Wed 18 Jun
Saturday 14th June
Roberto is back in the morning and he insists we try his avocado shake. Jesus, the avocado is literally the size of a football, never seen anything like and the equivalent of 50p to boot. Mixed with some milk its a bleedin' winning combo.
We head out to the airport for a midday flight, which is a bit of a mare with 2 stops and a double hangover, but we get to Recife in time. My sleeping is terrible at the best of times, but now I’m definitely feeling the effects, as is Bertie. Saying that he does well and must be a good mate to put up with me today, I'm a grumpy b*stardo no doubt, no sleep can do that to you.
So, we are still to actually watch a match, we look for tickets online. Yes! they are available, so we buy tickets to Japan v Ivory Coast for tonight. Tickets were roughly £100 each.
It’s dark when we get to our accommodation and we're a bit speechless, seems we're staying in a Flavela (£45). Recife seems a bit rough, which doesn't help the grumpy mood in the air. After looking for this place for an hour or so, no-one knows where it is we eventually get there and drop off our bags.
We head to the game via taxi (£30 for a 30 min ride, not too bad), then queue for metro tickets and take the final step of the journey. Our tickets are in the quiet part of the ground, sod that. Bertie decides to move and sit with the few Ivorians that are there; they are dancing around and having a whale of a time, whereas I make my way around to the opposite side of the stadium where the Japanese are. Both sets of fans are in great voice and its a party atmosphere. The game ends 2-1 but everyone is in good spirits despite the result for the Japanese. I couldn't believe the usually meek and polite Japanese are so vociferous in their support of the team, top draw fellas.
Its pissing down after the game, not great. We take the metro back to our flavela, get off and remarkably find a taxi after waiting about an hour - a rather large chap with crazy Ayrton Senna like driving skills (not!), he has no idea where to go, but we ask everyone we see and luck’s with us. This place at night is a bit scary for us, I am not ashamed to admit, it's properly rough to sensitive chaps from Europe like ourselves although i am possibly a wee bit better prepared than Bertie due to experiences in Argentina and other places in Sud America. Eventually we ask an amazing young couple and they know where it is. Without any protestations they get in the cab and take us around the back streets to where we are staying, again we're blown away.
We're in bed by 2am or thereabouts.
I wake about 10am, at last 8 hours sleep! A new man today. Berties been for breakie and he's capped with the place. This sounds more promising. I go down to a feast for breakfast and the most lovely family you can imagine, Grandmama down to grand kids. The street is a bit rough but there is definite love in the air as well as loud music (all day - no-one complains). Bertie's off into town to rustle up some tickets, i stay here and write this. Grand mama has taken a shine to me and she's feeding me up - i ain't eaten properly in days. In the words of Donna Summer 'I feel love'.
We go out for a quick beer at the local Pizzaria where the fellas are watching the Argentina v Bosnia game. We're treated like royalty and feel safe as houses. We decided to stay another night then get a bus to Natal in the morning. In bed by 10, exhausted but i now find myself writing this at 3am unable to sleep, burgh...
For all its faults Brazil is really growing on us, the people really are amazing.