|Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro|
Yes, I love airline food and both meals were chicken-based, which was fine by me as they were washed down with a couple of those tiny bottles of red wine. I was sitting in seat 37B, by the Exit, which allowed me the legroom I needed. I might re-book the same seat for the return journey as it made the whole thing much more bearable. Sod the window seat – fine for short haul but for anything over five hours, forget it.
My taxi driver was called Nelson, a good name, I thought, and we chatted briefly about a subject I know very little about: football. He was born here in Rio but moved to Portugal and has since returned to Rio where he lives with his wife and daughter. The ride to the hotel was fairly short and while he attempted to point out Christ the Redeemer, it was dark so I couldn't see it.
Another great thing about Rio (at this time of year) is that the time difference between London and Rio is only three hours, meaning no jet lag. As I write this it's 0920hrs in the UK and 0620hrs here in Rio, so I'm just a little weary, as if I've had a late night, but nothing more.
The hotel is right on the Copacabana beach and I'll probably go take a look later, although I've heard bad things about Rio in terms of crime, so I'd better keep a weather eye on who's around. They've got it all here: drugs, guns, nutters, the works and they're all living behind my hotel in what is known as the favellos. I hope I've spelt that correctly.
Right now there's little more to do other than get ready and have some breakfast and then I'll have to check things out generally and do some work. Yes, for those who often think otherwise, this is not a holiday.