01 January 2006
Happy New Year!!! Or as they say in Brazil, Feliz Ano Novo!!!
We have managed to arrive in Brazil safe and well, despite a nice 6hr layover at Madrid airport where all we could do to pass the time was set each other stupid dares. There is a great picture of Marge doing a headstand by some escaltors, oh the excitment! The flight was fine, 10 hours but seemed to pass fairly quickly. On arrival we managed to get through customs without being searched and even get on the right bus to Copacabana. Using our skills, we even found the hostel! Things were clearly too easy as they had never heard of us and had no room, as it was NY and the city is full of backpackers. Luckily they knew somewhere we could have a bed so we trekked again for aggggges with our packs in 35 degree heat to finally get here.
A few days of aclimatising and seeing the Florest de Tijuaca and the Corcovado (Chrsit the Redeemer statue) and it was NYE. The Christ statue was truly awesome, you almost cant look at it as it is so high and so bright!!! You can see the entire city from every angle and the Floresta from above, a great site! Met some Portuguese men on the way up there and chatted away to them. No easy task as they happened to speak no English and be deaf, we managed to muddle along with my Spanish and they mobile phones message editor! Very amusing indeed, the whole train was rivetted with our conversation!
Last night the boys (Marge´s friends) finally arrived just in time for the NYE celebration. The whole of Copacabana was closed down and everyone hit the beach to drink and eat. The atmosphere was awesome and we managed to find a great spot near a Samba stage. It has rained in Rio everyday for the last month until we got here and despite a grey looking sky the celebrations didn’t stop. Everyone was dressed in white and offering flowers into the ocean to the goddess Lemanja. It was a fab site, we counted down from 45 and midnight was great!!! We managed to also celebrate NYE from all the timezones we could think of on the hour every hour! We were drinking Caprhinas ...
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Photo: Procession in Puerto Eten
Courtesy of Beatrice Velarde (www.beatricevelarde.com)