We got our transfer from the airport to the hostel and stumbled into the lobby. We were given keys and a coupon for a free caipirinha (a Brazilian cocktail, not today thanks) and we walked up to our dorm.
Our dorm consisted of 5 bunks (for 10 people) and a tiny bathroom, it was hot and there was very little room for us let alone our bags. This being said, this is what you get when you pay $16AUD for a bed in Ipanema.
We went for a cruise down to the beach and had a much longer swim than we did in chile as the water was closer to 20 degrees than 10. We got some food and had an early night.
The next day everyone was feeling MUCH better. We got some information from the staff at the hostel and decided to embark on a walk/trek up to a view point - Vista Chinesa (or Chinese View).
The walk was really nice, but was far from the easiest thing we’ve done. It was about a 20km return trip, looping around part of the big lagoon in central Rio and then heading 4km up a really steep winding road through the forest on the side of one of Rio’s many small mountains. The side of the road was lined with a fairly constant stream of cyclists slogging it up the hill and flying back down the other side.
We finally made it to the view point at the top to be greeted by some thick cloud making it nearly impossible to see out over the city, seriously wrecking our photo opportunities. Lucky the walk was nice!
We cruised back to the hostel, stocked up on some lunch and had a quick dip at the beach before getting ready for the big event of the day. A pilgrimage to Brazil’s largest shrine of their national religion, FOOTBALL!!
We got picked up at the hostel with some other people by a local tour operator and headed straight to the Maracana, to go watch Fluminese play Corinthians. We were led in by our guides with a herd of other gringos towards our seats amongst the home teams supporters, Fluminese.
The Maracana is a serious stadium, probably not as big as the MCG but still impressive. What was more impressive though was the atmosphere and noise the 16000 odd supporters managed to make in this huge cavern. The stadium didn’t look more than 30% full, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a crowd that loud at any Australian sporting event. It was that impressive that I swear half of the gringos sitting near us didn’t even watch the game and spent the whole time crowd watching.
Corinthinans opened the scoring early, but ended up going down 5-2 in a hugely exciting game, much to the delight and surprise of the underdog Fluminese fans surrounding us.
We left the stadium with the big group and got split up back onto the mini buses that took us straight back to the hostel for some dinner. The football day out cost us 120 Reals, a serious mark up when we worked out the tickets only cost 15 reals at the gate. We thought it was worth it though, when the transport to/from the game, and the guide who got us into and out of our seats safely was all included. Especially when we don’t speak a word of Portuguese, we all had cameras with us and the stadium was on the other side of town. #noregrets