Day 2 - Copacabana
Arriving in Rio its early evening here and winter! Well saying that its still 26C as we emerge from the airport complex. My first impression is there is a lot of building work still going on, so our exit is a little slow. God only knows how they are going to cope when the World Cup kicks in. Still that’s not my problem. We meet our driver Fernando; security guy Paulo (a man of few words) and fixer Jessell, packing all the gear into the van and set off into downtown Rio.
The streets are packed with cars and people and the traffic is horrendous, but we finally arrive at our first hotel the beautiful Copacabana Palace Hotel. Its pretty impressive and slap bang on the beach, although by now the sun has set you can still hear the waves breaking on the beach.
Check-in is perfect the staff are amazing and very cool. We all go to our rooms to sort out our kit, shower and change, the plan is to meet by the pool for a drink. My room is spotless, lovely linen and towels, cool and with a very impressive bathroom. Feeling refreshed after a quick shower, Richie knocks on my door and we set off to the bar. We sit by the huge pool order and a beer. It’s a lovely hotel, beautifully maintained and pretty much perfect. The others arrive and we all order some food. Its not long before we are all feeling the effects of a 20 hour journey, so, we decide to make an early night of it and retire to our beds.