After six months

Written by Stuart Revnell No Gravatar

…and over one hundred blog posts, this is it now – the final post from me, on the day we head back to London.

We’ve had a great few days in Rio – huge thanks to Lance and David (and their dog Mousse), our hosts at Casa Cool Beans, which has been a fantastically friendly, tranquil base in Santa Teresa from which to explore the city. If you ever visit Rio, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to stay here – they’re a couple of really great, helpful guys, and it’s been a pleasure to meet people who clearly love what they do, and take pride in it.  It’s been a lovely way to end our trip.

Arriving three days ago, we headed up to Sugar Loaf mountain for a truly spectacular sunset. Oddly enough, the main thing that I took away from this experience was a huge feeling of surprise that there didn’t seem to be any kind of tribute to ‘Moonraker’ – the Bond film where Roger Moore fights Jaws on top of the cable car – anywhere. In fact, I’ve been going on about it ever since. Jane has pointed out several times that maybe it’s just not that big a deal in Rio, and that maybe James Bond and / or Roger Moore aren’t particularly well known here. Surely even a little photo though? I can’t believe that a scene in a huge movie like that wouldn’t be commemorated in some way…

Still, to be fair, we’re hardly au fait with the Brazilian stars either. On Tuesday evening we turned up at a fantastic restaurant in Santa Teresa called Sobrenatural, and got talking to two locals at the entrance. One of them, a musician, was having his 70th birthday party there, and there was a lot of filming equipment around. He welcomed us in, and it turned out that his name was Robertinho Silva, one of the most famous Brazilian drummers. Fabulous music, fabulous food, and plenty of caipirinhas – a delicious Brazilian drink made from cachaca, a type of rum, lime juice and sugar – to accompany it all.

So it was with a couple of hangovers yesterday morning that we headed up to the immense Corcovado – the 30 metre high statue of Christ The Redeemer which sits on a 700m high mountain overlooking the whole of Rio. It’s a truly spectacular statue, but unfortunately it was a rather cloudy day, so we barely saw what is apparently one of the most spectacular views in the world. Still, the trip was worth it to see the souvenir shops alone – Jesus in a football shirt, Jesus in a snowstorm, Jesus next to a toucan, a Jesus bottle opener…the Lord certainly does manifest himself in mysterious ways.

Finally, last night, it was off to celebrated music venue Rio Scenarium. Apparently The Guardian named this place one of the top 10 coolest bars in the world – not sure I’d agree with that, but it certainly had a great vibe, with three floors crammed with antiques, great music, and locals filling the floor to dance the night away until the early hours.

The last day today, then. It feels a bit weird heading back to London after so long living out of a backpack, heading wherever we choose from day to day, but we’ve both got plenty to occupy us during the summer, so we won’t be twiddling our thumbs for long. At least it seems like nice weather in London too, so the shock of arriving back at Heathrow will hopefully be mitigated somewhat.

I was going to write some big piece on the whole experience of travelling, but I actually think that it will take some time for a lot of it to sink in, so ask me in another six months if you’re interested. For now, I’d just like to say a big thankyou to everyone who’s read and contributed to the blog. It’s been lovely to have so many comments and good wishes from you all, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it. If it’s been of inspiration to anyone out there too, then so much the better.

Finally, the biggest thanks of all goes to Jane for being the best travel companion anyone could have – it’s been an absolute pleasure, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Of special mention should be her patience in putting up with my obsessive logging and categorisation of all expenditure on the ‘Travel Budget Tracker’ spreadsheet too…

Off to squeeze in a final dinner and a couple of caipirinhas before we head home now…see you all back in the UK!

 

2 Responses to “After six months”

  1. SarahNo Gravatar says:

    Can’t believe it’s all over – looking forward to seeing you! xx

  2. Steve RobertsNo Gravatar says:

    It’s been great following your adventures, but nowhere near as good as it has obviously been for you! Really hope to catch up some time soon and start to hear more from you about it.

    Best wishes,

    Steve

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