Day 7: Tue 8 July: Another overcast morning so we again avoid Sugar Loaf
Mountain and instead amble around the Rio Sul shopping centre a couple of bus rides via Largo from home base towards, but not at Copacabana.
Rio is built on and around various mountains so places might be close on a map but in actuality you have to go on long bypass roads, up twisty mountain tracks or through concrete tunnels a lot. Walking is thus not always appropriate.
Brazil are playing today so it is yellow and green dress code all the way for us; and 90pc of the city.
We have become pretty adept at the bus system which is a flat fare Real 3 (90p) per trip with kids free. Travel by bus is not only cheaper, with higher and better views, but also enables the seasoned traveller to get the real city experience and chat to locals and improve native language. We are all over it, like Palin or Grylls but with no back-up or tv crew to baby sit us – doing it real, doing it properly.
This time we chatted with a (originally) Dutch guy and his daughter who were visiting Rio from their home up north in Belem. He had been in Brazil 19 years. We chatted about Holland’s progress in the World Cup, my 8-1 £20 each way bet on them, and NUFC boy and Dutch penalty hero Tim Krul. They wanted to know loads about him so we talked about his debut away at Palermo and the amazing interview he gave after the clean sheet he kept in a 0-1 NUFC win, and what a nice guy he seems to be.
Holland will probably go out tomorrow, as I have backed them – I didn’t tell them I thought that though!
As northern types and Krul fans they had an affinity with us which was cool. Bus folk.
I won’t mention we missed our stop on the way out, but will mention that we blagged back for free the two stops we over shot on the other side.
At the shops we found a place to dump the kids (amazing kids activity centre complete with hairdressers, role play area and football pitch) so we could make the blog title a lie for a hour for just Real 50 (£13).
Just check the photos of what they did to Zoe! The kids loved it and their Portuguese is coming on a treat.
I purchased a cheap ‘overflow’ bag for all the souvenirs we are picking up along the way that we should not be getting – as they do not fit in our tightly packed rucksacks.
Dexter gets a fluffy Fuleco mascot which he has been lusting after for a while. Z gets a Troll (gonk) with long hair for balance. Thanks Grandad Anth for dosh for that.
It has been raining so we have done the right thing hanging in a covered mall for morning and Bibi chain lunch. We head home to dump new bag, get coats (we don’t use them) and get Claire in her mosquito proof clothes.
The ‘apparently’ trendy area nearby of Santa Teresa is meant to be a decent place for cool bars. We get a cab there at 4:10 to watch Brazil v Germany semi-final at 5pm. The whole city shuts down for Brazil games. Even the huge shopping centre we were in closes its doors.
We get the last table for 4, the place is chocca with Brazilians, we are in yellow and the place could not be more authentic.
My football ideal is a great game, with a Brazil win to keep the locals happy and the tournament going. A generous, happy, atmosphere all night and onward through the week till Saturday.
No matter how much I love football, and want it to enrich my life and make me happy, football doesn’t like me.
In fact it absolutely hates me and does its utmost to screw me over and disappoint me at almost every turn.
I support Newcastle United and England: since 1970, nothing but disappointment. I was born in 1971. On the Saturday morning first day of season on Supermac’s (Malcolm McDonald) debut for NUFC at Crystal Palace.
NUFC lost. How auspicious.
The day I wear a Brazil top, having travelled X thousand miles to get to Rio, and have a seat in an ace, local, off-the-beaten-track bar, to see the home team make the World Cup Final and revel in the passionate madness of a Latin American win, is the day the five-time winners play like arseholes and let the Kraut Euro bullies rip them apart and hand out a complete and utterly comprehensive battering the like of which is rarely found outside of a fish and chip shop.
Add that to Italia 90, Euro 96, WC 2010; and throw in WC 1970 for measure.
I actually went to the final of Euro 96 at Wembley; which Germany won – having previously got tickets hoping England would be there.
If I can get my paws on a ticket for this Final I wouldn’t bet against Germany doing it again.
Great. Half the Final is European already and the other half could be that again, or the most-despised Argentina.
All this way for Germany v France and Germany v Holland – hey ho!
I love football, just the football gods have it in for me!!
That said the Alzirao street party Brazil win v Columbia was unforgettable.
We get a cab straight home after the 7-1 drubbing, as rumours had it once Brazil went out the scumbag
element would riot.
Fortunately it is raining so I doubt there will be folk on street.
There are certainly fewer firecrackers than last night.
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