In Rio there are many huge beaches that are devided up into "Postos", basically different areas all numbered. Every posto has a different group of people that tend to congregate there
. These include one for families and children, one for all the sporty fit people with tanned bodies, another where all the favela kids hang out, and also the gay area one amongst others. This is so important in Rio, that when on a night out itīs common to get asked "Where do you sit on the beach?" this way people know what type of person you are. So when we headed to the beach, we didnīt really think to check which posto corresponded to which social group, we just headed straight from the metro to the sea, and sat down. As fate would have it, where do you think we ended up? Thatīs right, in the favela kids area! But little did we know this until later on that day. We noticed some undesirables hanging around not to far from where we were sat, no belongings no towels no books, a couple of pregnant 12 year olds and random guys singing and messing around. We didnīt think anything of it until a police buggy (they drive around on 4x4s buggies on the beach) ran a ring around us and told us specifically to advice us to watch out for this group of favela kids (They heard, awkward!) as they must have been known trouble makers and beach theaves. Well, if we werenīt little white gringa theaf-targets before we certainly were now! Luckily for us the police presence must have put them off and they left shortly afterwards. Cringe!
We had a trip around the centre of Rio which seems to be more of a business district with some old musuems and churchs scattered about so a complete mix of architecture. We also sampled some of the local 'Aįai' which is a sorbet made with amazonian berries, very tasty and extremely good for you! Can't get into your local doctor? No problem, just visit the street doctors, one of many serives that charge by the hour (see phonebox picture).
Our plan for the night was to go meet a girl we met on the coach on the way to Ilha Grande at her place in Copa, go to a free concert on the beach followed by a BBQ and then onto a club
. Well in traditional Brazilian time, everthing ran late. We missed the majority of the free concert but it was rubbish anyway, hung around on the beach for hours waiting for the guy whoīs birthday BBQ it was to show up with the food, by 11 heīd only just arrived and there was no sign of starting up a BBQ. Famished, and having already made plans to meet our new hostel buddies from Chicago, Miles and Steve, we made a sharp exit from the sleezy Brazilian men at the beach concert and got into a taxi to the club. Bought the most expensive and most melted mini chocolate bar ever from a street vendor outside the club for dinner, and blagged our way inside as we didnīt have the necessary flyer for free entry. Lucky for us clubs in Rio have restaurants, so after a free caipirinha we headed straight for the food! Best steak sandwich and chips ever! Bit of boogy and few more caipirinhas later it was time for bed.
What a night spend in El Misti Shitsy hostel this was! We were in a room for 8 people, by the time the morning came there were at least 10 people in our room. The Spaniards had brough back some people they met on their night out and got a bit freaky in the bunk above Amyīs head! They turned the lights on when they came in, talked loudly and proceeded to get it on. If no-one else in the room was awake before they were now. Gross! Steph had earplugs in and so missed the whole shabang, but poor Amy got a face full and very little sleep that night.
Another day on the beach and an early night proceeded once again waking up with some randoms persons smelly feet in our faces, and the quickest check out ever on our part. At check out Steph was rudely talked to by a yank tw*t who was way too full of himself on reception, and then we left without looking back. We booked back into Stand Fast for a whole week this time and couldnīt wait to get back there!
Possibly the worst hostel ever! We decided to leave the conforts and facilities of our previous hostel: Stand Fast in Botafogo (about 5 min metro ride to Copabana beach) to a hostel in Copabana as we planned on going out there and it was easier to stay in an area closer to where we were going out, and where our other "hostel friends" were staying so could share taxis. Well...Mistake.com! Location was great, but everything else about it was shocking. Staff were rude and unfriendly, bath rooms were 2 per floor (4 rooms of 8 people on each floor, so 16 people sharing 1 cramped toilet with no separate showers), and if the beds in the dorms had any more beds squeezed into them iīd swear we were in India! Needless to say, we dumped our stuff, Stephīs in a locker that didnīt lock, and headed for the beach.