Thursday, 28 January 2010


I’ll admit it: I was a tourist again in Rio. It started feeling a bit like that in Thailand, and ended this way in this fine Brazilian city. Being a little shattered after a year on the road in between, I was struggling to find the energy to strike out my own and discover the real Rio. I don’t think the weather was inspiring me, either.

A football tour we took could easily have been made alone; the stumpy American-sounding bloke who took us to see Botofogo made an easy killing on around 40 of us. The Yank herded us around with military precision, keeping an eye on us and guiding us to our seats in the safe section, but the local fans couldn’t have been friendlier, and loved talking to us about English football; it was sketchy outside the ground, but nothing I couldn’t handle…particularly after having seen Manila.

So do it yourself. Rio’s a lovely city, and my best day was simply walking around it with Frank…taking photos all morning and grabbing a delicious (and deliciously-priced) salad in the bohemian district. We walked so much our feet ached. People everywhere warned us to be on our guard; that’s one thing you do not drop in this city, under any circumstances. But, if only they spoke Spanish here, I would live here tomorrow.

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