Sunday, August 10, 2014

Brazil 2014 - Day 11 (6/23/2014) - Rio

We were pleasantly surprised that our Airbnb host had put out breakfast for us - though perhaps we should have expected it after she mentioned it the day before.  She made an appearance while we were eating, and we had a discussion mostly about Brazilian politics (it seems like everyone hates the government here).  After eating Raj and I took the bus from right in front of the apartment building over to Shopping RioSul, then walked to Urca to get in line for the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) cable car, arriving there around 9:50.  The line for tickets was really long, and it didn't help that the guided tour people were being let in at a faster rate than the "regular people".  The line eventually began moving more quickly, and we were through and into the cable car after 50 minutes or so.

The first cable car took us up to the top of Morro de Urca, where we spent some time taking pictures.  When we went to get in line for the second cable car for Sugarloaf Mountain, we were both surprised and terrified by how long it was - it seemed to wrap around the whole area.  I didn't remember the lines being even half as long when I went there 5 years earlier, but then there wasn't a massive soccer tournament going on then.  We eventually got through that line after an hour and made our way up to Sugarloaf.  After more picture taking we made our way back down to the bottom by cable car and then walked toward the nearby beach, Praia Vermelhes.  The 1:00 final group stage games were in the second half, so we stopped at the Terra Brasilis restaurant to catch the end of Netherlands vs Chile.  After a long wait to get seated, and a long wait to have our order taken, we found out that they didn't have any pizzas available (the best vegetarian options on the menu).  So we finished our drinks (by now Guaraná had become my drink of choice) and left when the game was over.

We walked back to the shopping mall and found the kiosk for the Corcovado tram.  The girl at the counter informed us that the next available tram was the next evening, after we would have left the city, but that we could show up early the next day to try to get some tickets from the 20% reserved for in-person sales.  After that we took the bus to Copacabana in search of a pizzeria that Raj had noted, but it was closed.  Instead we wandered around in search of somewhere with available seating that had TVs.  We settled on a small bar/restaurant/pizzeria called Tipicamente.  There, we shared a mushroom pizza and watched Brazil thump Cameroon 4-1 (a scoreline that Raj predicted) in the 5:00 match that the vast majority of the country cared more about.  The Brazilians went nuts whenever their team scored and at the final whistle, including setting off fireworks in the street.  After eating we walked around Copacabana for a bit before heading back to the apartment.

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