I’m in Rio de Janeiro! This is very exciting, for me at least, because it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. I went to the airport in Porto Algere yesterday fully intending to fly to Recife, but there weren’t many flights out and it seemed too difficult, so I came to Rio instead.

I’m staying in a hotel called San Marco in Ipanema, which is pretty basic — I might upgrade tomorrow to something a bit nicer. Communication is much easier here too, because so many people speak English (of course — so they can relieve us of our tourist dollars and pounds!). There’s actually quite a few Brits here; I met a nice Scottish couple in the hotel bar last night, and there were 3 Brit guys at the launry place I went to earlier. This adds confirmation to my belief that Brits are the new Germans of international tourism.

After I dropped my laundry off around noon today, I spent the afternoon dozing on Ipanema beach, people watching and listening to a latin-oriented jazz mix (by Freeform — nice one mate!) on my Minidisc. Marvellous, and just the remedy for my cold, which was pretty unpleasantly runny yesterday but seems to be drying up nicely today. Now my only problem is sore feet, ripped to shreds from wearing flip-flops!

Tonight after dinner I’m going to an Irish bar, I believe. It wouldn’t have been my first choice ordinarily (why come to Rio to go to an Irish bar, particularly as it won’t be anything like an Irish bar anyway?), but according to the Brits I met at the launderette, this is where the locals like to go! So I’ll check it out anyway.

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