Olympic hopefuls: Rio here we come! Phase 3

After our trip to Sao Paulo de Morro, it was back to Salvador via boat-bus-boat for a half day. We went back to the restaurant we loved so much (the Zulu lounge) and had another fish moqueque for dinner with cairpirinhas- love them!

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The aqueduct in the Lapa district.

Then it was back to the airport bright and too early to head to Rio. We had an Olympic soccer game that evening to attend! The trip to the airport was a little more stressful than we anticipated at 5am…There was an all-night party on the highway median and it was wrapping up as we drove to the airport. That meant there was gridlock traffic the whole way to the airport- a good hour drive on a regular day! That meant we were scrambling (again) for our flights. Just once I’d like to get to the airport in Brazil with looots of time.

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A very fun restaurant area near our air bnb.

Anyways, we made it fine to Rio and met up with my family. They were staying a few subway stops away from us, while we had an air bnb in the Lapa district- super grungy and distinctly ‘bummy’ with lots of homeless people, but at night really comes alive as a hot nightclub/bar district. The parties went until 6 a.m. most nights!

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The Olympic torch!

We zipped off to the Maracana Stadium for the evening games- we had missed the first games as we got in to Rio too late, but were able to catch the Argentina- Algiers match. No big surprise, Argentina won, but it was a tense 30 minutes…

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Briefly thrilling!

It was a fun game, and a bit hectic getting back to Lapa but all in all, not a big deal.

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Me and my dad at the game.

Some shots of Lapa- the aqueduct now has a tram that goes on top of it, that you can ride for free to Santa Teresa, a cool rooftop neighbourhood.

 

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Enjoying a different view via the tram on the aqueduct.

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The tram! So cute and free!

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The aqueduct in early evening.

Trip of a lifetime: Phase 1- Salvador!

We began our grand adventure in the city of Salvador. We flew to Sao Paulo first, spent the night and flew out to Salvador in the morning. I was a bit leery, it was chilly in Sao Paulo and I was like, I left our summer in Canada for this?

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Looks just like LA eh? Beachfront in Salvador Bahia.

The scenery outside Salvador is really interesting- the airport is very far from the old city centre, like 1 hour and a $50 cab ride, which we were not expecting! There were favelas as far as the eye could see, horses tied to grassy medians, a bit grungy and just, well, so different.

We were staying in the old town, the heart of Salvador as I like to think of it. It’s super cool, huge cobblestones that are extremely treacherous to walk on, the streets are very steep, and there is not much traffic. The hotels were fantastic- we stayed in two and they were sooo neat. Older buildings, well kept, fairly quiet and clean and just so funky!

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Pelhourino district

We stayed in the Pelhourino district, home to Brazil’s first elevator (Elevador Lacerda)- which is huge and connects the lower-town with the upper town (Pelo).

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Elevator just to the left.

The food was fantastic- we ate fish moqueque two days in a row!  It is a traditional fish stew with dende oil and shrimps. We also drank extremely strong caipirinha; a drink made of muddled sugar, limes and Cachaça. I could only drink one!

There are a lot of street vendors, but you can politely tell them to go away and they will leave you alone. The streets are deemed to be a bit dangerous at night, even in the very-touristy Pelo district, so be aware. We didn’t have any problems, but hotel doormen, taxi drivers, and restaurant staff were all warning us to be careful….So they were very wary and looked out for us a lot.

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SALVADOR!

The market was a bit blah, but the beach, the fort, the restaurants, the drinks, the hotels and the scene & heat is not to be missed!! Salvador has a little bit of everything– you won’t regret visiting.

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Stand-up paddleboard surf comp

We spent 2 half days in Salvaor–landed there from Sao Paulo, and then the next day we took a trip to Morro de Sao Paulo, and then came back from Morro de Sao Paulo to finish our stay in Salvador before zipping off to Rio for the Olympics. I definitely recommend checking out the Pelo district and enjoying one of the many fine, cheap restaurants in Salvador.

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So long, Salvador. At Barra lighthouse.

The history is fascinating, and the architecture/elevator is not to be missed.

 

You do it on your own, or not at all

I was reading something interesting about motivation the other day (while finishing the Flow in Sport book). People are always looking for motivation, but what they really need is discipline.

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Motivation is fleeting, if it is there at all.

Discipline keeps your foot hitting the ground, your ass in the saddle, day in and day out. Tired, crabby, hungry, sore, cold, hot, achy, it keeps you going.

I kind of struggle with the opposite of motivation/discipline. I can be extremely rigid with myself- unforgiving even. No days off, riding after racing a half marathon (this can be a super bad idea, I was too tired and I’ve done it again even!), scheduling too many exercise activities in one day.

I guess I always tread with a fear that the slope is so slippery to sedentary behaviour that every day I am white-knuckling it with one foot on the banana peel to slide back down to what, exactly? A rest day? hahaha.

Also I am a rather restless person who has a hard time watching movies, with slack time in my schedule, so it is easier to walk, workout, fidget uncontrollably instead of just ‘being’. I totally get this, and that’s how I manage it currently…

But, it’s time for a break! I am going on vacation and going to take it easy. I do have to physically leave my house for this and go somewhere, otherwise the temptation is too great to be busy. Staycations don’t work for me, for that express reason.

So, soon it will be adios for a few weeks, or should I say Ciao!