Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Those Final, Happy, Holidaying Days

It feels like a long time ago since we were in Brazil (so much has happened between then and now!) but I'm gonna do my best to relay the tale of what we got up to in those last few days. 

As if the climate knew of Brazil's impending doom in the world cup, the sky grew thick with clouds in the hours before the game, the heavens opening as Germany rained down the goals. For the next few days it was as if the weather were in mourning for it's country, and we had to make ourselves some new, rain-friendly plans.  
It was a random few days, with some things not working out at all as we'd thought they would.

We went to an art museum that had a Salvador Dali exhibition, choosing the small queue rather than the big one, because obviously "those people were there for something entirely different." We soon got into the part of the exhibition for which we had been waiting, to find it was a room made into a face.
Sometimes I hate art.

The botanical gardens were pretty spectacular. I enjoyed just wandering around being amazed by how truly cool nature is. The bored security guard in the orchid house also took some pictures of us in, under and around the orchids. Funny. 
We went to a samba bar that we'd read good reviews about. It was quirky with old theatre artifacts on the walls and a lift exactly like the one on the Titanic, but unfortunately all the staff were rude, pretentious w*nkers. I'm sorry, I don't care how 'cool' the place is, if there's a bad atmosphere then I'd rather not bother. On a brighter note, we did meet some nice people to hang out with on the streets again! 

Another day we got up early to go on a favela tour. This one had been recommended to us as being a good walking tour of one of the biggest favelas, led by a man (well, boy, really) who'd grown up there. We waited, hungry and thirsty for twenty minutes at the meeting point before he showed up. Then we got into his van. He talked to us for a little while then proceeded to have about a million conversations on his two phones, as if he were some sort of dealer. The driver, too, spent a lot of time on his phone. We stopped and waited twice more, then were told that the trip would be cut short due to traffic. Lee questioned the guy about his non-apologetic attitude to being late, which didn't go down too well, leading to a heated debate that ended in an ultimatum. The boy-man told us we could basically either shut up or get off the bus. So we got off the bus. Luckily we hadn't paid any of the overpriced cost. Finding ourselves at an unexpected loose end, we then went to the fort on the hill at the end of the beach, which apparently does a great brunch. After walking all the way up, we found out that the cafe is shut on Sundays. On the plus side we saw a great view and also the life size bear statues that were up at that end of the beach, each one decorated to represent a different country of the world.
We were so starving by that point that we ate a massively huge and disgusting inch-thick-cheese-with-no-tomato pizza, then felt so sick that we had to walk the length of the Copacabana just to begin to feel over it. There we sat drinking beer and perving on Ian Wright, Glen Hoddle and the rest of the ITV pundit gang. Good times.

Our absolute food highlight was visiting a churrascaria, aka Brazil's most famous dining experience. It had the best salad bar ever, which was just a side to the big slabs of beef being carried around by the waiters. You could choose which part of the cow you wanted, or have a different meat entirely. Lee left his cardboard circle on 'green' for a few minutes and looked like he was in heaven as the meat piled up on his plate from various sources. It was so good that we went again in Sao Paulo on our last night!

On the day of the final the weather brightened up and we joined the masses on the beach to watch the big screen. Apparently 100 thousand extra Argentinians drove to Rio over that weekend and the roads were lined with their camper vans. The beach was a sea of sky blue and white shirts. I've never seen so many tattoos in my life- I never knew it was so acceptable to have a footballer's face inked onto your shoulder blade...
We left the beach after the Germany goal, in an attempt to not get beaten up for originating from a country in the same continent as Germany. 
Then, after our final bout of partying on the street, it was time to leave. 

And that, folks, is all. 

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