Back in the city of beaches.
The 5 am was worth to be able to catch another full day in Rio. I put my backpack into storage and off I went to conquer the sights that I hadn't yet seen. First stop the Sugar Loaf (Pao de Asucar). I got off the bus at Botafogo so I could enjoy a walk to the big attraction. I decided to take the hiking route which wasn't quite a nicely laid out path. I am glad that Sofia gave me directions and advice because if not I would probably still be standing asking myself, 'left or right'. Another outstanding view of the city. Woah when you thought it couldn't get any better.
Taking the cable car back down, I went to Praia Vermelha beach. The course sand is how it got its name (Vermelha is red). This is a small beach with lots of people enjoying paddle boarding. There was also an outside gym so I was able to embarrass myself with my lack in ability to do pull ups.
Next stop, Urca. Another little walk and this time around the water. Many people sat on the wall drinking beer and fishing. One woman was even on the rocks cleaning her clothes. I passed a nice church and then to another nice beach.
The beach walk continued to Botofogo where I stopped for Acai in hope to get Internet but it wasn't working. At least I got my daily dose of this amazing super food. Yum. I walked to a mall to find Internet and after paying for the most expensive coffee in Brazil and understanding to the woman saying they had wifi; it was actually broken too. Oh well nothing like a shot of Brazillian coffee to get your feet moving again.
The next beach was Flamengo and actually this was probably mug favourite of the day. At the beginning there was the coolest outside gym with views of the sugar loaf so I stopped to lift some weights with the Rio big guns and take some snaps. Very cool. There are so many outside gyms in Rio and I love that. The next part of the beach was a sea of volley ball nets with people playing various sports.
The beach walk was completed by watching a football tournament going on. People gathered on the sidelines with beer and food to watch the different matches going on. There were games with youngsters all the way up to older men. I was sad to see that there were no woman playing in this but I guess we can't be everywhere. I love the sense of community they have in Brazil. It seems 'very together' with lots of people joining as a group for various activities. I also like the way they consume alcohol. A cold beer on a warm day, just to be enjoyed. I didn't see anyone who had over indulged and with the sharing aspect, it's nice to see people just taking their time and having a beer. I think this is different from the European culture, where it's more common to over indulge or just drink to get drunk. It seems here people drink as they enjoy the taste of beer and it's almost like beer is like water. They are seen at any time of the day having a wee beer beverage.
I then headed back to the bus station to collect my bag, and grab some food before my plane to Brasilia. When I got to bus stop, there was a guy there whom I asked if he was going to the airport and he was. 'Good I am in the right spot'. I then asked where he was flying to, and he said 'Brasilia'. He was on the same flight as me 'woah someone else actually going to Brasilia'. I then met a Brazillian woman who had been living in Atlanta for many years and made regular visits to Brazil to take care of her father. She was a nurse and he was a doctor. I am in safe hands.
It turned out that the bus was full and there wouldn't be one for another 45 minutes so me and my medical team shared a taxi to the airport where my new doctor friend helped me with all the airport procedures. Although his English was minimal, we were able to communicate. He was a very gentle and nice man. Once we landed in Brasilia, he offered me a lift to my hosts house and even let me use his phone to call them. I had looked it as id and knew he wasn't a phony so I took the lift with happiness of not having to get a bus. He introduced me to some new music and got me to my couch surfing friends safely.
Also on the flight, I sat next to a newly graduated doctor so it seemed like I was really encountering people in the medical field today.
My hosts, Zizzi and Carlos greeted me into their home with open arms and we chatted a bit before going to bed. It felt like I had met them before as they were so easy to get along with and made me feel at home straight away. Even with Carlos showing off his Celtic Jersey with pride haha.
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.