June 24, 2o11. It’s 4 am. I got in around noon yesterday to Rio de Janeiro after a 23-hour bus ride from Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. 23 hours might sound like a lot, but it’s nothing compared to the 42-hour journey that I took from the Argentinian Patagonia to Buenos Aires. Plus, I had two Australians, Pia and Luke, and a Costa Rican girl, Alejandra, to talk to on the way.
The bus only made one stop last night, and thanks to Alejandra, I knew we weren’t going to make a stop for breakfast so I stocked up on some fruit and a bag of Cheetos.
I arrived in Rio de Janeiro and shared a taxi with the Aussies to the Santa Teresa neighborhood. I’m at the Books Hostel. Philippe, the manager, is an excellent and most hospitable host.
It’s a lot frustrating that I don’t speak Portuguese, and I’m sure that will be the impetus that will lead me to learn as much of the language as is humanly possible during my time here. I don’t know how long I’ll stay here. I’ve only got a few days planned, but my schedule is flexible and allows for a great deal of spontaneity.
I spent most of the afternoon catching up on my blog and then went out with two British-Indian guys to explore the Lapa area. The place seemed really shady, as every new place does until I get used to it. We walked around and I bought some food, a hot dog with corn, peas, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce and mayonnaise on it, and another hot dog on a stick.
Afterwards, I bought a caipirinha, which I think is the national cocktail of Brazil. It’s got sugarcane rum, lime, and sugar it in. I bought half a liter of the stuff and it was well worth it at 4 Brazilian Reals, or 2.40 USD.
The British guys had to go back early because they have a hang-gliding appointment in the morning so we returned to the hostel. Back at the hostel, I joined a Gui from Brazil, Lindy from South Africa, and Martin from Austria and we went back out.
We went to the famous Escadera Seleron and hung out with random Brazilians playing guitar, smoking, drinking, and socializing until the wee hours of the morning. I’d heard about the Escadera Seleron from my friend, LeeAnn, over Skype the other day and it was really great to actually encounter it so soon after my arrival here in Buenos Aires. It was because of her that I had heard of what a “caipirinha” was, too.
Having visited the Escadera Seleron and having drunk a caipirinha, I’d say I’m off to a good start in Rio de Janeiro! Also, I didn’t get jacked! I’d heard so much about how dangerous this city is so I’ve been extra cautious and alert. As a result, I don’t have any pictures from the Escadera Seleron, but I do have one from earlier when I went out with the British-Indian guys. This is me drinking a caipirinha here in the Lapa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro: