Dear British readers, you can stop disliking me for being in Rio, as the weather over here isn’t far off an English Summer (grim), & there has been no frolicking in the surf, or lazing under palm trees sucking up caipirinhas. Because, of course, here in the Southern Hemisphere it is winter. Which in Rio appears to be basically weakly sunny early 20C days, interspersed by lowering grey skies, torrential rain, cold kneecaps and a longing for steaming cups of that f*ck off rocket fuel otherwise known as Brazilian coffee.
So I am writing this from under the ironed white duvet in hotel no 2 of the trip, the glorious Hotel Santa Teresa, perched up on a hill above the city in er, Santa Teresa, and luxuriating in the fact that I am no longer in the institutional corporate vortex of the last five days, aka the Windsor Atlantica Hotel down in Copacabana.*
(Thank you Cazenove & Loyd for organising my weekend off here. You are ninja holiday facilitators with a contacts book from heaven.)
I am assured it will be sunny enough tomorrow for me to take the tram up to Christo Redentor, which at the moment is wreathed in cloud and grey-ness. (That teeny spike in the centre of the photo is Christ.)
There was a bit of an existential wobble yesterday evening when Dave Bennett’s lovely wife Roseanne regaled me with tales of their trip to see Christ in the afternoon, and tacked on a comment that they had to go then, as it was probably the only time they would come to Rio.
I had had exactly the opposite thought: maybe I won’t go, in case I want to come back with someone else, and it would rather ruin it if I had already been there, done that. Oh God, I thought, as Roseanne talked about her day, I’m actually getting on a bit, and maybe this will be the only time I come to Rio; it’s not like I am in my mid 20s any more with years stretching out to travel places blah blah blah.
It was a definite, chastening and a little bit miserable reminder that I have got a point in my life where the future isn’t filled with the prospect of unlimited opportunities to do things twice, thrice & more…
So anyway, carpe diem etc, off I go tomorrow to see Christ in all his glory, with a little Sugar Loaf Mountain side trip thrown in for good measure. Roseanne is right, of course. For whatever reason, one should always make the most of a trip. Especially in such a glorious place as Rio — even when it’s grey it’s astonishing. I’m just suffering from cumulative travel loneliness, so I do sometimes have the inclination to save up an experience so that I can share it with someone in real life.
*A perfectly acceptable hotel for conferences and flight crew accommodation, (of which bookings appear to make up 90% of the guests), but God knows why anyone stays there for any other reason.