my journey here was pretty eventful and anything but pleasurable but as the flight touched down in Rio airport I saw the Os Gemeos plane taking off and I instantly got excited (you can see a picture of the plane and read about the trip in the previous post).
To be honest Rio hasn’t been great so far. Low season has just started as ‘winter is coming’ so I have planned my route completely wrong. I wanted 3 years of summer but I am actually about to get South American winter and by the time I get to North America it’ll be winter….so that was an error. HOWEVER, someone mentioned that summer in Brazil is 40c and that is way too hot for me so actually it’s not all bad.
Anyway I’ve been quite negative to myself about my trip so far so today (28th) I’ve been trying to remember the postitives that are happening.
The favela is amazing. It’s constantly buzzing with motorbikes and barking dogs. The buildings seem to exist despite the landscape rather than with them. The houses are all stacked side by side and on top of each other and there are loads of random little enterprises lining the streets. The people are mostly friendly despite my awful Portuguese.
I managed to build up the courage to ask for a coconut in Portuguese and the man understood me which was a little win. He even came over and scooped it out when I was clearly struggling with the coconut scoop he had made me (long story).
Today I walked along two of the most famous beaches, in Brazil at least: Copacobana and Ipanema. They were really nice: clean and quiet. Really clean actually which is so nice for a popular tourist spot. I watched people kite surfing, watched Kormorants (I think that’s what they’re called…the diving birds) diving for fish in the rough sea, and then managed to navigate my way through the favela back to the hostel by following the street art I recognised (there’s no map or street signs in the favela). I saw a postman today and it made me laugh. They must know the streets by heart.
I am about to go (29th) to an eco project a few hours north of the airport and the owner runs a language school so hopefully my Portuguese will improve a bit. I haven’t been looking forward to coming back to Rio but after having spoken with friends back home last night I have a renewed sense of positivity.
It seems that Brazil’s main draw is its beaches and I get bored sunbathing so maybe I’ll get the places I planned to visit here done, and move on to Bolivia. I’m actually quite excited for the rest of South and Central America now as it will force me to speak the Spanish I’ve been learning.