Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rio de Janeiro - Part 1


Rio was expected to be the highlight of the whole Brazil trip and it was. Based on some articles on the web I imagined seeing 2 Million people on the Copacabana beach was going to be a very special moment and it turned out the whole journey to the beach from Sao Gancalo reaching the beach just in time was one of the happiest new year moments :)


From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro

Day 1st/28th: Arrive in Rio bus stop from Brasilia, picked up by Maira and Paulo. The first thing we did was a lunch at a per kilo restaurant, I love them because you can eat what you like and the price isn't for everything :) that was available to eat but "how much" you are eating. Then we tried buying a SIM card as it was going to necessary to coordinate with my hosts and other CSers and in case I get lost somewhere. I tried at least 3 different companies, Vivo, Claro and TIM but my cellphone which is a prepaid Nokia handset from T-mobile refused to work. Don't know what was the problem. By now I have figured that "Calling-card" for public telephones was the only other option against buying another prepaid phone. I bought the calling card. More on it later.
Went to Ipanema after leaving luggage at Maira's office for the "Free hugs" meeting, what a great way to the Rio PAN meeting, I met a lot of great CSers. But then it rained and we had to run before the scheduled ending time. We went to a bunch of hotel/bars to see which one can accommodate about 25 of us, most couldn't but after 3-4 trial we found a good place. As is common in Brazil restaurant/bar/hotel etc is a mixed concept, so you would typically go to one of these place whether you want to drink alcohol or eat food with non alcoholic drinks. I tried the Orange juice and liked it. Had to run to catch up Maira at her office.










 In the evening(meaning about 9:30 PM) I along with other surfers hosted by Maira headed out to Lapa the so-called (and appropriately so) Night life district for the CS talent show at .... The other folks who came with me decided to hang out of the pub and make there own "Caipiranhas", I went in instead where a big party followed all night. Later when it was time to leave I figure they had gone, OMG. With all you hear about Lapa you don't want to be in that situation of searching for them on the streets alone. So I asked a few surfers if they can host me for the next few hours and someone agreed, Relief :)


From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro

From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro
The fun didn't stop there apparently the host was pretty drunk :D so after finding the right bus and going around the city for about 30-40 minutes at about 5 AM, we were told this is the last stop :P. Now the four of us got out and the 2 other visiting CSers pretended they know the locality etc but we decided to take a car to reach the hosts' house. As it happens they had no idea. The cab took about 30 minutes and a lot of distance to reach the right place. First evening couldn't have been more fun :D Now this is what you miss when you go well planed. Btw the place of the host was amazing, beautiful view of beach right from the balcony. And icing on the cake it was about the sunrise team.


Day 2nd/29th: Okay the next morning, I woke up and realized OMG I have no idea where I am (I mean not in who brought me here sense, but where in the city am I kind). I met my hosts' father who was the only one awake at about mid noon. In my broken PortuĊ„ol I asked him how to go to metro/downtown etc. (Knowing I can reach M's office from there). As I got out I found it inevitable to walk on the beach. Went ahead and discovered I could get the nice Coconut water(aqua-coco) and cream thing, like roadside on South Indian highways, man that was amazing and totally worth 3 Reals(~1.9 dollars). After walking a lot on the beach I decided to go to downtown/metro. took a bus for Central thinking its downtown or Centro station, turns out it wasn't. Anyways I found myself near Botanical garden and having been recommended to visit I got down to visit it. Soon to realize I was low on cash, I tried multiple banks(Itau, Banco de Brazil) with no luck but ultimately Citibank gave a ray of hope and actually worked (Charging 10 Reals for Out of Bank or Out of Country transaction, whatever) The visit to Botanical garden was wonderful. You can definitely spend the whole day at that one place and still want to go back because of its tranquility, nature and beauty. After the visit I figured how to reach Metro (taking a Metro No-superfecile bus to a metro station) and wen on to Meet M, what a relief once again, The idea is that as it gets dark you don't want to be walking alone. Anyways she took me to the Colombia pastry place, which is huge. Its the first pastry shop of Rio city and would easily be the size of about 6000 square feets with 2 floors (so much for a Pastry and snacks place).
From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro
From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro
From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro
Later in the evening (again 10 PM or so) we headed to a party in Lapa again. This time M's friend Ellis gave me a ride to/from Niteroi where M dropped me with an excellent demonstration of her Brazilian driving skills, oh I should I tell, I can blindly trust a Brazilian to drive me around anytime now. They are just superb. The party mostly occupied by CSes went on pretty late, but at about 4:30 AM we decided to leave. That would have been a simple ending to a great evening if I got dropped home, not that didn't happen. E dropped me at a place with some ppl so I cud catch a bus to arrive at M's house and all three of them said, "Don't sleep off in the bus" and they said it for a reason :)
From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro
From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro
 I was pretty aware of bus and the stops going past and that I was getting closer to the destination but next thing I know the bus conductor wakes me (from outside the bus) at the bus stop. OMG! I can't believe I did that. Anyways the good thing it was already well lit and I decided to walk around and see what I can do. Asked directions to the people around and figured I was pretty close to the address. Finally some bit of walking and I was home at about 7 AM. What an adventure again! Day 3rd/30th: The third day went more relaxed. I slept all day long missing my plans to meet the CSers for something in the afternoon. I waited for M, so we cud go to the Scenatarium  party. I became a big group soon and we were pretty late for the party.
From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro
The club seemingly is one of the best and the line was about 100 ppl long when we reached. Soon we figured they have raised the cost of tickets from 15 for CSers to 30 for everyone (including CSers). Based on a common decision we left for some other place.
From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro
From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro
This place, MOFO bar, had a live band which I didn't enjoy much and therefore waited for DJ to bring some good music. Ultimately we danced till about 4:30 AM again and left for home.

From Brazil - Rio De Janeiro


The post is already long gotta continue part 2 in next one.

No comments:

Post a Comment