After a quick munch at the local bakery, a quick wave to the breakfast trannies, and a short planning session we’re off to explore more of the city. The smell is still potent, the piss, beer, and garbage stench now has the added tinge of post-party desperation. Small pockets of revelers have accumulated in the few places not lit up by the morning sun and are making increasingly frantic attempts to grope each other. Feels like my clubbing days all over again.
Moving on we amble vaguely in the direction of the shoreline we spy a war memorial. Marta is patently uninterested but I’ve got a fondness for statuary so we head over. Turns out it’s pretty dull, but the surrounds are something else…
On the memorial itself there’s a few people in various states of disrepair, party folk, the homeless, a lost dog, and one woman who clearly could not find a toilet in time and she really, really should have given what she was doing. Clearly Carnaval is a time for all bodily functions.
Near the memorial there’s one of the many public concerts taking place. The music is okay and the crowd is clearly into it, but we’re find just doing some simple bopping as we head past towards the water. A dragon appears out of nowhere and we tail it for a while. It’s just an advertisement, but a dragon with bitchin’ sunglasses is noteworthy at any time.
We get our first up-close with some of the local flora and fauna as we hit the marina and Marta gets to lose her mind over seeing so many palms and checking out some tropical parakeets. We nab a few photos, fail a few others (still learning the camera) and stroll between the marina and the concert marveling yet again at all the Wonder Women. (Marveling? DC-ing?)
With Sugarloaf Mountain beckoning in the distance we walk the length of Praia do Flamengo. It’s a nice beach with loads of beautiful white sand stretching off into the distance. The waves are lacklustre though and its proximity to the marina makes me cautious of the water. For now we steer clear and decide to just make it to the mountain.
That proves to become a pipe dream as we hit a tourist noticeboard at the end of Praia do Flamengo which explains that it will take us about 2.5 more hours to walk to the cable car that delivers tourists to the peak. With a hearty “Fuck that!” we focus on a more immediate concerns: How much Churrascaria can we fit in our bellies before we stop breathing?
Taking a quick right turn we head towards the nearest bus station on the main road. TO get there we cross through a lovely little park when I spot a beautiful little cat lounging in a tree nearby. Oooo-ing and awww-ing as only a cat fancier can, I then notice another cat. And another. And then several dozen more. For the first time ever I’m surrounded by pussy.
It turns out that this is some sort of cat park located in the middle of Rio where small shelters have been set up and food and water bowls are put out on a regular basis. We can’t believe it. The general opinion of most of the world to stray cats is hardly so open. Given the destruction they cause in my home of Australia they’re not exactly favoured. Though I know many believe they cause less damage if they’re fed, studies of domestic cats shows that they still kill native animals at alarming levels.
I leave the pussy park torn. I appreciate that the cats are cared for, but I’m also concerned about the damage they could be causing. I leave mostly satisfied after realising all the stupid pussy jokes I can make when I write about it.
After 20 minutes of totally failing to catch a bus we walk again and catch a metro. Or not. The station is closed. So we walk further (again) and catch the same metro but one station in the other direction. Carnaval is not public transport friendly, though street occupation is definitely it’s primary selling point for me so I try not to bitch. My feet disagree, but I keep my thoughts light.
Eventually we make it to Churrascaria Palace where we (I) proceed to gorge ourselves (myself) on some (too much) of the nicest meat we’ve ever tasted (shamelessly devoured). Review coming soon!
With bellies distended, feet sore, clothes covered in sweat, and tongues dry, we hit the metro, zip to a supermercado, grab a selection of beers, and head home for a tasting and some well overdue showering, collapsing, and imbibing.
Brazilian beers – what do the lumps prefer! – COMING SOON!
Join us for more as we hit Day 3 of our epic adventure through South America – COMING SOON!