Sunday, 5 July 2015

If you go to Rio and don't watch a football game, did you even go atall?

Coming off the plane we were baffled as to where to go... There were no English signs and nobody spoke English either... Not what I was expecting! Anyhow, after some stumbling around and laughing to myself (why do I always end up doing this), we eventually found the right bus... Though it was a different number to what we were expecting, it ended up going the right way as I followed the route on my kindle. 

Just my luck... My kindle then removed the map just as we got off the bus to find the hostel... This meant we wandered around with our backpacks - no clue where we were going. I asked some drunk students if they knew the road, and one gave us some very dodgy directions... Sure enough though, we somehow found the road by sheer luck! Check-in was difficult with no way to show our reservation and little English spoken... However, the next check in staff was due to clock in at 8 so she helped us instead and sent us to our room, a 24 bed dorm. It was a lot nicer than I was expecting. I'd recommend the hostel - Hostel Mango Lapa. Staff were very helpful when they did speak English and it was cheap (£10 a night).

We napped for a little bit before getting up at 11am and catching the bus to the Marcana stadium - very easy process (3.40 real - 80p). I expected the area to be a bit more built up given they had the World Cup so recently... But was disappointed to find little in the surrounding areas. We queued and got our tickets for the evening football game flamengos vs. figueirense (80 real - £16) and then went on a tour of the stadium (40 real - £8). I wouldn't say the stadium tour was worth the money - but I'm not a huge football fan anyway and well... It's a stadium, what was I expecting to see? The guide spoke good English though and Matt liked it, so all was well.

We decided instead of getting the bus back to the hostel, we'd try finding a bar, however, we failed miserably. The area was a complete dive and felt very unsafe. The university was nearby and yet there were no students around - of course it was a Sunday, but I'd still have thought someone would have been there! Anyway, weather was miserable and I was hungry, so we decided to catch the bus back.... Easier said than done... It took us about 1.5 hours to work out how to get back... We were on the wrong side of the street for starters! Had to walk through some really creepy neighbourhoods. When I stopped to ask at a cafe for directions the lady told me I should put my camera into matts bag because it wasn't safe around there... I didn't need telling twice! Anyway, after a long wait, we got back, had a few beers, freshened up and set off again. 

At the stadium I bought us beers... Only to find out they were alcohol free because they're not allowed to serve alcohol during the game! Rooky error... Tasted awful. The game was good, however, they'd clearly put us in a tourist section. The other sections looked a lot more fun since the fans were really into the game - our section was a bit tame. We were yawning so much we were knackered from the time difference. Took us agessss to get home again too! Booooo. But we made it in one piece.

First impressions of Rio? Absolute dive and not a lot to do.... Let's hope this changes!

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