Sunday 6 November 2022

Rio for a few hours

I don't get up that early. Around nine. And troll downstairs for breakfast. It’s what I do every day when I’m on holiday. At home I don’t usually bother with breakfast.

It's a proper cafe, with a menu and everything. Lots of waiting stuff scurrying around. When I catch the attention of one of them, I order an omelette. Which is pretty tasty. And about as exactly as much as I feel like eating. That is: not a huge amount.

It’s quite lively. Obviously, far more than just hotel guests eating. I forgot to relate that I also ordered orange juice. It’s dead good. Way better than the muck served in many hotels.

After breakfast, I wander down to the beach. Did I mention that I’m staying in Ipanema? As I’m not going to be here long, I thought I might as well stay close to the beach. With the few hours that I’m here, there’s not a whole lot I can do. Other than cocktails on the beach. It seems a pretty Rio sort of thing to do.

It’s Saturday, but, despite being only 10 AM, quite a few people are knocking around. Some are already getting stuck into beer. The happy ones.

A few hundred metres is walking enough for me under this sun. I pick myself a beach bar. Totally randomly. Order a caipirinha and get a seat in the shade. It's very relaxing. Not too hot, a pleasant sea breeze and a beautiful view. I take a few snaps just to annoy my friends stuck in Europe.

Gleaming sand, turquoise sea studded with green islands framed between two rocky outcrops. I can see why people go on about it. And here I am getting to enjoy it while sipping my favourite cocktail. (Yes, I rate it above piso sour.) Life can be good.

Time for a second caipirinha. I’m not in any rush. I’ve an hour or two before I need to get to the airport. This is my second time in Rio. Both times combined only add up to about 40 hours. Almost half of which I was asleep.

It wasn’t meant to be like this. I’m not that stupid. Not quite. The plan was to fly in on Friday, stay two nights in Rio then continue on to Florianopolis on Sunday. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a flight that would get me to Florianopolis in time for the judges’ reception on Sunday afternoon. Just one night in Rio, then. Leaving me a laughable length of time in the city.

I wend my way back to the hotel. It isn’t far. I still can’t get the fucking internet to work. Bags packed back up and checked out, I sit in the café downstairs. Where I order a caipirinha. Just to pass the time until I need to go to the airport. It’s impolite to sit without a drink. And I am in Brazil.

My flight to Florianopolis is at 16:50. Luckily, I can connect my phone to wifi and order an Uber to take me to the airport.

Rio's domestic airport. Smaller, quieter and closer to town than the other one. Only a 20-minute ride around the coast away from Ipanema. I’m getting to see a little of Rio, if only accidentally. Arriving at night, I didn’t see much other than a dirty great tunnel on the way in.

It takes no time to check in. Then I treat myself to a couple of caipirinhas. I am in Brazil, after all. 24/7 caipirinha availability is one of the country’s most attractive features. Reasonably priced, too.

The flight is full. But not too long. And at least we’re served something – a snack and a soft drink. Plus, being a KLM partner, this counts to my frequent flyer status. We land at dusk.

Florianopolis airport is compact. My bag pops out quickly on the carousel. It’s just a short walk to the taxi rank. Before you can say “Mine’s a caipirinha”, I’m in a cab headed for the town centre. Even in the gathering gloom, the island looks stunning. Soon I’m at my hotel.

I still can’t get the internet to work. I message Dolores from my phone to troubleshoot. No luck, no matter what I try. Bugger.

I'm feeling a bit knacked. I only venture out to buy a sarnie at the tiny corner shop I know from last year. Need to eat something.

I drink some Jura and watch the rest of Pistol. Pretty good. I'm dead impressed by the musical parts. Odd thinking that I was sort of part of it. Having seen The Pistols in 1976.

Jura is my sleepy-time companion.

Ipanema Inn
R. Maria Quitéria, 27
Rio de Janeiro - RJ,

Brasil Beer Cup paid for my accommodation during the judging, as well as some food and drink.

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