allllllllmost Day 62
I figured I better not go too long without an update, because Dad and I have done quite a lot of activities since he got here just two days ago! For the most part, the pictures speak for themselves, but I’ll give a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to.
First of all, Dona Maria and Ribamar have been really cute about making sure there is fresh fruit in cut up in the fridge and place settings in the dining room for Dad to have breakfast. We’ve been getting up around 9 or 10, having something to eat together upstairs and then leaving for adventures around 11 or 12. I had heard of a way to hike up to the Christ statue on Corcovado, and since I’d already been there by way of guided tour, I thought a trek up the mountain would be a better way to see the monument. Saturday Dad and I took the metro and his first real Rio bus ride to Parque Lage where the trail begins. Parque Lage is near Jardim Botânico and nearly like another botanical garden itself. It evidently used to be a man’s property and mansion, which he made into an art school and park for public use. The weather was absolutely beautiful on Saturday, so there were birthday parties for 6 year-olds and young families all over the place. The old mansion has a little cafe inside that serves brunch and some student artwork was up in the gallery. We could peer into a couple of the classrooms and see the art supply shop. It really made me want to do some art again, maybe even take a class there while I’m here. The hike itself started inside Parque Lage and pretty much ran nearly two miles up in the sky. The first half was steep, but rather leisurely compared to the second half. Getting to the top really felt like an accomplishment by the time we made it past the bonde tracks and were standing at the foot of the statue looking out over all of Rio de Janeiro. We took our time and took more pictures before trying to figure out how to get back down the hill without resorting to going down the way we came. That was when things got really Brazilian. The parking lot attendant told us that all of the taxis up top were occupied waiting for specific return passengers and that the train would cost and still only just bring us to the bottom of the hill. Then he offered us a ride for R$60 all the way to Copacabana, and while I’m pretty sure he would have done it for R$40 if I had been on my toes, we took the deal and settled in for the ride of our lives. I thought the bus drivers were scary before I met this guy. We made it home safely though, showered up and went out to dinner at a little restaurant down the street in Copa with Kevin, Joe, and Keia. I don’t know if it’s just Dad being here, but all the food we’ve eaten has been a lot better than what I remember of the first two months. After dinner was Luciana’s first performance with her band at a bar in Catete. We went to support and have fun and even though it was a little louder and lasted a lot longer than I had expected, Dad hung in there and Luciana sounded awesome!
As Sundays are still the beach day of all beach days, we naturally went to Ipanema (posto 9 of course) and spent the day with my friends relaxing and enjoying the surf. The water was freeeeezing, but the body surfing was worth it. We just don’t get waves like that on the Gulf Coast. We walked through both the “Hippie Fair” (in Ipanema, sells art and things) and the Sunday fair (in Copa, sells food) and had another really great meal near the pousada. Tomorrow I don’t have class until around 8:30pm, so we’re planning to go explore Santa Teresa and the couple of parks there that I haven’t gotten a chance to go inside yet. The weather is supposed to stay good, and hopefully it does for the rest of the week because we’re trying to plan a trip either to the falls at Iguaçu or Búzios for next weekend. Sept. 7 is Brazil’s independence day, so we’ll have off of school and everyone is on vacation. I think Dad is ready to settle down and stay in Rio for a while, he’s been enjoying it so much. If anyone else is up for a visit, I’d be glad to host you! Ribamar said all I need to do is learn a little bit of French and Spanish and I’m ready to be a regular “guia brasileira do Rio” (Brazilian tour guide of Rio).