23rd of February 2003 – Day 5 (contd)/ 24th of February 2003 – Day 6

23rd of February 2003 – Day 5 (contd) / Day 6

I went to the Maracana stadium – a local derby – two of Rios teams from the premier division – Botafog VS Fluminense. Fantastic statium with a capacity of 110,000, and location of the World Cup in 1950 and Pele´s 1,000 goal in 1969. Good game with the fameous Souza Farias Romario, scoring twice for FLU in their 5-0 win. All goals were scored in the second half. Tickets for the game were 10R, but I went with the hostel group which was 40R (all inclusive) plus 3 off-duty policement for protection as we were 10 rows under the hardcore FLU supporters. There were about 15 of us gringos, It was great, except there was crowd trouble behind us. Some guy threw a slap, and within seconds, about 40-50 gusy rushed throught us to get to the scene. Slaps were traded between these guys against 2/3 others for about a minute. Beacuse there was only 1 cop, the situtation could not be contained until reinforcements came about a minute later. All this was taking place about 10 rows behind us to the right. There were some pretty scared gringos, ready to depart, but things settled down again as FLU scored. Some pics below. Met a guy from Emily (Tipparary) at the match. He is a Irish Soldier staioned in the Sahara. His sunglaases were nicked from him the day before. He had great things to say about the Thatch disco in Emily. Alot of crowd trouble down at the San Paulo home game as well.. seems soccer violence is quite prevalnt.











Football in Rio de Janeiro

Taken on the 23rd of February 2003

What a day. Biggest Sadium in the World.. carries over 100,000. The sun shining. hard young guys with flags. great football.

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Football in Rio de Janeiro

Taken on the 23rd of February 2003

I would mess with Rio Football fans. I didnt see one female in the crowd and a couple of fist fights occured around us.

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Football in Rio de Janeiro

Taken on the 23rd of February 2003

Yep, thats me. I met an Irish lad at the game. As you can see its a big stadium.

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Went to a beach party after on the main Ipanema road. Cant get my head around it as a westener (or just ben Irish). One big artic truck with a massive sound system. Maybe 30 guys with drums walking ahead of the group. Then we have about 1m people on both sides in front and behind this truck, dancing, partying and singing. I ask myself WHY. Imagine 1m Irish people following the chieftans on a truck down O; Connell street , dancing. Hmm, it simply does not exist in our DNA.

24th of February 2003 – Day 6

Went on the favela tour. Website here. It was really interesting. Cost 55R. Hostel pick-up at 9.00am. Introduction comments about the context of favelas in Rio city and Brazilian society. Arriving in Rocinha, welcoming, explanation about the architecture, public services, carnival, etc. Guide explained that 2m out of the 10m in Rio live in the various 600 favelas in Rio.

Going to a local terrace, pause for pictures of a breathtaking view over Rio, talks about the security. Rocinha is the biggest favelas in Rio (pop 160,000). We drove down through the “Estrada da G?vea”, a former F1 race track.

Went to Vila Canoas, visiting the “Para Ti” community school. All together very good and safe. Guide explained that no cops come in to the favelas but the drug barons provide security, the infrastructure, the hospitals etc out of their pocket. There are very strict rules: no stealoing, rape, murder etc. If you commit a crime against your local community (including tourists) while int he favela you get shot dead. If you dicide to rob a tourist outside the favela, well thats no problem. Therefore the guide said tourists could visit alone, but if some kid got tempted, robbed you (assuming U didnt know the rule), you could go the drug and have him shot.











Rio de Janeiro favela tour

Taken on the 24th of February 2003

It eas explained to me while taking this picture that that 2m out of the 10m in Rio live in the various 600 favelas in Rio.

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Rio de Janeiro favela tour

Taken on the 24th of February 2003

Romario missed the 1998 World Cup because of a nagging calf muscle injury and was left out of the squad in 2002 by Luiz Felipe Scolari, even though many fans still considered him to be Brazil’s best striker at the time. It was beacuse he wanted his girlfriend to share his room., but the coach said no relations during the World Cup – and therefore the joke in the picture above.

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21st of February 2003 – Day 4 (contd)/ Day 5

21st of February 2003 – Day 4 (contd)/ Day 5

Was again deciding on an early night, but again better judgement failed me. There was a trip from the Hostel to a hall where a samba band were having a final rendition before Carnival. The bus was leaving at 11.15pm, and to tell you the truth, when I think of samba, nothing comes to mind except shuffling of feet. After having a few beers on the steps of the hostel, I was persuaded to go, as I may not be in town for Carnival, I decided to go. It was 40R return by mini bus (which including the 20R entrance fee to the hall ). Many informal groups or neineighborhoods get together every weekend to rap on their own samba rhythm. These groups gave rise to bigger bands called @blocos@ for Carnival, whose name points to what part of the city they are from. Their pre-Carnival rehersals are very popular. We went to a neighborhood, with a reputation as a great bloco.

