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Trip Start Jun 22, 2013
1
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Trip End Aug 27, 2013


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Flag of United States  , Washington, D.C.
Sunday, June 23, 2013

I arrived a Heathrow, lots of time, so it was just a case of checking and get airside, nope this is United airlines and nothing so simple as that, but I got my ticket then had to get my bagged weighed, fine 18 Kgs, well under, but they couldn't find anyone to lift it so I had to cart it downstairs to put it in a bin (escorted by a guard of course) then back up and go through security


Well that did go well, no dramas, but all I had time for was a coffee before I got on the plane, it was just trying to get my bag on board that was the trouble


What else can I say; it was a long, boring flight to Washington DC


My bag went one way I went another, I wouldn’t see it until Rio now, a rather worrying thought, going by the start United had made


I got to Washington and now faced 10 hour layover, so it was a case of wandering about, drinking coffee and moving along, it wasn’t until I had been there 8 hours I was told I could have gone off the airport to look around (I don’t know how far Washington Airport is from anywhere though) but it would have been nice for someone to let me know, but I shall remember it on my return


It was through the US security and I ended up just with trousers and tee shirt and I still set off alarms, I think it upset him he had to stand up and use the wand


Everything came out of my bag, I just gave up him taking the bag back and forward and putting it through the scanner each time, then me take something else out, well he put the whole tray through and scanned it again (of course the queue has really built up now) son I just took my time putting stuff away and getting dressed, but he was well fed up and asked me to move along, I said I will, but you started all this, not me, so I leave another happy person in my wake


The next flight was a night flight, but it was full so there wouldn’t be a chance of sprawling out in a spare seat, so I slept sitting up, not comfortable, but I managed a couple of hours, but the A/C was freezing


We landed at Sao Paulo airport for a change of shift, clean the windscreen and fill up on juice that lasted and hour then the few that were going o trooped aboard; there was about 20 left so we all had a choice of seats for the 30 minute flight


We landed and took less than 5 minutes to get through customs and immigration, a real change from the US


Well it was outside a find a taxi to the Art Hostel, and even that was easy, no rip off ride either, but I don’t think the driver knew where it was, to make life even better, he made a phone call and he was talked all the way here


Not much I can say about the Art Hostel, it’s clean, reasonably tidy, got Wi-Fi, serves breakfast (which I haven’t tried yet)


I met up with Danny (my guide/leader I think) and a few others, and then it was off to find my room


I dumped all my kit in the room and met people downstairs, it was off to visit or rather a walk along the Copacabana beach, it weren’t really beach weather, dull overcast, a hint of rain, but it was better than just sitting in my room with 2 bags


We got the underground, I never knew they had that here, but it looked tidy and clean and was reasonably cheap (about a quid a ride,) I have met up with 2 Aussie guys, bout my age, so we left the youngsters to their own devices while we walked along the beach, there is some kind of construction going on, some religious thing going on, it looks quite substantial for a temporary thing, (haven’t seen much in the way of these protests either)


We stopped off at a beachside bar for a beer, the beach is a lot better than Bali, the sand is actually sand and soft and fine, it was just a shame about the weather, it really isn’t beach weather, but there was still plenty going on there, beach volley ball, football, construction, unfortunately no sunbathers or bikinis in view


It is warm, but humid, so while we were enjoying our beer I caught up with how things had been going on the trip,


There had been various people leaving and joining the trip along the way, (It’s a bit like a hop on, hop off type of trip with various parts where you can join them,)


 I don’t know how many are doing the whole trip, but it seems there are a few that are leaving and now a couple joining on this leg of the trip


We finished our drinks and as it’s a Sunday nowhere was open, so we went in search of an ATM, (All I had was US$ and UKú, so if I was going to pay my way, I needed some local currency (I had borrowed a 100 reais (I think that’s what they are called) we found the ATM, I repaid my loan (I don’t like borrowing money, especially as I had just met these 2 blokes)


