19 February 2019 – My ‘last’ night in Lapa

The day after – when I left my favourite city in the world

I’m currently looking at the window of this bus – staring at the beautiful mixed pastel gradient from the sunset over Rio thinking to myself – this could possibly be the last time I look at this city (*tears)

I’m not 100% sure yet because I keep coming back to this city and might need to one more time finally to go north (depends on if I can catch a Bla Bla car).

But it’s definitely time for me to go.

I can feel it. Maybe I got too comfortable.

 

My last night in Rio

Daylight savings is over in Brazil. Today was supposed to rain…but there was nothing but a beautiful blue sky and glaring sun. At 5pm, the temperature sign said it was 35 degrees celcius. Why couldn’t we be rewarded with this weather yesterday?

Last night was truly the last night with my Rio BFF’s. We met via Couchsurfing and constantly kept going back out together to Lapa, with the occasional hike here and there. We clicked from when we first met and it’s been nothing but an amazing time with these two. I left Rio, came back and found these two and they seriously made Rio what it was for me. I have so much love for this city and state…somehow I ended up stick in Rio de Janeiro city for one whole month.

Who would have thought?

It’s so true what they say – a place can be shit or amazing but it’s the people who truly make or break it

Ok…I diverged a little.

Back to last night.

Not long after I got back to Rio (and Diego and Emily woke up), we immediately started planning to meet up. Lapa was already automatically in our itinerary – it wasn’t a question.

The initial plan was Barra beach…until the clouds started coming and the rain began to pour.

I was relaxing at my friend’s house for a while – cooking, showering, washing, cleaning my clothes and lying in the hammock.

Then we planned to go to a museum but it was closed.

We decided to meet at 16:30 at Urugania station, go to the markets and then a bloco instead (street party).

I was going to meet Diego earlier but took too long to get ready so we settled for the station instead. By this point, my data had run out and it was really hard to get in touch with them. I got to the meeting point but nobody was there.

Shit…

Did something happen?

I wandered back into the metro station to see if I could leech onto some wifi and luckily there was one open network! (Yess!!)

Me via message to Diego and Emily: “I was at the meeting point but nobody was there. Where are you guys?”

Diego: “Almost there”

Emily: “Wait for me”

I waited for about 10 minutes until they arrived ~ I definitely thought they would be there before me because I was coming from so far away but Diego was always fashionably late and I don’t know what happened with Emily (she was usually punctual).

Our first priority? Dinner!

We walked around for ages looking for a ‘self-service’ restaurant (all you can eat buffet) but every single restaurant closed at 4pm (booo)…so we ended up finding a place that served some more traditional, wholesome Brazilian food. While we at dinner, we had time to catch up on our lives (I’d been away for about over a week).

Next task? Find a headpiece for Carnaval celebrations before going to the Bloco

Just as we were about to go shopping…it started pouring…

And then we walked around the markets for AGES because Diego was determined to find a particular, thin, leaf-shaped, metal headband (I think we walked around for 2 hours). All the shops had everything but what we were looking for…but it gave me and Emily a lot of time to try on different headpieces and masks. I’m pretty sure we walked into at least 10 shops while Diego was hunting for his head piece. It was taking so long that we decided to split up ~ I think Diego wanted to move at a faster pace without us dragging him down…

Ironically, Emily and I found exactly what Diego was searching for before he did.

We tried getting in touch with him straight away (well, Emily tried messaging him. I had no credit or battery left or something along those lines) but he wasn’t responding…

But we needed to get to some bar as soon as possible because some Couchsurfing people would come to meet us soon.

Emily tried again a couple of times until Diego finally responded, came into the shop and bought the headpiece.

FINALLY!

Mission accomplished.

 

Next stop: the bar! But first…toilet.

Diego: “McDonalds is only two blocks away”

It was close enough…but the rain was starting to pour really hard!

Even walking down 5 meters felt like a mission.

We walked down those two blocks but couldn’t see McDonalds anywhere – Diego got out his phone to check we were in the right place and apparently we were – WTF!?! Looks like Maps had lied to us.

Diego: “There’s a KFC closeby”

It was about 2 blocks away as well. Unfortunately the rain wasn’t getting any lighter…and the same thing happened again. We got to the point on the map but KFC was nowhere to be found and Diego’s need to use a toilet was getting worse.

