Saturday January 10, 2015 (Brazil, Rio, South America)
We've made it through a full day in Brazil! With all of our limbs intact!
Today we walked and walked and walked. We started with a breakfast at our hostel. In this case, their breakfast consisted of… grilled cheese. With option of banana. Hey, I'm a huge grilled cheese fan, but I'm not sure you can say you offer a breakfast if it's basically one option. I shouldn't be complaining: it was pretty tasty.
We decided we'd wander to Sugar Loaf Mountain. It's a big hill with a cable car that goes all the way up. You'll see in the shots below some nice graffiti and harbour sights along the way. Once at the base of the hill, we decided to hike up Urca Mountain. It's stage one of the two-stage cable car. They only let you walk up the first one, but then you have to pay to continue (at full price, no less!). Given that the price was a bit steep (nice) we thought the view was probably just about as good from the first hill as the second. It took us a whole whack of time to wander over there and up the hill, so between that and drinking water we mostly ate up a day. At the end of the day, we had very dirty feet. You will see this in the pictures.
'Twas very hot today. Around 40 degrees Celcius at the peak. These temperatures force one to drink a lot of water. But it's better than the Ontarian super-cold, so we're alright with it.
Here are some things we saw today:
- Children playing with dead fish. The children were in the water just off the beach and having a heck of a time with a still-on-the-lure-but-definitely-dead fish.
- People fishing from a can. This one was neat. I guess you loop the line into the can and then cast out just by throwing the lure. Kind of a nifty DIY project.
- We were the whitest people at the beach. By a longshot. But it was pretty neat because nobody seemed to care at all. No stares or anything. Just two pale-ies in a sea of bronze.
- Families shooting each other with ultra phallic water squirters. You could draw in ocean water and then expel it to annoy and amuse your friends. Available for purchase onsite!
- Cops driving around with lights flashing. No siren or anything, and they seem to be in no hurry. They just keep the lights on to let you know they're cops or something. We haven't figured out why this is necessary yet, and I'm not sure how drivers know whether or not they're being pulled over when there's a cop tailing them all aglow but with no particular agenda in mind.
- A "How many beers have you drank" interactive mat. We stopped at a bar and it seemed to have a placemat that allowed you to check off how many beers you'd had. The scale went up to 50. I stopped at 1 like a real loser.
- We found a strange translation for a fruit. They call it a "Pele de Sapo" melon. This means "Skin of Frog" melon. Not sure that's appealing to me.
- Cars park very, very close together. As in it's unclear whether or not the poor drivers will be able to escape. They even park around corners on the streets, so you get a solid line of cars rounding a bend from one street to another all parked bumper to bumper. It's a Saturday, so we guessed it was the beach crowds. Their bumpers all seemed in good condition though, so I don't think it's a case of "ram your way out".
- Oreo cookies are called "Negresco" cookies. Weird.
- A fancy man in a tiny speedo sporting an umbrella hat. If there's one thing that could get me big into fishing, it's probably this.
- A sign that helpfully translated the word "Discos" into English and Spanish. The result? Still Discos. It's universal. So you get this helpful arrow to "DISCOS DISCOS DISCOS!" Let's DO IT!
- A mannequin just standin' guard on the street seemingly guiding unwitting drivers into a gas station.
That's all for now! We've included more pictures.
We're experimenting with taking some of our still photos using the GoPro (it's so nice and small we can easily carry it around and not worry so much about "el muggings"). Still photography isn't necessarily its strong suit, but it's no slouch! See if you can pick out which are which (GoPro vs. iPhone).