There were hundreds of people outside the hall, drinking, eating and dancing. I was going to say the night was hot with anticipation – it was. We got in and there must a have been 5,000 people inside swaying. They had developed their own rhyth, or song (with lyrics) for the parade, and everone was singing and dancing to the same rhythm all night. They had 5/6 singers doing relays with the singing and opposite on a balcony were about 100 people with drums, chims (making hella lot of noise), and all the crowd were tuned into it, beacuse this was their bloco, there creation. It was like supporting your local team – everbody was really into it. About 15 people from the hostel with and everyone had a great time. Beers were 2.50 R each (Bramhna) and we got back to the hostel at 4.00ma. I was exhausted.











Rio de Janeiro Salsa

Taken on the 21st of February 2003

Salsa. What a night. This community/neightbourhoodis practucing for Carival. The whole community is involved. They have their own song. Young and old. Beer. sex. Rythm.

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Rio de Janeiro Salsa

Taken on the 21st of February 2003

It was a long niht and everyone had a great time. No luck with the ladie though!

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21st of February 2003 – Day 5

Got up at 11.00am. Met a guy that was was going to see a game at the famous Rio soccer stadium – the Maracana. We are going too a local derby – two of Rios teams from the premier division – Botafog VS Fluminense. They expect 60,000 people at the match.

Day 4

Day 4 – Saturday

The city is dead during weekends- Everybody heads to the beach and drinks at juice bars. No work is done in the city centre and shops close close early. They take their leisure time seriously. Everbody looking at everybody.

I had been told of a white knuckle ride with a difference – the Bondinho (the little tram). Catch it at the tram station on Rua Lelio Gama in the Centro district. The cost of this white knuckle ride is .60 (double return) real, Wooden seats, ropey suspension and open sides make for quite an exciting journey. Maybe because armed police ride them you as it travels close to a favela.Kids jump on the tramp as it going up a large hill. Watch your valubales but goes through an area that writers reside – St. threresa district. it has its own hospital, police staion , museum and beaquful ornate houses. If this was a favela, i have had the wrong impression. Take the metro (return ticket is 2.94R) – called a DUPLO. Went to Carioca station. Very clean and safe. Now 16.00 hours – going to grab a bite to eat.

Years ago, I could @Do@ 3 museums, a day. Now in this heat – 35 oC today – can really only do one serious tourist thing a day.











Rio de Janeiro City Centre

I went into town to see the business districts and yes, there is commerce in Rio. Lots of suits sweating in the miday sun. Not much to report from here.

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Rio de Janeiro

Kudos to those who recognised what this was. A cop car outside the hostel. They must ahve much deal with the owners as there were always cop cars coming and going for cofee etc. On any tours, an off duty cop usually came along i.e to football matches etc. Maybe in case of a bus jacking. It happens here. A bus full of cops (yes, its true) was jacked in September 2004. All their valuables were taken.

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Day 1/2 in Rio, Brazil

Day 1 – the 19th of february 2003

Nice flight with BA from London – San Paulo (stopover) – Rio. They have those built in TV screens so U can pick between 5/6 films at any one time. (5666 miles from London – San Paulo). Took the 5.40pm flight from Dublin to London Heathrow. Arrived 7.00pm to T1. This airport is far too big, but got from T1 to T4 (international departures) in 20 minutes. My flight did not go until 20.50.

Arrived in Rio about 3 hours – ago – arrived local time 8.00am after 1 hr stopover in San Paulo and hostel/hotel at 9.00am. Avoided the touts and grabbed a passing yellow taxi. (26 R from Airport – to Cobba). Walked down to the beach area around 10.00am as I never sleep after early arrivals cos of potential jet lag. Adapt to the country time ASAP.. I am still hearing all the warnings about petty theft in my mind along this area, so I was over careful on Day 1, which is a pity. Everyone was a potential thief.

In the afternoon, I calmed down and walked around to get my bearings. I started to enjoy the city/people without holding onto my wallet and bag with purpose. Still, beacuse I am not a beach person, I don´t think I shall be setting foot – not too clean for swimming in case. Very unusual to see evrone from 8 to 80 walking around in Speddos and bikinis. Very surreal. Still, cobba is only a small part of Rio – Went into cento in the afternoon for something to eat. A business area.