Something really strange was happening (and here I was thinking how great Google Maps was).

By this point…any place with a toilet seemed good enough. We were standing pretty close to some small, local cafe. I came up with this brilliant idea to buy some beers there so we could use their toilet…but when we went in to ask if they had beers, they didn’t (even though they advertised beers all over the cafe). Luckily, they ended up letting Diego use the toilet anyway…without asking him for money. I felt bad so I tried buying a coffee but when I brought out my 50 real note, they refused to accept it because they had no change (a very frustrating and common thing in Brazil and all of South America). They ended up just letting me have the coffee for free.

Emily started doing her make-up outside, trying to use Diego’s selfie camera as a mirror.

Mei: “I’m pretty sure they would have a mirror in the toilet. Did they Diego?”

Diego: “No they didn’t.”

Mei: “I need to use the toilet anyway.”

When I went to ask the staff I could use their toilet, they handed me the key.

The first thing I noticed was a mirror in the bathroom – lol…Diego.

When I came down, I announced my discovery and then Emily went to use the toilet.

The staff were getting pretty annoyed at us by this point (I definitely could understand because we were using their toilet without having spent any money there).

Once we were all ready to go, Diego ordered an Uber. It was 14 minutes away which didn’t seem too long but then he used a nonsensical way (another annoying common occurrence in South America). It was so annoying because after waiting for almost 40 minutes, he canceled the trip! All we could do was order another Uber but the wait was just as long – it was another 12 minutes! By this point, Diego and Emily were getting very impatient…and the rain was pouring like crazy too ~ it was just the weather we needed on our last night. Diego’s shirt was completely drenched and we were getting so much rain all over us.

It was definitely not fun…but I was trying to stay positive because there wasn’t much we could do.

Me: “Why don’t we buy some beers and drink them while we wait for the Uber?”

There was a street vendor basically right next to us with beers that were cold and cheap enough.

We bought two cans and drank while we waited, wondering why we didn’t buy beers earlier.

Even though we waited about another 20 minutes, this Uber actually came.

 

When we finally got to the bar…

There was only one other German guy waiting. Nobody else had arrived yet.

We all talked for a little bit until another Brazilian and two Polish people joined our group. I was pretty amazed at how fluently the German guy could speak Portuguese (and ever so slightly jealous). We ended up playing Picolo (a drinking App game which I tend to introduce to every small group drink with)…getting carried away and drinking much more beer than we planned to but we didn’t get too carried away. We made our way to the Bloco we planned to go to at a reasonable hour. The only issue was that the Bloco was indoor and entry cost 15 reals. Most people didn’t mind but the music didn’t sound too appealing (to me anyway) and I wasn’t interested in paying money for a bloco either…so we decided to catch a taxi to another district where another bloco was happening.

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The group from the ‘last’ night with my besties

When we arrived, I remember being dropped off under a bunch of tents. Even though the bloco was happening outside, there were tents cleverly set up everywhere. It almost felt like a Sunday market with a band in the middle and drink stalls on the side. It was such a nice vibe ~ everyone gathered around the band and watched them in admiration or danced.

After about 2 hours, it was time to go to our regular place ~ Pub Krioka!!!

But first – Caipirinhas!

Pub Krioka was actually playing Latino-music that night…but gradually and eventually pumped out our beloved funky Brazilian beats and we danced and partied like no tomorrow.

 

2.00AM

I was pretty drunk and felt like I needed to go…but I had no battery left on my phone to order an Uber or to book a hostel.

I could just go back to my beloved Rio Forest Hostel and get the staff to check Uber for me…

I thought it was a brilliant idea so I said goodbye to everyone and made my way to the hostel. As suspected, Marc (my favourite worker there) was working.

Me: “Hey, sorry to bug you but do you mind to check the Uber prices for me? My phone has died so I can’t check.”

Marc: “You can stay here if you want. I can do the bed for 30 reals.”

Me: “Ok! Thank you!”

It sounded too good to be true – this was way cheaper than any Uber would be.

I went to bed and passed out beautifully…until I had to wake up to check out and what a night it was!

That was the last night I had in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro and Brazil with my two beautiful friends. It’s a night I will never forget. 

I woke up sorely hungover and didn’t do anything today but commute to get my bag and the bus back to Cabo Frio.

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