What a splendid day in Rio de Janeiro !! Actually it started the night before when I and my friend Tania were invited to a friend of a friend's birthday party at a nightclub they had booked for the occasion.
We arrived fashionably late at 11.00pm to the sound of the sextet VIA BRASIL, and I started dancing with the multitude of curvaceous ladies; black, white, chocolate, coffee, mulatto... some with skirts hems half way up to their navels!!! They started playing some oldie Beatle songs and then the lead singer chick announced that there was a special guest from Liverpool, Inglaterra.. ME!!I was thrust and pulled onto the stage and given a microphone.
She asked what was my favourite Fab Four song. I thought and said Hard Days Night. Anyway they played YESTERDAY ! and I had to sing solo! I finished it but nobody asked for an encore, but it was free drinks for me until 3.00 am.TOMORROW!
Went to visit the building site at ESTADIO MARACANA. It was built for the 1950 World Cup and about 200,000 fans showed up. Anyway, couldn't be easier to get to, just 2 stations from Central on the Metro, then a bridge across the tracks. You pay R20, about $10.00 US, and get the elevator up to a small museum and a viewing platform to look at the construction. 11,000 workers built the original and now about 3,500 are on site. It has been gutted and the blue seats donated to small clubs. A steeper seat configuraion as demanded by FIFA, and a completely new translucent roof with solar power, but the historic shape remains.
Lots of statues, photos, memorabelia and the foot prints of former players, plus a small souvenir stall and a cafe for visitors, then escalators down to the street. There are markers from 0 metres, 100 metres to 1,700 metres around the perimeter which includes an athletics stadium, a school and a swimming pool. The circuit were called COOPERS after Dr. Kenneth Cooper of The Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX. He was brought in aftr the 1962 World Cup to improve the staying power of the Brasilian team with cardio-vascular exercise routines.
Then to Ipanema, a very upscale beach area just south of Copacabana, and to La Garota de Ipanema, The Girl from Ipanema bar, and home of Bosa Nova on rua Vinicius de Morais 49, the famous lyricist. Its a block from the beach and the apartments there are more expensive than those on 5th Avenue in NYC. The music was by Antonio Carlos Jobin and written in 1962. It was inspired by a beautiful 15 year old girl, Heloise Eneida Menezes Pinto (now a 65 year old Helo Pinheiro). She walked by evry afternoon where the two friends me,t to byu cigarettes for her father. The song became a world wide classic. Go pay a visit to the bar and the neighbourhood, as I have a couple of times.
Next stop is the Fluminense club, the historic stadium, LARENJEIROS, the first in Brasil. It's the home of SC Fluminense and has a beautiful exterior and interior with gigantic stained glass windows. The first team were training there but will move in the future, since everytime they lose the fans come and berate them. The youth complex where younger players train and live is about 40km out of town.
A couple of socios, or members, greeted me, Eric and Ricardo, and shown the Olympic swimming pool complex where former FIFA President Joao Havelange trained as a youth and represented Brasil at the 1932 Los Angeles and 1948 London Olympics as a swimmer and water polo player. Fluminense are the Brasilian polo champions. There is also a tennis centre, an indoor area with bowling and more, and a club shop FLU SHOP plus a buffet restaurant where I was a guest for a great meal and of course Guarana, my favourite drink. The complex is crowded with members and their familes all week long.
I finished up at Copacabana on Avenida Atlantic. a 6 lane auto road plus a narrow two lane road for joggers, cyclists and skateboarders. The centre pavement hosts a mercado daily from 6pm until midnight where you can get great prices for souvenirs. Then there is the famous zig zag black and white promenade made of small stones. The best part is the 100 metre wide soft sand beach. There are frequent steel exercise workout stands, showers, cold mist sprays ,and undergound clean toilets.
After grabbing a white plastic armchair by one of the many refreshment cafes. I bought a whole coconut COCO FRIO for R3, about $1.50 US., which had been chilled in the fridge. They chopped off the top with a little machete, gave me a straw and I sipped the cool milk while relaxing for a while watching dozens of games of futebol, and futevolley with girls bobbing with the ball and their breasts oozing out of their mini bras, as the sun set on the Atlantic Ocean. PERFECTO, OBRIGADO.