Day 2 – the 20th of February

Got up at 8.30. Felt a bit more confident and took the bus (518) to the Cog Train in order to get to the Christ the Redemmer Statue.











Rio de Janeiro

Taken on the 20th of February 2003

The Beach not thailand but rio. To tell you the truth, I am not a beach person and to my shame didnt set up on sand while in Rio. Not a body fanatic nor a beach bum.

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Rio de Janeiro

Taken on the 20th of February 2003

Christ the Redeemer – Cristo Redentor. Fantastic, Christ arms outstretched overlokking the city. Some views from up here.

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Rio de Janeiro

Taken on the 20th of February 2003

Christ the Redeemer – Cristo Redentor. Fantastic, I met some Irish lads here as I am my Cork GAA Jersey on. I am still getting used to the heat.

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Just thought I should have taken a stitch panoramic shot of the statue. Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer and Cog train). Cog trains run daily from 8.30 – 6pm, every 30 minutes Station: Rua Cosme Velho, 513, Cosme Velho, Tel: (21) 2558 1329, Website:

Ticket price: 24 reals each (return). Met a Tom Ryan and his friend from Ireland who are also taking a year out in S. America. I was wearing a Cork GAA jersey, so I was easy to pick out. Good luck with your travel lads. We might cross paths again.

Going Away Party – 14th of February 2003

14th of February 2003
My going away party from the company was on last friday the 14th of February. It was great to have the company of 18 people from the company, the building and the trade.Went to the local golf club, which overlooks the Irish Sea- it looked great- why do i want to travel overseas??? It was a great meal, good Guinness (and thanks to the Chairman for the champers). The dinner started around 1.30pm. I wanted to go back and change at 5.00pm but when an Irish session gets going, it does not stop for breaks. We tore ahead until 2.00am. A long day, and it took it out of me. Thanks to pat for the speeches. I felt fairly raw the next morning, but had to drive to Dublin for a few things, before driving 200 miles to home when my reamining stuff. I then went out to the local with the family – at as everybody knows – the Harp bar has the best Guinness in ireland. Nice to home for 3 nights before I head off.

Thanks to the company for a great going present – a Cannon A40 – I havn’t put it down since. I took photos of the party, butthe res was too bight (average 400kb), so after I downloaded them, I had to resave them to lower quality for the web (40kb).





Going Away Party at work

Taken on the 14th of February 2003

The typical Irish Going Away party Piss Up .. you gotta love it.

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Going Away Party at work

Taken on the 14th of February 2003

The typical Irish Going Away party Piss Up .. you gotta love it.

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Going Away Party at work

Taken on the 14th of February 2003

The typical Irish Going Away party Piss Up .. you gotta love it. Myself and Mary Flynn

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Going Away Party at work

Taken on the 14th of February 2003

The typical Irish Going Away party Piss Up .. you gotta love it. Myself Brendan, Allison & Pat

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Great win againt Scotland in Murrayfield today – although as a game, it was poor. Ireland have not won at rugby in Murrayfield since 1985. I was a young chap then. Great turnout at the ant-war march in Dublin yesterday – 1000,00, which is the biggest in 20 years. Drove to Fermoy this evening with the Father.

Yep, booked it at 10.30am this morning. Decided not to fly to Bogota (well, I could not), as the flight leaves London at 10.00am and the Dublin flight doesnt get to London until 9.30am. Therefore If I wanted to start in Colombia, I would have had to book the RTW in Sterling from london, and make my own way to london – too much hassle – especailly in getting home – using Ryanair and having excess baggage. Overnight stays in london are bot allowed under the scheme. So, I now fly to Rio in time in Carnival (march 1st to 4th) – not a bad compromise! But need to book accommodation fast! – Hostel. For the record my iternary is: Dublin – Rio de Janeiro (overland to Lima- la Paz – Buenos Aires) – Santiago – Auckland – overland to Christchurch -Melbourne – overland to Sydney – Jakarta  – Singapore  – Bangkok – Hong Kong – Overland to Beijing –Dublin. So Ive taken advantage of the full 7 stops allowed under the Quantas/BA Discovery Ticket and have booked it at 28,800 miles. Only a total of 29,000 miles are allowable under the scheme, so I have really taken advantage of the scheme to its fullest. Trailfinders staff were impressed at getting so much from what is a limited scheme. You could spend that amount in getting to New Zealand! Bought the package from Trailfinders at €1,562 plus €135 in tax. I will put a budget page on the site to give people an idea of the costs.