But today, three years on, I am in Rio de Janeiro! We are visiting Rebecca's parents who now live here on account of her Dad's job. Today is our first day here, and we went to Copacabana to see the beach. It's midwinter here of course with it being the southern hemisphere, but midwinter here is about 28 degrees so it's better than our summer! The beach is so long and the sand so lovely. People come along all the time trying to sell you their wares which is, for the moment, quite entertaining. I know about 50 words of Portuguese which I learned on the plane here thanks to a cool little word learning game on KLM's in-flight entertainment system.
My foot is very sore still, since the ankle manipulating episode from a few weeks ago. Something has changed, because it really hurts at the moment! But I'm sure it will go away eventually and hopefully it'll be the better for it. Walking bare-foot on the sand will, I think, have been good for it. No doubt I'll get a few more opportunities for that while I'm here.
There have been some riots here in Rio over the last few days, but happily they are not right outside where we are staying. These people probably do have something to demonstrate about, but I still don't want to get caught up in it, and I'm sure Mum doesn't want me to either!
I miss the sea, I think where we live at the moment, while lovely, is too far from the coast. Rebecca asked if Copacabana was like Blackpool for the Brazilians :) I read in my Lonely Planet book the five page condensed history of Rio which is quite colourful making me want to learn more about the colonial past of the city and country. It is certainly reflected in the architecture, there are some beautiful buildings here, sandwiched in between the much more modern concrete.
We have a whole bunch of other sights to see while we're here, I will blog about some of them as we go along.