Then it was  back on the underground and back to the Art Hostel


I met up with a few more people, Danny had arranged a dinner to meet everyone this evening, so it was upto my room and sort out my kit


The people I am sharing my room aren’t on my trip, so there doesn’t seem much point in getting to know them, but I spark up conversation with them, Dave is a young lad, doing volunteer work, coaching football and paying for the privilege of volunteering (I keep my mouth shut here) another is a black girl who is just watching films on her laptop (very much like Toby on my last trip) and another French guy who has all his gear spread over, he is into martial arts and likes to let everyone know (I think he is trying to impress, but he failed with me, they are sports, been there, done that)


I have a top bunk, so its just a case of lobbing everything up there and let it sort itself out, later


There is a locker to store all your valuables in, but my lock don’t fit, so we adapt things and now it does, there is their kit spread all over the room in various piles, I just slide it over so I can spread my own out a bit


Now its just a bit of time to get some of this down before this evening


................................................................................................................................................................



We all met up to go for dinner, they have these places you pick all you want, then they weigh it out and that’s what you pay for (a great idea, it certainly cuts back on waste food, better than the US, eat all you can for $9.99 and throw most away)


There was certainly a lot of choice, all the sea food and meat you could possibly want, I opted for plenty of sea food, and it was a good choice as far as I was concerned, it was a quick round of introductions, but as usual I promptly forgot everyone’s names


The meal was very good and it was just various conversations around the table, mosrtlt compareing how much each spent on dinner


Not much I can say about this, now we all had a great meal and made our way back to the hostel


They were all going on to a favella party this evening, I passed on this, as it would be going onto the small hours and I really needed to catch up on some sleep, so  left them and went to my room (It was 9PM)


I got a shock, these 3 'party animals’  in my room had gone to bed, so I had to creep about getting on the top bunk (so much for all the talk they gave me earlier about how much they liked to party, these aren’t on my trip, glad to say)

That's about it for my first day in Rio and my getting here


..............................................................................................................................................................


I was up at 7 AM, the ‘party animals’ in my room are still asleep, so I give up creeping about and get a shower and dressed and try and find out where to get a coffee and breakfast, they serve it here, somewhere, so they say


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Comments

Linda on

Derrick, this is GREAT! glad you made it safe to this point, safe travels on out. I am enjoying your comments immensely. have fun, enjoy, be safe, and send ticket! LOL...

enjoy friend,

linda

Anne on

Glad to see you are enjoying the company you have
enjoying your photos
See the security was not as good as heathrow

Anne Turner on

Its lovely to read your blogs. Thankyou for including me> I hope you have agood trip.

greekcypriot
greekcypriot on

After all those hours of travelling it is nice to hear that you finally reached your guest house. The beach seems disappointing....it is better crowded.
It is not the kind of beach I would like to swim though!
Ok, I look forward to the coming entry....all the best Derrick and thanks for sharing all this information with us all.

rossport
rossport on

Good to see you are at the start point mate and now the real fun begins the US security was just a test of your resolve i would say.

The beach looks like Aussie ones soft sand and great breakers for body surfing and fishing.

Enjoy the stay in Rio and looking forward to the trip with you

daryl on

The joys of international travel, the yanks do go a bit over the top.I wouldnt be able to cope with full on party animals (been there done that got the T shirt) but your guys ...well....small hands small.......Glad your luggage made it. Looking forward to each days events ...enjoy....

mmbcross
mmbcross on

Other than the connection in the USA, a great start to a wonderful trip. I'm sure the sun will come out soon.

Deepti on

After so many times packed and unpacked your bag so many times in ur home finally you got right weight of bag.. beach seems disappointed but i m happy that u got beer to enjoy by beach. Don't worry about bikinis and sunbath.. there will be lotss to see in future he he he he...
youngster are asusual everywhere...You cannot do anything with them :P

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