Football, Mountains, Beaches and Gay Bars
Trip Start Jan 23, 2007
24Trip End Ongoing
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The absolute highlight was probably the day we went to the beach one of the hostel workers had a day off and organised a trip for all the crew (me, the Ozzies, the Mancunians, The Swedes, the Londoners, Silly Chile and our host and his girflriend) to spend one last day together on a secluded beach on the outskirts of Rio. The waves were way to strong for chilled out swimming but we did have a great laugh throwing ourselves into the crashing waves and playing football and beach rugby with a coconut!
Despite the bad weather over the last couple of days, I have managed to fit in most the touristy things mainly the Sugarloaf Mountain cable car ride where I watched sun set over the City of Rio, unfortunately the cloud cover affected the experience although seeing the Christ the Redeemer statue amongst all the clouds we were absorbed in was surreal thing to see.
To top it all off my last day was fantastic. After given up all hope of going to the Maracana (the Mecca of the religion that is football) I tagged along with an Israeli, a Scotswoman and a Londoner (sounds like what could potentially be a great joke) to (historically) the largest stadium in the world to watch 2 Rio teams (Vasco De Gama and Botafogo)play. Ignoring the tourist trips not only did we save 20quid but we also go to sit amongst the fanatical Botafogo supporters and having adopted them as my new favourite club in the world the fans made sure we were armed with flags to join in! The atmosphere was electrifying (drums, flares and 50ft flags commonplace) and to top it off the game itself was enthralling it was a 5 goal thriller with 2 red cards a disallowed goal and a last minute penalty that won the game for Botafogo (3-2). Tears were shed of joy were shed by men and women alike and I got the impression that the cliche ´´Well its only a game`´ could possibly be a capital offence. Then what should have been a 20 minute journey back lasted an hour as we made our way out of the stadium with the thousands of Botafogans chanting dancing and drumming their way out of the stadium.
As if that was not enough for one day after some discussion myself the Ozzies and the Londoners joined our lesbian bar team and their gay friends for an insight into Rios other side. Going to a fantastic gay club in the Downtown of Rio we danced on a raised floor till the early hours politely informing our fellow club-goers now again of our sexual orientation. The DJs were wonderfully good at well DJing and were equally wonderfully camp making for a great alternative night out in Rio.
The only disappointment is that I am not there anymore, saying farewell to people who have become such good friends (guest and staff alike) but this disappointment is surpassed by the people I will meet further down the line and if not, there is always a return flight to Rio!