Sunday, October 25, 2009

Salvador Airport (Oct 16, 2009)

Day 2 saw me get up pretty late, and after having a breakfast of bread and cheese I headed off with my English friends and two girls from the Czech Republic to see the Christ.

From Copacabana, the bus numbered 583 takes you to the Christ, and 584 gets you back. It is not the last stop, but basically you just get off when half of the bus gets off as that is usually the main attraction on the route. The weather was amazing with only a few clouds in the sky, and this had happened after a week or so, the line to get on the train to the top was backed quite long.

One of the ladies, Suzanna knew Spanish and she somehow managed to get one of the mini buses for 40 Real’s, The train ride is supposed to be better, at 45 Real’s and it also takes you directly to the top.

The bus takes you to a certain point after which you have to get off and stand in line to get into another bus. As we were not aware of this we thought that it would be smooth sailing to the top. Once we realized we decided to hike the supposedly 2 kilometers to the top. The 2 kilometers must have been as the crow flies, because it was more like 3 or 4. Somehow we got to the top, and I have never been more disappointed.

The few clouds were right on the Christ and I could not even see his head. Fog was everywhere, and let alone Christ we could not even see Rio. After waiting there for at least half an hour we decided to leave. One of the modern wonders could not be fully appreciated by me, which was sort of a bitter sweet moment. Here I was – almost touching one of the greatest marvels in the modern world, and ah…well!
I returned back to the hostel, determined to see Rio from Sugarloaf, but it was getting later in the evening, and so I decided to take a short walk on the beach and see Sugarloaf on Tuesday.

Copacabana was pretty crowded, and I walked amidst the crowd enjoying the view of Sugarloaf and the amazingly beautiful Brazilian women. The crowd on Copacabana is a bit older in age, while Ipanema is more younger. I would definitely prefer Ipanema to Copacabana!

Dinner was a huge problem as I had no idea what I was ordering. I only knew the key words – Camaro for Shrimp and so on.

Also, Brazil has eat by kilo restaurants where you just add anything you want on a plate, weigh it and eat it. This is pretty cool, and at 19 Real’s per plate – I would say not so expensive and at least you have some idea what you are eating.

That night I wanted to go to Lapa, but there was no company. Luckily the hostel came to my rescue again. They were having a Favela party in one of the Favelas (slums) controlled by the police. I paid the 65 Real’s for the transportation and entry to this party. Also, quite a few people from the hostel were going and I also came to know a Englishman named Garry on the ride.

Garry had been doing a round the world ticket trip, and after doing Asia, central and south America was on the last day of his year trip. His recommendation – Bolivia. It’s so cool to hear such stories on the road. Even the Czech girls were doing a sort of South American trip, and it’s an experience just listening to them.

Coming back to the party – Brazilian hip hop and funk, with about 2000 people on the dance floor, while we were in the VIP section. Me, Garry and Dave (another Englishman) decided to ditch the VIPs and mix with the locals. It was a wild wild night, and the music was out of the world.

The crowd was young though, I would say around 17ish, but wow…was it something! And a party which plays – C’mon let’s twist again by Elvis, is surely worth it. And then there is the all time favorite – YMCA. Some of the Brazilian girls were impressed, and came up to us too. I talked with a girl for 15 minutes, and the only thing we exchanged was names and that I am Indian and she from Rio. Damn…I need to learn Portuguese!

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