...yesssirr, shameless Sisqo reference!
Her name was Rio...
''Those who do not like Samba are suspect; they're either sick in the head or lame in the leg."
Present location Barra, Salvador (Brazil) - right on the mouth of All Saint's bay. (Not Rio, as per crapola route map.) This Bahia area being the Afro-Brazilian centre of Brazil (over 85% black - slave trade heritage), and home to the Candomble religion and Capoeira martial art. Also an abject lesson on the massive disparity of wealth in Brazil (World's 8th largest economy) - yesterday was spent feeding the beach homeless. OBE recommendations welcome! All joking aside, the government ain't going to help these people, and unfortunately we don't think Yemanja can do much either, regardless of Caymmi's words. Starving in paradise (& getting beat by the fuzz for kipping on the street) is surely the same as starving anywhere...
Being the only white faces most of the time is reminiscent of Asia. So maybe we'll get to add another country to our list of those we've been racially abused in! (But hey it's all good, especially for two chancers far from their cossetted western existences - being called 'Falang' or 'Gringo' is all the same to us, we can now empathise with the Chinese community in Sandy Row. What's that joke, something about the Chinese getting driven out, and Sandy Row starving to death?) Was it Jacob Holdt (of 'American Pictures' fame) that said 'You expect the worst in people, and that's what you will get'. And if we sound like that hateful bint Alannis 'Ironic' (no you twat, it's called bad luck) Morissette, please feel free to shoot us on sight... But we still aren't carrying the camera around. No sir. In fact I'm not even wearing my cheap-ass digital watch. If we're gonna get jacked on the street, then this really is the place. (Perhaps the first culture shock of this 10-11 month saunter? Is that ironic, being on the last leg? Must email that lentil muncher...)
Fridge magnets. Market stall. Pelhourino, old town Salvador. Couldn't believe it either...
So, Brazil see's for us our final language (Portuguese a right bugger! Just when you think you're on to something, bang, it's off on another tangent - like a crazed Welsh/Arab hybrid to our retarded ears!), final economy and final visa (our passports are completely battered now - running out of pages). Hard to comprehend, but in the words of Run DMC, that's the way it is. Three weeks today until our flight back to London (we seriously cannot believe Boris Johnson is mayor! What. The. Fakk?!), before we connect to Belfast. AND WE'RE STILL NOT D.I.V.O.R.C.E.D. !!! (Yes we know we said we wouldn't capitilise for emphasis, but surely that statement is worthy? We've spent more time together in the last 10-11 months, than most married couples probably do in 10-11 years. It certainly feels like it... Marriage, eh? Each day is better than the next...)
In the meantime it's all about the humps, lady lumps and suspect beachwear! Next stop, the car-free island of Morro de Sao Paulo. So for now we'll sign off and roll some pics... Ciao hombres!
Welcome to Rio! (And a surliness not experienced since Paris.) Copa-copacabana, the very beach. Pão de Açúcar (Sugar-loaf Mountain) visible.
Copacabana pavement. Distinct wave pattern. Visible everywhere in this country.
Spot the tourist! Only coco juice in the 'nut, but an idea we might borrow for our wedding reception back in Blighty. Serve up those caipirinha's, oh yes!
Another national beer to sample. Starting to feel like work now... Actually, no.
Pão de Açúcar (Sugar-loaf Mountain). That's the cable-car from 'Moonraker' by the way, where 'Jaws' bit through the cable (and where I filled my britches). Oh, and for the kids, 'Moonraker' is an old Bond flick.
Worth the laundry bill for the view. That's Red Beach, and Copacabana in the distance...
...and Botafogo, overlooked by that famous statue of the holy bearded one, 'Christ the Redeemer'. (If you're getting all Chinese eyed, it's the couple of pixels on top of that mountain to the left.)
Our little home in Ipanema.
'The' cafe - birthplace of 'The Girl from Ipanema', by Antonio Carlos Jobim & Vinícius de Moraes. And where we got acquainted with the national drink, the caipirinha. Nice.
Though we think we actually prefer the Peruvian Pisco sour - sampled by us in the sublime Astrid Y Gaston, Lima. Anthony Bourdain famously necked twelve in there over lunch, I was speaking Peruvian after only four... Yes, I sit down to piss...
'The Girl from Ipanema' team in the studio...
Even the mannequins here got big ol' booties! This place all about the lady lumps. And the man lumps too actually. A Lot of too tight shorts, made with too little material. 'Budgie smugglers' we believe you call them. Ipanema beach really has foisted some quality beach-wear wrongness on the rest of the globe! (We didn't realise it's also the main 'gay' beach hangout - got touched for again! Well I think he was putting out - haven't ever encountered a dude fully thonged up doing the splits right up in my grill. The budgies almost had an eye out. We should have realised the rainbow flags weren't representing Cuzco/Peru independence...)
Iguazu Falls. Argentina/Brazil border. (Brazil left of river, Argentina to right). Looking straight up at the 'Devil's Throat'...
...and up close.
Isla Martin visible to left.
Smiley levitating snake alert.
Bad ass condor. Sitting on a rock beside falls. Not apparently giving a monkeys about our camera stuck up in it's boat-race.
Random tropical bird. Any twitchers out there know what this is? Looks like a 'blue-couponed' Magpie to us...
More tomfoolery from Morro de Sao Paulo.
All our love,
PS - Almost forgot, Bahian independence day tomorrow. Yee-harr! Samba time!