we revisit our heroes, in the land of the thong… mines a little tight, but…
In order to see a bit more, I ordered a hang glider flight. Rio is full of big rocks, so its natural that people would want to jump off them. We met a friendly but somewhat machievallian guy called Marcio who would take me for a flight. It was very very cool. Short for about $100USD but fantastic, hanging above some expensive real estate and soaring above the waves. Heroically, I again managed to refrain from spitting. Funny how those opportunities keep coming up.
I recommend hang gliding in Rio to everyone. Just be clear on the price beforehand.
And we attended a football game at the Maracana stadium, which once seated 120,000 people until some wimpy official types decided that some woosy safety regulations were being violated. So they reduced the size to more respectable 90,000, which is still a lot. We watched Flamengo (a local Rio team) play Cruzeiros. Well, I did. We watched the black and red of Flamengo battling the blue and white of cruzeiro, then … Goooooooooooooolllll! We jump up cheering like mad, and then gisela asks ..”has it started?”.
Football/soccer in Brasil is not the same as NZ. The rules kinda are, but the skill and speed are miles apart. Which I guess is understandable with a population that would fit into one of rios bigger apartment blocks.
We toured the city, saw the new and old architecture, while I deftly avoided the crows of thieves that dogged my every step. Rio is awash with thieves trying to trap innocent heroic types, according to some people, but fortunately, kiwis are pretty smart, and I escaped unscathed.
And we ascended Pao de Acucar, one of the massive granite monoliths surrounding the harbour. We went by cable car, which evidentally both James Bond and Homer Simpson used. They both climbed outside, but since this hero doesnt walk in anyones footsteps, I heroically stayed inside. Another amazing view.
On our last day, Giselas dad took us to a churrascaria, right on the waterfront. A churrascaria is a brasilian barbeque, and its not a place to be a vegetarian. Most vegetarian things end up sizzling succulently on a skewer. Basically the waiters just keep coming round with skewers of said succulence, and will keep topping you up as long as you nod. Or dont vigorously protest.
“Bem fininho” (very fine) is a good phrase if you want to avoid meat overdose. Chicken, sheep, lamb, pigs and cows all sacrificed themselves that day. Messy. But very good. Except the chicken hearts. Dont eat them. Nasty. How come NZ doesnt do meat so well?
And so, that was the end of this trip to Rio. Except… for the 2nd half, which consisted of checking in for our flight to Mexico, and standing for 2 hours in a kilometer long queue, while 3 brasilians looked at passports and made sure we were all terrorists and could therefore leave. Or something. No one was actually sure what they were doing, but everyone was in agreement that 3 people might not be enough.
Thoughtfully, the airport management recognised that we were standing in a guiness world record queue, and sent entertainment. unfortunately, the only act available was some airport guy who tried to “push in” about 30 people just in front of us (and some vocal locals), after we had been waiting for 1 and a half hours. The ensuing almost riot was pretty entertaining though.
And then, we headed to mexico, land of aztecs and mayans, guacamole and margaritas… and more margaritas…