Rio De Janeiro – Ipanema

Kruse is in Rio.  It should be awesome, and kind of is, but is raining – and got here at 5am after no sleep and much bus travel and watching Spiderman 3 in Portuguese.

But – left Oro Preto – bus to Belo Horizonte.  Another bus to Congonhas.  Helpful lady told me no bus to Rio from Congonhas.  Have to go back to Belo Horizonte.  But, the bus is at 11:20pm, and last bus from Conhongas to Belo Horizonte is 10-something.  But, bad news, luggage storage closes at 5pm.  Is at this time 4pm.  Want to go visit 12 Prophets, then go onto Rio.  So… walk with backpack.  Don’t know where to go.  Just walk, then remember reading something about them being at a basilica on top of a hill.  See a basilica.  On a hill.  Big hill.  Walk up it.  Hard – not happy when I get to the top, and see something that would be cool, but not worth an hours climb in the sun with my pack.  But – Aleidijinho’s (sp?) masterpiece.  And – on way back down, before I find a long-awaited bar – get offered a lift by local.  Old brown pickup truck with little motorcycle&rider as statue on bonnet.  Very very cracked windscreen. How could I say No?  Lift to bus station – and he chases down the bus just leaving.  I try to say “No – it’s alright, I want a cerveja before I go anyway.”  So – taken to local bar.  Eat local food, my new friend rolls cigars with raw tobacco and corn husks.  Good times.  More amigos arrive.  New friend offers place to stay.  I accept – this place is great, and actually being local is awesome.  More time.  New friend gets very drunk.  Doesn’t like cerveja – only drinks cachaca.  Not very many – but pretty quickly looking rather dopey.  I decide to catch tonights bus instead.  But – he insists on driving me to bus station, rather than me walking across pedestrian bridge.  45 minutes till next bus – lots of hugs when I leave.  Brilliant town, kind of regret leaving early – but suspect my friend may have been a little man-friendly.

Bus to Belo Horizonte.  Another bus to Rio de Janeiro.  Rio de Janeiro.  Awesome.  Except, I arrive at 5am, after 2 hours sleep – don’t know where to go, and bus station is in very very dodgy neighbourhood.  Wander around in daze for a while.  Consider waiting until tourist office opens.  Instead – wait until bar opens – eat a ‘pasteleria’ and drink a cerveja.  Pay for a taxi to a hostel in Ipanema.  6am – can’t see anything – but realise the next day that this one address is actually for 7 different hostels.  As well as 5 family residences.  But – apparently the chap that saw me first and therefore grabbed my business, won the “Rio Hostel Of The Year” award.  When?  Don’t know.  Who judged?  Don’t know.

But – very big crowded, very packed dorm room.  I take it, and go to sleep with all my stuff still in pockets.  All good.

This morning – I wake up in Ipanema.  Turns out my hostel is called the “Girl From Ipanema Hostel”.  And, it turns out that Ipanema girls do deserve to have songs written about them.  Except they don’t always look ahead.  A lot of them do look at me.  Watched beach volleyball for a while.  Cloudy day, but moments of sun, and realising that I’m sitting on Ipanema beach watching locals play beach volleyball.  Sweet.

Back to hostel, teach a guy working at the hostel how to illegally copy a DVD for his girlfriend.  And drink a bottle of passable Brazilian red wine, followed by several cervejas.

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