A few days in Rio

Rio feels a lot like New York City, or the place New York would be if it were consistently a lot hotter and the divide between rich and poor were even more insane than it is. It definitely takes a few days to get your travel legs. Challenge #1 getting money from an ATM, not as easy as it sounds. Hint: Just because it has the Cirrus logo does not in fact mean that your Cirrus card will work there…

I stayed the first two nights in a hotel just to get my bearings, but on reflection I would not recommend this. Meeting some English speakers is what takes this place from feeling harsh and expensive to the truly wonderful place it is. I stayed in the “Girl from Ipanema” hostel for R$30 a night an really enjoyed it, lots of friendly people. Alex the guide will tell you where to go to see some great stuff. I actually tried to push my flight to Fortaleza out a few days so I could catch a Futebal match, but alas the travel agent I used was closed all day Sat and Sun…

I ended up meeting some folks who are finishing up at Stanford GSB (what an incredibly small world) and hanging out with them one night. There was supposed to be a big party at the Jockey Club which unfortunately was cancelled (and there were a lot of decked out and pissed looking Brazilians standing outside). We went to “Club Zero Zero” a nightclub that could compete with any I have seen.. not the most Brazillian of experiences but a lot of fun nonetheless and we brought two fantastic women we met standing outside the Jockey club. Even if the drinks seem a little expensive, keep an eye on the guy pouring. They tend to come VERY strong so you may drink a lot fewer than you would back home..

One of the fascinating things about Brazil seems to be the amount of internal tourism they have. Even at the most touristy of touristy place, almost everyone is speaking Portugese and seems like they come from Brazil. I met a number of people who were just travelling inside Brazil, from Sao Paulo or Brazilia. Of course this is only the wealthy Brazillians who can afford to do this.

My flight out of Brazil is in Rio at the end of the month so I will pass through again and check out some of the stuff I missed the first time. Now it’s on to Jericoacoara.