Hooray, we’ve made it. I can’t tell you how relieved and excited I am to have made it to Rio. However this also means that “travelling” has now begun as we are no longer in the Mothering care of Vivian’s family. So as one challenge ends, another begins…
Will Vivian adapt well to being on the road? To reap the rewards she’ll need to put in hard work.
How will I handle having a “wingman”? Will I be able to lead with aptitude from previous experience? How sharp is Vivian’s instinct; her gut?
I’m taking nothing for granted but I am looking forward to learning all over again.
We departed Manaus in what looks to be good timing (for us at least). Quite literally in the last few days there has been a Covid-explosion. I mean it’s pretty serious. There’s even a dedicated BBC article. In short, there has been a shortage of auxiliary Oxygen in the hospitals. Only yesterday and for at least five hours, most hospitals were without said oxygen and patients died of asphyxiation. My God.
On a less sombre note, Vivian turned a year older prior to us leaving a few days back so her Dad did what he does best – threw another BBQ. Due to Covid-awareness, it was decided to be an immediate family invite only so less than six of us. Here’s round one. Yes, round one – for less than six people. Hmmm? Looks like a banquet for 16 to me!
So we’re currently staying in downtown Rio (Centro). Not typically the area tourists would stay but we’re taking precaution and being as mindful as possible. The plan is to find accommodation that ticks several boxes which will allow us to settle as a base over the days ahead. Then we’ll move on to another district within Rio.
Having hardly seen a Skyscraper since I’ve been in Brazil, it was strangely enjoyable to be amongst a mix of vertical tower blocks and some greenery! Oh, how I’ve missed some city-greenery.
A further inadvertent advantage to being central is that it’s in walking distance to a popular tourist spot; the Escadaria Selarón, also known as the ‘Selaron Steps‘.
Such an incredible array of tiles from different countries representing everything and nothing. It was hilarious to identify that the higher you climbed, the less touristic it was. People really don’t like stairs.
Getting around Rio, for tourists anyway, seems to be primarily to either use Uber or simply get walking. Strange for me to think that five years ago, I didn’t catch a single Uber. As for walking, the last two days we’ve been here have reported a blistering 30 degrees so walking isn’t as easy or enjoyable as normal. The Carioca Aqueduct happened to be close by and interestingly I noted a little tram running over it; something I’ll want to look into further before we depart the central area in the days ahead.
Brazil continues to offer fantastic value for money chiefly through food and hospitality. You may recall as The Unlikely Traveller my default accommodation choice was hostels. I proved through research and experience you’d be foolish to not experience these if you have an interest for meeting people, learning from other cultures and are budget savvy.
Whilst we’re at the beginning of travelling, Covid permitting, what is currently on offer by modest 3 star hotels is going to be hard to beat. This time round, with two people, suddenly room rates are as competitive as single bed dorms. Then there’s the fact that due to the times we’re in, unfortunately we have to limit exposure to people we don’t know. Sad, but true.
If I use the cheapest rates of Eastern Europe that I stayed in, say between £5 and £8 per night, currently here (even in Rio) we are averaging £18 a night for a room. Less than a tenner each. That’s a double bed room with AC and breakfast. Like I said, hard to beat.
Food in Brazil has been my greatest joy to-date. If you look around, you’ll find great prices and good quality too. That’s a great feeling for anyone who generally likes a bargain but when you’re travelling, it’s like a desert oasis!
That’s a bottle of beer (a popular brand over here), a soda (like a Coke), and two full decent tasting meals. with sauce, rice, and chips. Just in case the picture is deceiving, it was so large that we ended up ‘bagging’ the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch *
Total cost including drinks: £9.
*Tomorrow’s lunch didn’t actually happen. Less than 15 seconds after leaving the restaurant, the presumably highly recognisable green bag provided by the restaurant was identified by those less fortunate (and in wait). Gesticulating with fingers to mouth, our food of course became their food. Even a street-hardened Vivian approved of the gesture 🙂
Tune in next week folks and we’ll see what else we can find in this large, large city. Apparently there’s a famous beach or two somewhere around here….