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Displaying items by tag: Lapa Street Party

Rio3Rio de Janeiro was the city where I ended my seven month trip, and perhaps that is why I feel I have unfinished business with the place: I didn’t feel like it was really time to leave. Or, maybe it was any of these reasons:

1. When booking our ticket we thought “Great! August! Summer!”.... This was in the Southern Hemisphere; it was winter when we got there.

Yes, we didn’t really think about that whole tricky hemisphere thing. I mean, you’d just assume Brazil would be warm, wouldn’t you? Well, it’s not. We had two days of sun during which we sat on the beach sipping coconuts and praying we’d get tans (we didn’t) so that we wouldn’t have the embarrassment of returning home after our epic journey with the same pasty skin we left with (we did). Also most of the major sights in Rio (going up Sugarloaf Mountain, seeing Christ the Redeemer, paragliding onto Copacabana Beach) require sunlight and clear skies. Hence, we slipped into living a life of luxury...

2. I didn’t get a full Brazilian Wax.

So, instead of being cultural, we thought “When in Brazil...” and went to a nearby salon. But then... it just looked painful. So I wimped out and didn’t go the whole hog. This trip to the salon marked the beginning of...

3. We finally snapped from months of tight budgeting and, with the end in sight, went mad.

Not only did we spend all our remaining money at Ipenema market and on far too much food (we not only returned home pale, but also fat). Feeling depressed, we decided to treat ourselves. And that’s how we found ourselves sipping drinks Rio2inside the iconic Copacabana Palace Hotel with the rich and famous. Not only this, but after hours of demanding to be brought more complimentary snacks by the disgruntled-looking waiters, we snuck into the hotel to look around. Upon leaving, we decided to visit the next door H. Stern jewelery shop. Here we were promptly mistaken for guests and offered a free transfer to and tour of the H. Stern diamond headquarters, which we accepted.

The next day we got all dressed up and accepted our chauffeured taxi to the HQ, where we got shown around and then allowed to try on diamonds in a private consultation before being asked if there was anything we’d like to have put aside (there wasn’t). Then we were offered a free transfer to anywhere we liked, and so...

 

 

4.  We stooped to new lows.

 

Rio4We took the free transfer to the posh Leblon Shopping Centre and watched the new Harry Potter film. Also, we snuck into another hotel, where we had a friend staying waiting for her family to arrive the following day, and not only abused their room service and spa facilities but also stole leftover room service deliveries people had left in the corridors to have taken away. I wish I was lying.

Sadly the extent to our traveling failure does not end here.

5. Our crazy nights out on the Rio party scene didn’t go... as planned.

When we went to the infamous Lapa Street Party, it rained. And then street children tried to mug us. Also, we didn’t visit Rio at Carnival time, so instead Rio1we went to a practice which was cool, expect one friend got so drunk I had to escort her home in a taxi. To make matters worse, she passed out and couldn’t tell us the apartment she was staying in with a friend, so we got to her road, the non-English speaking taxi driver asked where we’d like to stop, and all I could do was give him a helpless look.

This is the point where I very easily could have been unceremoniously dumped half an hour away from my hostel in an empty street with an unconscious girl, but luckily my driver was lovely and asked where my hostel was. At this point I realized I already didn’t have enough money on me to pay him what was on the meter. He waved this aside. I couldn’t remember my exact hostel address. He handed me the satnav and helped me find it. He drove us the extra twenty minutes, then helped me carry her safely out the taxi, and watched us safely inside. This man was a saint. Unfortunately my hostel had a strict “no guests allowed” policy so I had to sneak Unconscious Friend in by pretending she was my other friend, and giving her Other Friend’s bed. Never mind sneaking her out again in the morning...

So there you have it. I need to go back to Rio, and do it right this time!

©Leah Eades

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