Well we have been a bit all over the place in the last few days. Luckily for us the Villa Leonor has been our home away from home. We have met a number of fantastic people here, Christine the French Canadian who has now completed her goal of being to every continent in the world before her 50th birthday and the most epic of travelers Owain and Hannah who are 18 months into their motorcycle tour of South America. They were all a wealth of knowledge and advice for us newbie travelers and many a beer has been drunk in deep conversation in our wee bar on the terrace of the hostel overlooking the beautiful city of Rio. Lucia and Jan, who both work at the hostel and speak better English than either of us, have also been amazingly helpful and friendly. We like it so much we have booked ourselves in for an extra night which keeps us here until Wednesday. My burnt feet, the topic of discussion apparently for all residents here, have had more tlc then I would ever have given them. Everyone who has seen them has given us some sort of remedy and we now have a first aid cabinet instead of a first aid kit! A lovely Brazilian lady who is staying here for Easter even played Doctor and bandaged them up for me while her son translated for us in our room! Don’t worry though, they are on the mend with every chemical under the sun (no pun intended ;-)) working their magic.
In Brazil they have the Thursday and Friday as their Easter holiday, instead of the Friday and Monday as most other places do. So on Friday we ended up traipsing around looking for a bank so we could get some cash to pay our hostel. We walked through Lapa, which is the home to many samba clubs and the excellently named Sambadrome, stopping off to enjoy one of the many fresh fruit juice bars and generally enjoying the feel of the Cidade Maravilhosa. We spent most of Friday night in the bar talking to Jan and Owain and knocking back one or two cheeky beers.
On Saturday we went to see the most amazing piece of artwork Lapa has to offer, the Escadaria Selarón. Selarón is a Chilean artist who has taken over a staircase 250 steps long and has collected various tiles from across the world (even Scotland woop!) and has made an amazing mosaic, which in his words, is his tribute to the Brazilian people. The photos will be up on Flickr today at some point.
We also saw the Arcos da Lapa and even hung off the side of the tram back up to our lovely hostel in Santa Teresa. Better than any rollercoaster! We went out for a nice meal in a lovely wee bar last night where our sandwiches were presented on flattened wine bottle plates (again see Flickr).
I finished off my first book of the holiday Christopher Brookmyre’s Pandemonium. Read it, it is absolutely awesome.
Happy Easter everybody, keep it real.