Brazil Day 1. After checking everything and making sure we were completely prepared, we got to Houston and found out we had no money in our new checking account, we didn’t have the address for the place we were staying, were not accustom to just going off WIFI, and we exchanged currency at the airport getting 1.9 rate instead of 2.23. Three mistakes right off the bat.
But at least we were better off than an Aussie we met who had too many beers in Miami, passed out on the sidewalk, chipped three teeth, got a black eye, and missed his flight to Brazil. We got to Brazil and our friends were waiting for us right away, they took us straight to the farm were tuscany meets rainforest with a great big outdoor playground with football fields on every property. Food was served to us every 15 minutes and a beer every 10. I haven’t eaten so much consistently throughout the day than I did that day. We even had dessert trays prepared for us after lunch, it really didn’t stop. The brazilians are very vocal and loud, but beautiful at the same time. With love and joking with the kids and lots of expression they converse amoungst everyone. The hospitality was amazing with the best bottle of wine being offered to us, while consistently being told to not do anything to help because you are our guest. The relationships with their kids is great too with everyone joking around and laughing all day. Everyone sat outside playing cards after dinner. weather was perfect and life was outside the way it is meant to be.
The first day of travel I was a little nervous. I hadn’t done this in a while and was not comfortable because of it. Once we were in Rio for one day it all started coming back to me. Why we travel, why exploring is so awesome, why seeing another cultures can be such a positive experience, and how to figure out a situation you haven’t been in before. It all came back to us exploring the roads and streets in Rio. Two days in and I was back to my old identity and it feels great.
Brazil is such a beautiful city. So many peaks, cliffs, and beaches everywhere with greenery wrapped around and tangled through the city. I haven’t felt unsafe at all and everyone has been kind to us on the street. Going grocery shopping was pretty interesting not knowing any Portuguese. Asking for a kilo of turkey somehow and not knowing what milk we were buying, all made us laugh. We visited SugarLoaf and our awesome hosts for the first week took us around every other day or so. We ended up in Niterio for dinner at Gustavo’s friends restaurant talking about travel and life. It was a great time with our friends, confirming our thoughts on why we travel. Katie and I rode up to an amazing view of the city called Chinese Vista interestingly enough. Our bikes were the possible worst bikes to do this trek, but they were free so we endured it. We could only shift from 2-5 to 2-7 and our back brakes really didn’t work. Because of that, the climb took us around 2 hours and was very steep for about 4 miles. Not sure how much we climbed but it was a lot for our bikes not being able to go down in gear. We finally got there with amazing views of Christ and SugarLoaf. We also saw some monkeys (Katies favorite) on our way through Tijuca National Forest.
We are staying in a 3 bedroom apartment with some of our college friends that we haven’t seen in quite a while, so its been great going places on our own, but then having everyone together to hang out and enjoy Rio. We are staying about 2 minutes away from the Lagos. The views at sunset are great, and getting up to run every morning around the Lagos is such a great way to start the day. We are definitely getting our workouts in. Yesterday between running in the morning, walking all day to the beach and restaurants, and playing some futebol, we did around 10 miles, but in a beautiful city like this I wouldn’t want it any other way.