It’s almost as though we planned it this way…
For those of you who dont know, before I quit my job for this trip, I worked in television. The company I worked for play a big part in live TV across the globe, and luckily for Abbie and I that includes right now, in Rio, for the Olympics.
Day 84 – Tuesday 16th August 2016
We stayed in bed until nearly midday, which wasnt surprising after a day and a half of travelling. We woke up, chilled for a bit, and then the roof started leaking. Our Airbnb host was useless too, and instead of trying to fix the problem, paid attention to the fact that the bed was wet, before leaving the house and returning not long after with some new sheets. Cheers mate!
It wasnt until mid afternoon that we actually got everything sorted and headed out, by which time we’d checked online to see if we could bag ourselves some Olympics tickets, which we could, but only at a cost. We headed for the Olympic Stadium in hope of there being Athletics tickets left available, and although it took absolutely ages to get there, we were in luck upon arrival. Just before the ticket line stood a Brazilian couple, probably around the same age as us, with two tickets for sale. Better yet, they wanted less than face value for them. We ended up paying £45 each instead of £65 each, which meant more money for beers and burgers, and then walked to the stadium with our Brazilian friends before losing them at security.
As soon as we entered the stadium, the excitement had us both running around like a pair of kids on christmas day. We didnt even go to the London Olympics (due to the ridiculously high ticket prices) but now found ourselves in the main stadium, in Rio, for the following:
At first we went to our allocated seat, on the second level, pretty much in line with the javelin throw:
After a while it became apparent that security werent really on show, and that we could move, so with the Mens 110m Hurdles coming up, we put ourselves right behind the start line, with the hopes of making it onto TV. Of course when the camera stopped in front of each athlete on the line before he race started, you had us two amongst all of the other idiots jumping around, doing Usain Bolt signs, Mo Farah signs, Glass Peaks signs (if you dont know, get to know), and just about anything else we could do to embarrass ourselves. We saw ourselves on the big screens, which means that we made it to the TV too, you just have to know when and where to look:
So remember, Mens 110m Hurdles, Tuesday 16th August 2016, Rio de Janeiro Olmypic Stadium. Go find us!
We had a few beers each but not too many as we wanted to make sure that we had our wits about us for the journey home. We planned on taking the metro but ended up bumping into an American couple who were staying near us and suggested sharing an Uber, which seemed much safer and convenient.
We didn’t get in until gone 01:00, so went straight to bed. There you have it, if anybody mentions the Olympics to you again, just tell them you know a guy who was there, and then tell them to follow his blog of course!
Day 85 – Wednesday 17th August 2016
Yesterday was busy. Today we planned on making it everything but that, so went to the beach. Not just to any beach though, you guessed it, to The Copacabana. Is was just as wonderful as we imagined, and the feeling of sitting in a deck chair with an ice cold beer in my hand, next to Abbie who had a cocktail in hers, with our toes in the sand to the sound of crashing waves, it was just perfect. I couldn’t have taken the smile off of my face if I tried!
We sat for a bit in the sun, then sat for a bit under the umbrella, and played in the sea for a long time, amongst waves like I’ve never seen before in my life. I’m not talking waves like the ones you jump over at the beach back home in the UK either, I’m talking about waves which throw you around (pretty dangerously) even in the shallowest of water, that you have to be really careful with, but can also have so much fun with.
The walk back to our apartment from the beach was no more than twenty minutes, and unsure of what to do for dinner, I text one of my old colleagues to see if he fancied something to eat. Well, what started as Abbie and I joining my old colleague Nik for Mexican food, ended up as Abbie and I with Nik, and two other ex-colleagues Neil and Simon, all drinking until around midnight:
Above we can be seen pointing at my teeth to commemorate the day that I lost them in Canada (which they all found hilarious). It felt pretty surreal, out for drinks with my old work mates, but on the other side of the world. It was amazing to catch up though.
Pretty drunk, and more than ready for bed, the short walk home was an absolute doddle. The area we’re staying in, Botafogo, is really nice, and has police everywhere (presumeably because of the games) which made us feel extra safe from door to door. We’ll almost definitely see the guys again before we leave, as they’re literally a five minute walk away from where we are currently staying. After that it’ll be at least nine months, so we may as well make the most of it!
Thursday 18th August 2016
I knew that my old boss Chris was out here in Rio this week so we arranged to meet up with him today. He had work to do until around 11:00 which gave us a bit of a lay in, and meant that the hangover had a bit of time to pass as well:
We had two options, Christ the Redeemer or Sugarloaf Mountain, and went for Sugarloaf as reccommended by Nik, Neil and Simon last night. It was only twenty minutes or so to walk to from our Airbnb and seemed pretty sunny at the time, so we thought why not.
We arrived, Chris paid for the tickets (top man! we owe you one), and there was hardly any queue, so within ten minutes we were on the cable car to the first mountain. As I’ve mentioned before, I am not very good with heights, but this wasn’t so bad. From the top there was a great view of Rio, and also of Christ the Redeemer in the distance:
The sun was out, the sky was clear, and we were hungry, so had lunch in the early afternoon before getting the second cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain itself.
By the time we’d eaten of course, the sun had been almost entirely replaced by clouds:
We couldnt even see the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, but decided to chance it just in case the clouds cleared. The second cable car, unlike the first, scared the life out of me! For maybe a third of the way we couldn’t see anything at all out of the windows because we were literally up in the clouds:
Then at the top, no change. We could see literally nothing.
Left disappointed, and eager to do something noteworthy, we took Chris to The Copacabana, where we’d spent most of our day yesterday. None of us had swimwear on so we couldnt get into the sea properly, but all rolled up our shorts and walked along the shore for a while, just about as far as a cocktail bar. We stopped, had a couple each, and then made a move so that Chris could catch his flight. We went back to our place where he’d left his bags, changed quickly, and then went out for one last goodbye drink before his taxi to the airport.
Again, it was very surreal spending the day with your old boss on the other side of the world, but really good to catch up. All of the socialising with ex-colleagues was great, but meant that we forgot one thing – we dont have any more accommodation booked! I guess our first job of the morning will be to find somewhere, because we have to be out of here by 11:00. Oops!