Okay, so my play-on-words doesn´t quite work...
14.08.2016 - 23.08.2016
That long-awaited hour finally arrived. Like a dramtic movie airport scene: two sisters reunited after (three) months apart, clutching each other tightly and sobbing tears of happiness into each others´shoulders. This might sounds like an exaggeration, but seriously, this is what happened. We love each other okay.
After this emotional greeting, I was introduced to Becky´s host brother and cousin (I think?) who had kindly driven to the bus terminal to collect me. We were quickly ushered back to the car, and taken to Becky´s house, to be introduced to the rest of the family. Let me tell you something...there is nothing quite like being welcomed into a new home with a Brazilian asado. Plate of barbecued meat in front of me, a fresh caiprinha in my hand, and my sister sat next to me, I was content to say the least. This was one of those houses where different people turned up every day, and I was never quite sure who was related, who was friends, but it doesn´t really matter because the house was always full of laughter, love, and the smells of cooking. Did I mention I love the Brazilian food? After 3 months of chicken, rice and potatoes in Bolivia, I was finally enjoying the food in front of me, maybe too much, as my waistline expanded at quite an alarming rate. (Note to self: must stop behaving like I´m on a two week holiday and can therefore eat whatever the hell I like). Anyway, for the time being, I was happy to enjoy everything on my plate, including chicken hearts, seriously, they´re delicious.
Becky had several shifts left as an Olympics volunteer, so we fitted our Rio sightseeing, and sisterly catching up, between her busy days... We climbed the mountain Dois Irmaos/Two Brothers, which gave us incredible views over the city and sea.
We ate pastels. We lay on the beach, drank cocktails and got hit on by Argentinians. We swam in the sea, okay, Becky swam, I tried, and very nearly failed, not to drown (lost my bikini top and flashed several other beach-goers in the process). We ate brigadeiro and drank banana flavoured beer (that was weird).
We cheered at the heats of the canoe and kayak sprints. We ate acai. I watched/Becky worked the women´s modern pentathlon, and surprised ourselves by how excited we got, the run/shooting was pretty intense! We ate sushi.
We visited Christ the Redeemer high up on his hill, again, with beautiful views. Rio is so huge, even from the top of one of the many surrounding mountains, you cannot see the whole city. It´s amazing to see from this perspective, as the favelas and the ´developed´districts press right up against each other, in a rather shocking contrast.
We successfully tracked down a new charger for my camera (after the theft in Bolivia I hadn´t had any luck in finding one, and my camera battery was on its last legs), and were both so relieved/overwhelmed, we cried in the store, sorry Mr Shop Man.
We drank more caiprinhas, more beer, and we danced.
We talked and talked, and laughed and laughed. We cuddled.
And eventually, we planned.
Ten days in Rio. Done.