Search This Blog

Friday, 29 April 2011


Now - this is by no means definitive, but our life here has occasionally demanded that we jump into a cab. The only time I did this in Brighton I was either really hammered or really hung over.

Here in Rio, I try to rely on the good number of public transport options, but there are times when I´ve got a cab. Here´s how I do it:

Depending on how brave I feel about communicating in Portuguese, I may or may not take some visual aids with me. I definitely take a pen and paper, so that if all else fails I can start a convoluted game of pictionary with my poor confused cheauffeur of the moment. Nothing like cruising around totally lost with the meter running!

Yellow Rio cabs have proven to be honest so far. Either flag one down (usually takes between 2 and 4 seconds to stop one) - or go to a rank (they are everywhere).

Tarif 1 starts at R$4.30 and the price climbs modestly till you get there -  by my reckoning, cabs are cheaper here than most big cities. Here are some ´rule of thumb´ prices.

      • Copacabana - Sugar loaf  R$10
      • Copacabana - Lapa R$15 - More after midnight
      • Copacabana- Leblon R$10ish
      • Copacabana - Tom Jobim International airport - R$45ish depending on traffic
Tarif 2 is for sundays and holidays and after midnight. Don´t ask me how much it is, I´m usually three sheets to the wind when its tarif 2 time.

Ok - its important to note that since April, the fares went up by 14% but the meters haven´t all been changed. So if your driver produces a ready-reckoner at the end of the journey to let you know the actual fare (and not the old fare on the meter) - don´t set off your rip off alarm just yet.

The airport....

Ahh, the place where you arrive after half a night asleep with some fat git´s knobbly knees in your back. Now this is when you you should set you rip off alarm with a hair trigger. Before you pass into the airport proper, a row of Taxi kiosks manned by wailing banshees will try and lure you into poverty. Personally I would avoid their advances.

At the airport door its round 2! An elite squad of commision hunters will desperately try to push your trolley for you. Just make for the normal cab rank. And the normal cab fares.

There. Said it.

By the way - this nifty website works out the fare for you -  so when you get where you´re going, you can check the extent of the damage.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Hippy Hippy market, and the shower of all showers.

Bring a brolly. A really sturdy one. Once upon a time a friend of mine told me about the time it started raining in London, and he nipped in to the nearest restaurant to let the staff know that he thought he had left his black umbrella there the night before. They found it, and he walked home.

Had he bollocks left it there. He just wanted to get home dry.

Oh how I wish my lamentable Portuguese could stretch to such daring and despicable acts. Heres why.

Sunday (Easter Sunday in this case) sees the hippy market right by the General Osorio Metro station. Its huge - and by all accounts a must for all those last minute trinkets you want to take home and stuff in a drawer somewhere. Anyhow - we did what we wanted to do and got a shift on, because the stormclouds were gathering apace.

And so to a nearby bar for hard-earned pasteis and beer - and it turns out the opening of the local Derby Flamengo vs Fluminense football match. Half way through the first half, the storm cut off the TV signal and the district turned into fanatical football crazed headless chickens running from bar to bar to see if anywhere was managing to show the match.

The rain got worse and worse - and the match in our bar returned just as the penalty shoot out was ending. 5-4 Flamengo if you're interested. Get the report here:

Felipe (Flamengo) saves the day.

We ventured out and failed to hail a cab. Not before we were proper wet though. We ended up on one of the busiest busses ever known.

At least we weren't freezing.

And I must take more photos.

Friday, 22 April 2011


A lot to take in. And quite a mission on Maundy Thursday with the buggy, but today was the day we chose to go up the mountain to see the statue. You know the one.

The pilgrimage is on. Thousands of faithful from all over are descending on Rio, and the traffic is reflecting the fact. Nobody seems to care - everyone is just glad to be on holiday.

Needless to say, the bus was rammed, so we got in a cab and headed for the foot of Corcovado (the mountain plinth for the most famous concrete Jesus of all). Cabs here are great value - if there are three of you - a short hop across town is barely more cash than three bus fares. Might as well travel posh then.

There's a train all the way to the top. Thing is, it seems you need to be up at the crack of dawn to queue for a ticket. We weren't - so the only train still available was going to be after dark (not really the best time to savour the Christ's eye view).

So we braved to minibus method, which, as it turned out, was manageable. We donned our stickers to tell the world we were paid-up gringoes, and got in the first of quite a few queues.

Ok, one cab, 2 minibuses, 2 escalators, a lift and more queues than I was able to count, and we were there. Gazing out over our adopted home and trying to make sense of the Geography that was finally laid out on a plate for us to fathom.

R$46 each - and worth every penny. And although we had to deal with the Easter crowd, it was all the more memorable. Especially seeings as we we able to witness the priest at the top literally telling it on the mountain, and throwing a couple of showbiz numbers to the high altitude assembly.

Go do it. Here's the link:  Trem do Corcovado

Me, The old man, and the 600 tonne concrete dude.

Oi! - I can see your house from here...

If you're a priest, Easter at Cristo Redentor was always going to be a big gig.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Mine's a Lage one!

Our Lovely Morning in Park Lage

Now check out this park... (click for a fancy map)

Quite the way to while away a morning! - We went last Saturday and our little fella is desperate to go exploring there again. Nooks, crannies, streams, a delightful little aquarium and even the odd monkey to make eyes at your picnic.

