Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brazil, top three countries I have ever been to.

This was our spot in Rio, we ate here everyday. Great food and super friendly staff.

The Botafogo side of the stadium.

The Flamenco side.

A shot of the Marvelous City from the top of Sugar Loaf.

Our gang at the soccer match.
Brazil is just flat out an amazing place and Rio specifically is wonderful. So far we have met nothing but incredibly nice people and been having a great time. On top of that I get to hang out with my best bud after a year away. Mattis and I lived together for 8 years, so to say that we are close is an understatement, the guy is like a brother to me and being able to hang out again in such a cool place has been a really fantastic experience.

Brazil is a country full of friendly people, super friendly. Even the touts and street vendors, who in other countries can be a major nuisance, here will go out of their way to help you out without expecting anything in return. Everyone loves to dance and sing and is always smiling. People here seem very happy.

We went to a soccer game last week which was a really cool experience. It was the two biggest teams from Rio, and arch rivals: Flamenco and Botafogo. I have always wanted to go to a Soccer game in a big Latin American city as they are so passionate about the game and it was definitely worth the money. The crowds go nuts, they sing songs the entire game, wave huge flags, beat drums, dance. The atmosphere is fantastic. They don’t serve alcohol at the games, and I could see why, it would just get out of control. They even had helicopters flying over head with police officers carrying machine guns!

Soccer is not my game, but it was pretty neat being there. Botafogo was winning with an early goal but in the last 15 seconds Flamenco scored with a truly impressive leaping side kick (I am just describing what it looked like, I have no idea of what the actual move was called!) to tie the game and the place went nuts. It was really fun.

The weather turned beautiful that day, and stayed so for the rest of the time we were in Rio. We hit the beach and soaked up some rays, swam and had a nice chill one. Brazilians just do not like wearing clothes, is my theory. At the beach or cruising the streets of the city the guys wear soongas, speedos, or little shorts and the girls are very nearly nude. They have thong bottoms and the top has just enough material to cover the naughty bits. They sell beer on the beach for about a buck to a buck fifty and everyone hangs out and chit chats with each other or plays some sport. Needless to say, Mattis and I definitely enjoyed the day!

Our last day in Rio, Mattis went on a tour of the city and I went on a boat cruise around the harbor. The boat cruise came with all you can eat food and alcohol (not bad for $30!) and was full of 20 something Brazilians and travelers from all over the world. Mattis couldn’t believe that I was passing up a chance to gain some culture in favor of going to a party. That made me laugh as not too long ago Mattis was the one always wanting to go out and do fun stuff and I was the serious one always working. It just goes to show that people are constantly changing.

The boat cruise was fantastic, I hung out with a big group of Aussies who, as typical Aussies, were a ton of fun. We sailed around dancing, swimming, drinking Caprrinhas and eating Brazilian bar-b-que. It was one of the most fun days I have had in a long time. A little too much fun, unfortunately as I basically pulled an all nighter, only getting about two hours sleep before getting up to catch a flight to Slavador where we now are. On the flight I started getting chills and my muscles were aching, then by the time we got to our hostel I had a scorching fever and nasty cough. I was worried I had Malaria or something as I was pouring sweat and having difficulty breathing. We got to a pharmacy and I got some medicine and by about midnight the fever broke and I was feeling a little less like I was going to die.

Slavador is gearing up for Carnival around us right now and there is electricity in the air. This is going to be a crazy good time, you can just feel it. Carnival in Salvador is the biggest party in the world, and something Mattis and I have always wanted to do. I am going to take it easy tonight as I am feeling a lot better and don’t want to regress, but I am not going to miss out on this just because of a little bug. It is a shame I wont be getting down to Argentina as I really wanted to do some trekking there, but it is out of my control. Brazil though, is turning out to be plenty of fun and full of new experiences.

If anyone out there reading this is considering a vacation in the near future, think about Brazil. It is an amazing place, and easily one of the best I have ever been to. I will absolutely be returning.


jesstheonlyartist said...

Glad to see pics of the soccer man. I agree, not my cup of tea either.

I still can't believe you got so sick again! Remember what I said... rest when you get home!

Well enjoy carnival... you are in a whole new ball field! Or should I said... soccer field *haha*

Talk to you soon.

Lisa in Louisiana said...

Woooowwwwwwww . . . what a great post!!!! so much for me to think about! SMILE!!! Have fun! Take care! I'm off this weekend to enjoy my own version of Carnival ... Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge!!! Whoot! Check my blog next week for pics!

Maggie said...

Caipirinha! Makes me dizzy just thinking about them. A very good friend of mine used to spend his summers in Brazil, and would "convince" me to drink a couple of those every now and then. All the sugar makes the alcohol go right to your bloodstream - very efficient!

I haven't actually thought about partying, in any sense, for a while - but watching the video with all those people, and music...well, for a second I almost felt like doing something fun for a change! I really hope I have the chance to do something like this someday.

As for thongs and pieces of clothing covering naughty bits...the mental images make me want to go out and get a tan...and drink another Caipirinha!

Definitely take it easy this weekend...I think it starts next week, right? I can't wait for the pictures. I've heard stories, but it's really supposed to be something else! Feel better!