the really good ones. It is almost as they are cooking on a single Hibachi.
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