Caught the packed (sardines) metro from the bus station into the centre of town.
Heard a guitar strumming and singing in Portugese, followed the sound and found myself in The Nossa Senhora Do Rosário Dos Pretos Church. The acoustics were great and it sounded nothing like religious music so I sat in the church and enjoyed that for 30 minutes. The time now 7a.m.
Walked around and found the site of the first bridge in Latin America first built in 1643. As I was crossing I saw a net being thrown into the river on the next bridge. I was amazed to see one minute later the net hauled out with a large fish.
Later walking down the street I saw a man drop his car keys, I picked them up and followed him, saying disculpe (excuse me) I got no reaction as he did not recognise his own keys. I demonstrated what had happened and he then realised they were his. I was rewarded with a coffee.
I didn’t mention it but in Brasilia I had a spare ticket for the game. I looked for someone suitable to give it to and saw 4 Brazilians under a tree, a father and three sons. I asked if they spoke English. They shook their heads. I asked if they wanted a ticket they said “Yes”.
I told them they could have it but I was not going to be responsible for the battle over who would have the ticket, they understood every word. The eldest son came with me.
I mentioned a problem a mutual friend had yesterday, well someone was arrested… correctly. They confessed that before they were caught they had also left a restaurant without paying, and so they accepted that they were being punished for this.
Thinking about how to get dulce de leche. I remember after my visit to Uruguay finding it in Sainsbury’s. Then I thought…. just now Uruguay is closer!
Still wandering around I saw sugar Kane (not distilled) and as is customary had a drink. The vendor had no change for the small note I gave her, so I had a fresh fruit concoction sprinkled with cream, raisins and something else, for the note.
Recife has some wonderful (restored) colonial architecture, recently repainted, with the clear blue early morning sky there were plenty of good photos to be had for anyone with a decent camera.
For the first time there were people at the metro to help visitors and there was security present… unlike Fortaleza, where I put forward my proposals to make the places safe for others in the future i.e. the police should be visible, to ward off criminals and not hiding in their office. Unfortunately the tourist police did not understand English.
Manuel arrived at the game in customary fashion (i.e. late) and I didn’t expect to be saying that Costa Rica are one of the best teams I have seen in my five games so far.
Managed to send the previous day’s blog thanks to Claudia63 sitting two seats away who was unaware I had hacked her wifi, using the Brazilian formula explained earlier. Found another way to access wifi through a local network Oi, they are linked to BT and as I have an account with them, using my BT password & username it works……when the network is strong enough.
After the match, made the long trek back to the city centre, walk, bus and packed metro.
I had time to kill, it was just getting dark so I decided to head to the stop imaginatively titled ‘Shopping’. Brasilia had the same and there was a modern shopping centre next to the metro there. On the way I met two Norwegian, Chile fans.
This time I got out the metro and realised this was not the same scenario. There was no sign of anything around a local woman assured us that Shopping was just round the corner. Then we saw a bus with the destination Shopping Recife, so we jumped on.
By now, I think you understand that Brazil is huge and so too are the cities. The bus travelled for about twenty minutes before we reached the shopping centre! We then decided to head to the beach area Boa Viagem. We sat and talked as we listened to the waves crashing in the background. A very pleasant evening, we tried to swop tales of our adventures in Brazil. I went first and they immediately said that there trip had been uneventful. I said I would be grateful for the day that my travels were.
I realised they were trying to give me more material, as I left them about 10p.m. and headed to the airport for my 2.20a.m flight that would take me to São Paulo, where I would change planes before landing in Rio.
They helpfully suggested that I could catch the bus to the Airport from a nearby street, instead of the 10 minute walk back to the Shopping Centre. I pointed out that the stop they referred to was going in the wrong direction!
I did however, check and sure enough I headed back to the shopping centre to catch the bus to the airport.
Whilst completing computerised check-in I completed their questions, but am wondering what will happen next as they insisted on having a telephone number for next of kin (provided they were not also on the flight).