I start with an enjoyable headache: trying to lighten my load by
mailing things home. For ~3 kg that's mainly extra clothes and
electronics chargers, FedEx wants ~$95. Even Correiros or whatever
the domestic postal service is called can't do it for less than ~$30,
and I think they try to tell me it could take up to a month just to
reach the U.S., let alone my home. Guess I'll just grunt and carry
Hiking / climbing Sugarloaf alone was stupid but thrilling. There's one part where I actually stood on the rock for a few minutes just contemplating whether to try it and picturing the severe injuries I'd have if I fall. I make it up to 396 meters, above many of the big birds hovering in the sky, thrilled and dirty but in one intact piece.
The ride back down is a creaky cable car, harrowing enough that my knuckles are white gripping the railings. A hike, run, and bike back to the hostel makes me over half an hour late for my climb of Corcovado; the poor dude's been waiting around for me the whole time. I reschedule for tomorrow and head to the beach, but not before an important analogy from Daniel, roughly: "Now, you are in Rio; this is like Los Angeles. Sao Paulo is like New York. You seem like an outdoor type. There is nothing like that to do there." He starts explaining perks of coastal spots between Rio and Sao Paulo and I wonder how late I can get there and still make my flight.
It's not nearly as hot as I'd like and none too sunny, either; guess that explains the beach's sparse population. A long nap on a bench during which somehow nothing gets stolen precedes a stupid attempt at body surfing. I'm the only one without a surfboard or at least a boogie board. While my flippers keep me alive and close enough to ashore, they're not nearly enough to keep me from being tossed around at the waves' discretion. I manage to ride a few and think I was actually airborne before a certain spectacular crash.
Dinner's the cheapest churrascaria in town (again) and a new friend. I can't remember his name, but he's from northern California, also plans to do real estate, and has been traveling something like 7 months on the $13k he earned from 2 referrals on real estate deals. I think he said something ridiculous like 30k people took the broker / salesperson license test last yar in California, which might trickle over into bad news for me.
But no time to think about that now: we've got a Brazilian climbing club meeting to go to. As expected, I have pretty much no idea what's going on. But it's worth it: I get some good, nonbiased info on outdoors errata. And a good scare: one dude recalls finding a hiker who did the same Sugarloaf trail I did. He was about my age and fine, except for 2 broken legs and an arm bone popping out through his skin. Sounds like a pretty good reason for me to be a bit more careful!
The night's barhopping, complete with a free shot of god-knows-what from a street vendor, English girls from our hostel who wander away around 3 am, and a foodfight with what's-his-name in McDonald's. I don't remember exactly what went down, but I do recall leaving soda all over much of the upstairs and that french fries soaked in Coke taste better than me soaked in Coke feels. And, of course, I'll say the other guy started it:)