Tuesday January 13, 2015
This morning we conquered the lake! It involved waking up a bit earlier than we would have liked (nothing crazy, maybe 7:30am), but that allowed us enough leeway to only be running in 29 degree heat rather than 30 degree heat. Both of us were huffing along (and each of us later admitted we had wanted to stop multiple times), but we made it around the entire lake!
As an added bonus, we managed to see the large rodent family that lives on the lake in Rio – it turns out they're capybaras! I believe they're fairly common in Brazil, but it's neat that a large family of them live on this lake in the middle of such a massive city. Fun to see these medium dog-sized rodents just off the running path!
In the evening, we had a wonderful, long discussion with two of the hostel employees: Camila and Cesar. Camila gave us tasty cookies she had made that morning and talked about poverty, economics, and politics in Brazil. We talked about local music, geography, and history with Cesar. It's so nice to have time for these lengthy chats with locals!
We also went back to the Cobao we'd visited previously to grab some dessert. At a small grocery store there, we picked up some Pastel de Belem (Portuguese custard tarts) and a Sacristao dessert bread. Unfortunately, the custard tarts we had did not quite match up to the ones in Toronto. I'm sure we'll find a great one soon, however! We were also able to obtain a Brazilian SIM card. Not until a few years ago would that have even been possible, because we're not residents of Brazil. However, you're now able to get one using your passport. We're not sure we'll have much occasion to use it, but I suppose it's nice to know it's there. Our provider is TIM. What a fun name for a telephony company. Seems so friendly, that TIM.
Finally, a few things we noticed today:
- There is no grass in Rio de Janeiro. It's all sidewalks and walkways and buildings and cement. Until Sandra pointed it out, it's somehow not entirely obvious. But once you realize it, it's quite strange. They could really do to add some grass around the place!
- Cars and motorcycles treat every concrete or asphalt surface as a road. Motorcycles are constantly driving up onto the sidewalk in order to gain a few car lengths on their way. Cars also pull up onto the sidewalk to park and manoeuvre. It's a bit daunting to navigate around as a pedestrian!
- Fresh milk is very uncommon. Everything appears to be in tetrapacks and unrefrigerated. I guess in such a hot country, it makes more economic sense to use a version of milk that doesn't require so much energy to keep cool!
- Lime and lemon are the same word in Portuguese: limao. If you want to talk about a lemon, though, you specify that it's a "Sicilian Lime". Weird.
Our day today mostly consisted of a huge nap and some wandering about today, so no special pictures for today. Sorry!