Part 4 — We arrive
Apologies to my fan for not posting sooner. But It’s Friday Night so for those with no life to speak off here is part 4 of the Journey to Rio. We land in Brazil, not Rio but Sao Paulo, again for some reason we seem to love the early hours of the morning, its around 3am I think.
We get sorted at the BA desk with a hotel for 5 hours before our next flight, so we all grab some taxis, lucky for myself and Chris and Mark our Taxi driver is completely pissed, the stench of hard liquor was actually burning my retinas…great sure why not we survived an aircrash why not try and see if a boozed up taxi driver can end our days…this documentary W**kers in Brazil was a geg.
Right enough of this travel sh*t it’s getting ridiculous, fast forward a night in Sao Paulo, still no clean jo monks, flight to Rio the next morning bobs yer uncle we all land in Rio 56 hours after we started…oh yes Chris’s bag was still in portugal…oooops. The cool, calm Chris, nearly, nearly lost it but I gave him a Kids teeshirt I was going to give to one of the Favela Children, so he was happy, in fact he wore it for the week;))
There we met some of the Fight for Peace Team, My good Friend James Baderman was leading the gang, who were slightly worried the mad Irish contingent may just let rip on them after the disastrous Journey, nothing of the sort it was all smiles and happiness, well apart from the 1%.
Off to our hotel with our bags we went, the joy the happiness….now I know you are wondering, how the feck did he scrape them y fronts off, well I had to get some help..again got a wee recording of the episode
We were in Rio it was hard to believe, it was Monday and we had a few hours sleep and some fresh cloths, the world was good again. I felt totally invigorated and ready to go.
The team came and collected us and took us to a fantastic facility used by the youth for samba and capoiera to begin the Course introductions and briefings. We met Seth and Byrony and my old honorary Irish Man Bali. Fair Play to Seth he was able to get a group of weary, worldly travelers performing some weird but fun “ice breaker” games which made the last 3 days disappear for a bit.
Then we headed of for Dinner and a stroll along the Copacabana…yes the wee north Belfast fella who wasnt/isnt good at much else but throwing a few kicks and punches is being hosted and valued to be part of the Fight For Peace Global alumni…in my head all I kept thinking was that surely they have made a mistake…anyway what a Night, sitting on the most famous beach in the World drinking a cold, cold beer all in the name of our martial arts and its benefit to children. PERFECT.
Some of the Team, Chris and the Lovely TeeShirt…Rockn it
Sunset at The Copa
After dinner we strolled along the Copacana strip, children played football at 11pm at night in organised sessions, volleyball was being played under the nighttime sky and people jogged, ate dinner in the many restaurants, the sound of samba music was coming from every outlet..it was idealic.
Well until the next morning when the training began in the wonderful Mare Favela. Wonderful not because of the fancy restaurants, plush hotels and seemingly untold wealth of the Copacabana, but wonderful because of the people, the community spirit and the strength of character we were to witness from every single person we met.
Part 5 it all Kicks off.