Our trip to Rio for the Olympic Games was challenging, overwhelming, exciting, hot, confusing, delicious, surprising, nail biting, and never disappointing.
The first challenge of the trip was the long plane ride. I, Janet, am not a fan of plane trips, much less 11.5 hour ones. However, we all got through the long flights and connections so that Andrew, Emily, David, and I all ended up in Sao Paulo. I must say though, the airport in Sao Paulo is so huge and confusing that we had a 20 minute walk from one terminal to another, a long wait to recheck our bags, and couldn’t find Andrew for a while. Not sure how we all managed without texting in the past. We filled in time waiting for our late connection to Rio by drinking beer and eating cheese bread (Pao de Queijo).
The traffic from the airport to our apartment in Leblon was rather overwhelming. In fact the traffic was amazing over the entire trip. Hence, we walked as long as the distance was under three miles. The part of Rio in which we stayed seemed safe so we were comfortable walking everywhere – even in the evening. Our apartment which we had rented from a gentleman who owns a home in Belo Horizonte as well as Rio, was comfortable and located less than a mile from the rowing venue. It was also close to a number of good restaurants, bars, and grocery stores.
Amanda’s first race on Monday the 8th was exciting, but as expected, they took first with ease and passed on to the finals on Saturday. We did get to see Amanda for about 20 minutes after she had “warmed down” and showered, but that would be it until Saturday – they have to focus.
The weather in Rio was mostly quite warm – even hot. Hotter than expected for winter ever in this location, but we also had cool rainy days. On Tuesday (August 9), a warm day, we walked the beach in the morning, then met up with old friends Kita and Leo for a marvelous feijoada lunch-dinner. Our restaurant was excellent and also had an outstanding collection of cachaças from which to select.