Brazilian drivers are really letting the side down.
For a start, they use mirrors and indicators, and not only that but they mostly stick to speed limits and pull back over after overtaking. What´s all that about, then?
I´m gradually getting to grips with Brazilian Portuguese; a lot of words are more or less the same as Spanish, although the pronunciation is often very different. But whoever described Portuguese as being a beautiful-sounding language must have cloth ears - it sounds exactly like a tape being played backwards and is almost completely incomprehensible.
Before I left the UK I said I wanted to visit Rio, but I never really believed I´d make it. So it was one of those pinch-myself moments as I rode into the city, past the Sugar Loaf, and Corcovado topped by the statue of Christ the Redeemer, then along the seafront of Copacabana to Ipanema where I´m staying.
There are miles of sandy beach, kept really clean by the council as there´s very little tide. There´s a wide cycle and jogging track beside the beach, and on Sundays the seaward side of the dual carriageway is closed to traffic to allow walkers, joggers, skateboarders, cyclists and other non-motorised traffic to take their constitutionals. And, of course, it being Sunday, I took a stroll, bought a copy of the Sunday paper, and retired to the pub for a lunchtime pint or two of surprisingly decent Guinness and the first chicken tikka masala I´ve had for nineteen months. Gorgeous.
My laundry´s being done (you should see the state of my riding suit) and with luck I´ll be leaving here on Wednesday, heading towards Brasilia.Posted by Cynthia Milton at April 03, 2006 08:09 PM GMT
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