As we had been told not to trust the scheduled departures and arrivals of the busses in South America we decided to split our two bus trips over two days and stay an extra night in Rio.
Sad as it was to be leaving Buzios we were also very excited to be returning to Rio and had decided to stay downtown in an area called Lapa. We had heard that this was where the action was and sure enough the streets were lined with bars and restaurants, in fact our room was more or less in a bar as we found out later that night when we tried to go to bed!!
We didn’t have long to explore the area in the afternoon after our 3hr bus trip from Buzios, but we did manage to find a set of steps called Escadaria Selaron which had been tiled with tiles from all over the world by a Chilean artist called Selaron who had constantly interchanged them up until his most gruesome death in 2012. He was burnt to death at the foot of the stairs! That said it was quite different to see a sight which was more contemporary as all the tiles were from places, bands and events which had occurred during our lifetime.
We had a busy evening planned so decided to try out some of the restaurants in the area, and once again we noticed that the prices were dramatically lower just off the main drag. We noticed a place which was offering Feijoada, a “must try” Brazilian dish traditionally served on a Saturday, as a special. What a great meal coming in four different dishes to the table the waiter then served up a base of rice, beans and a spinach and bacon salad. On this he spooned on a stew which had a variety of pork bits in as well as some beef. This was topped of with what we think were some kind of breadcrumbs. Absolutely delicious.
Feeling full and Brazilian we headed off to a Samba bar which had been recommended in all the guide books and although we were a little early the band was in full swing and there were people doing their stuff on the dance floor. It was really good to experience a completely different style of music, and the first thing we both noticed that the band really took the back seat to the dancers.
Sarah noted how dancing as a couple was an art probably lost to our parents’ generation…I have a feeling we will be signing up for some dancing lessons before we leave the continent!!!!
It was a shame to leave but we were off to watch Fluminese play Sau Paulo at the infamous Maracana stadium. It was a Wednesday night and kick off was at 10pm!! Needless to say the stadium wasn’t full, in fact I would be surprised if 20,000 people were there. This was a bit of a shame but there were a small group of home fans and on the other side of the stadium a group of away fans who both banged their drums and sang the whole time. It certainly gave an idea as to what it would be like if the stadium was full!! Fingers crossed we will get something sorted.
It was a great day, we really couldn’t believe everything we had managed to do and rushed back to the hotel to try and get some sleep in anticipation of our 22hr bus ride the next day. Unfortunately the room as I mentioned before was practically inside the bar next door and we had to wait until 2 when the bar shut!!! T