And its free! - I've been told that the more intrepid visitors can walk along the upward trails all the way to Christ the Redeemer. Might want to consider getting a guide for that though. Aside from the theiving bastards that might make off with your wallet, some of those cliffs look less than inviting.

Christ, he's a long way up.

We were sensible, we stayed in the bottom bit, with all of the art students, and cub scout orienteers, and hippy types taking their massage class. Oh yeah, and the armed guards. No kidding.

A great big tantric mutual back rubbing session. Brighton memories came flooding!


It's a festival of training at work at the mo. And we know what that means. Fancy lunches. Today I nipped up to the 8th floor and took a photo. If you look carefully you can see the sugar loaf cable car station. Pretty tempted to nick off early and see if I can relive that moonraker moment. On the other hand, there is a magnificent hostelry at the bottom. I might just hole up there and do the blooming obvious.

whoops, there it is. Really should get back to it.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 18 April 2011

Lapa it up...

Ok - not been there yet - and with no babysitter in sight it may be a while - it seems that Lapa is the place to be if you're a bright young party animal.

Don't be put off though - apparently being a bright young party animal has very little to do with your age. You just have to act like you're young enough to not have a care in the world.

Nifty website too... have a look

Thursday, 14 April 2011

My ´Hood (or part of it at least)

If you're from Rio, you're called a Carioca - It's nice to have a label. If you're like me, you're a gringo. Plain and simple - although it seems that its not as derogatory as it sounds. I actually get the feeling that it's an endearing term reserved for us poor lost foreigners. To be honest, I reckon I'm offered more than my share of goodwill and patience.

I know I bang on about bus drivers, but get this. I reckon the dirty great beasts of the road have been responsible for all of my near-death experiences in Rio so far. That said, not only are these guys prepared to splatter me in order to get where they're going, they are also prepared to screech (and I mean tyremarks) to a halt 500 metres after the bus stop just because I was too dozy to remember to alight. (hmm... where do you get off etc etc...)

So, pretty quickly, I feel a part of the mayhem, rather than a camera toting holiday maker (or one of those gap year types from the mosquito factory at the bottom of the road (I'm only jealous - more about them later)

Incidentally - here's where we live. Slap bang in Copacabana. Before we made the move I explored via the power of google, and the one thing I just can't communicate here is the noise! - I love noise in my life, but this is pretty close to the limit. Needless to say if I wanted to stroll down the street banging two bin lids together, chances are nobody would notice.

Now - if you are ever passing by, the petrol station at the bottom of the street has an amazing bakery. Just saying.

Right - Cariocas love babies. Our little man is the subject of more cooing than a packet of hobnobs in trafalgar square. I'm not kidding - a simple excursion to the petrol station to buy a couple of rolls may well include a good five minutes of fascinated cheek-squeezing (his, not mine). He currently attends a local nursery - Passo a Passo - just around the corner next to yet another backpackers retreat ('mellow yellow' for crying out loud).  Whilst I wouldn't put it past some of the more unscrupulous cariocas to rob you in broad daylight, the buggies outside nursery remain untouched - maybe even robbing bastards won't nick off babies.

Anyway - to look at a video of his nursery, where even one year olds turn up in uniform and get a school report (he did especially well in science the other day!) - have a look here

Tomorrow dawns the arrival of our first UK guest. Yep - my old man has packed his speedos and he boards the plane this afternoon. Hope he likes our place, and the noise, and the busses. Crikey, best do what I do best and have a very careful think about which bar to hit first......

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Day The Fog Lifted

....aka 'The Day We Realised that having the CPF number merely heralded the beginning of the second wave of bureaucratic shenanigans....

What a stunner....

Well, no sooner than you could say Jack Robinson, I became a full-on tax paying, stoppages incurring, fee inducing, mobile phoning record breaker!! - No kidding - all that was missing was Norris  Mcwhirter to jump out from behind a bush and declare that I was infact latest champion in the battle to acquire the most pissing paperwork in the shortest possible time. Cue the trumpet player - dedication's what you need!

Heh, if Carlsberg did world records.... they'd be in Brazil

Would I give it all up and go back? Nah... lets face it - they're going to catch up with us all sooner or later, and to be honest, I'd rather go legit before a not wholly unlikely trip to casualty for the dive-bombing toddler costs us large.

Ok, part of going legit has been our health plan coming online too, and we now have a tome rather like the monstrosities I bought to compliment my university education, and forgot to ever open. To be honest it wasn't really the kind of education you'd be inclined to compliment.

The tome is like a phonebook of where we may or may not go should we require a man or woman in a white coat. Our plan is round about middle order - not too posh and not too shabby. At least I wont have to change my kecks if I'm ever admitted.

and...... watch this space 'cause I have a mobile again! So I'm going to and try an regail the virtual world with up to date pictures of my thrilling life. Surprisingly enough, its not proving that simple, so here's hoping that I manage to communicate with the operator somehow before I chuck my phone in the sea and just get pissed instead.

Incidentally - do text me if you want. I'm sure it will cost a fortune. +55 21 9993969

Try one of these....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Ese