Bloco Vomit in Rio - Part 3
The next day was Sunday, my last day, which gave us time to have morning coffee on the beach, go shopping, some went to watch a football match in the Maracana stadium while me and Steve headed up the Pau de Suca (Sugar Loaf Mountain). It is actually surprisingly tranquil at the top with gardens and the most amazing view (obviously). We stayed until well after sunset and watched the lights of the city come up. For me it was probably the moment when I felt the most at ease in the entire trip. It was interesting that I really felt quite at home in Rio while I thought Sao Paulo sucked.
Some of the others went to see a free gig in Ipanema which included (unadvertised) the afro block Ilhe Aye which I was disappointed to miss. Still the samba jam session we saw in a local pub was really special. I was struck by how similar to a Scottish folk session it was in terms of group dynamic and volume.
Finally we had an excellent meal on the beach front and I did some last minute shopping to finish off my last Reais (Brazilian money). This proved to be a bit of a mistake as the international airport tax is $35 dollars, 65 Reais, so I ended up having to get more money at the airport. Fortunately the cash machines there take Cirrus so I could use my regular cash machine card.
Incidently if any of BV read this before they leave the bus journey is 1 hour not and hour and a half (so that gives you all an extra half hour in bed). Also ring and check the departure time, mine was later than I expected. It became even later when two people got off the plane for some unknown reason and all the baggage had to be unloaded so they could get their bags back. When I got to Brussels the nice air hostess told me that I had to go and retrieve my bag as it had only been checked in as far as Brussels, only for me to be told that I had missed my connection because I had passed through border controls and that I should have gone straight to the transit lounge and let them deal with my bag :-( This meant an extra five hours delay in Brussels airport.
When I finally got back I slept for 13 hours and I'm still feeling totally dazed.
That's more than enough for now.