Posted by: chriswode | June 22, 2014

Oi Rio

“Oi” is actually the common way to say hi in Brazil and we said “oi” very early to Rio with our arrival at 8am at the airport. I had now taken over lead in organizing group transportation and our guide, Pedro was to be waiting for us. He said he didnt like signs so he sent me a picture of him sitting where he would be…so I sent back of pic of me, and Smartacus, knowing he would be highly visible or at least audible. And it worked as Pedro saw Erik right away and we were good to go. A nice big bus picked us up and drove the anxious, yet tired, group to our next home in the Barra da Tijuca suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Our host Alex, who hails from France, met us enthusiastically as we were his first clients to rent his house. Another score as the house was great tucked into a nice gated community on the side of a hill with great views. It was 3 levels which made it fun going up and down with plenty of room plus small pool and a nice front deck. Sharing rooms with the 2 girls, Joe-Anna and Tara had a plus in they scored the master bedroom on the top level which had huge bathroom with tub and shower, big room and the best view. The traveling party had now grown as the 4 additional girls, Lauren, Gina, Danielle and Vero, had arrived a few hours earlier and were ready to join the party.

IMG_2144View from house/our room

IMG_2141View out other bedroom window

We walked down to the beach, only a 10-minute walk crossing a little waterway and took us by stores and restaurants. The beach was typical with gorgeous white sand, great waves, amazing views, beach huts for food and drinks but a lot more people and action than in Guarajuba. As a matter of fact, a huge guy with a giant ‘fro riding his bike towards us caught our eye…turns out it was Anderson Verejao, the NBA basketball player, who barely fit on his bike as he is close to 7ft tall…funny to see.

IMG_2147TW & JAL view back to house

IMG_2151View from beach

IMG_2150Barra da Tijuca

IMG_2152Praia de Pepe

We hit one of the restaurants with a nice outdoor seating to watch Germany vs Ghana before heading home to get ready to go out into Leblon for the night. We loaded up taxis and all met at a specific restaurant in Lebloon which is cool neighborhood near Cobacabana and Ipenema beaches and all the places and streets were packed. Basically we all stood outside on the sidewalk amongst the crowds enjoying the scene before making our way to a dance club a couple blocks away. The whole time we had been there I only carried some cash, no credit card or ID and to get in we had to have one or the other…and so I actually got in with Marky’s ID..now that is backwards. Inside was a small bar area with just a few tables but an awesome band playing cool Brazilian music that was like a mix of reggae, samba and rock. We snagged a couple tables right in front and took over with most of the girls leading the dancing, joined by Erik of course. After a few hours we were actually headed home but Erik decided he wanted to go upstairs to the real dance club…so just a few more songs for everyone on the big dance floor before heading home…only the place wouldnt let us leave. And now we figured out why they took credit card upon entry as it matched a wristband they gave you which you showed at the bar…this is why some in the group thought drinks were free as they just showed their wristband…incorrect. You had to pay your balance before you wanted to leave and they checked in the computer before they let you out. Not a fan as we a few of us had zero $ on ours and they still wouldnt let us out…their stupid system was down. It felt like we were trapped and took a few minutes and it was frustrating, I thought they were going to turn into vampires…but we finally got out and got home.

IMG_2170Out in Leblon

IMG_2162IMG_2177Great music here…

IMG_2185Fabian loved it

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