Destination Rio de Janeiro, the second travel to the former capital of Brazil.
Only one week after the first visit to Rio, another bus travel to Rio was organized, in December 2006.
End of first travel
December 2006. Four days were spent in Rio. It was my very first travel to the second largest city of Brazil, and it was a very successful one. A travel that can be considered as a cautious exploration of the city. The bus trip back to Belo Horizonte, lasted the entire night, a bit more than eight hours. Soon after entering the bus, within thirty minutes, everyone was sound asleep. Tired after spending much time and energy in Rio, tired after watching the free concert at Aterro do Flamengo. I had the luxury to occupy two adjacent seats; I was able to stretch my legs a bit more, and feel in sleep too. Our fate was in the hands of the skilled driver. At eight in the morning, everyone had opened their eyes. As if we were chickens in a run that was illuminated by the very first sunbeams in the morning. In our case, the sun was already shining for several hours, but the beams were not able to penetrate the thick blue curtains that covered the bus windows. Soon after having the eyes opened, the chatters had started, and even some roosters started to crow. Another comparison with a chicken run, in this respect.
One week later, also on a Thursday. The start of my second travel to Rio. I was again invited to travel with a group, a completely different group than during the previous trip. During my first trip, I was in the so-called ‘ Ônibus dos Doidos’: slightly eccentric travel companions making a bagunça, a funny mess. Now my second trip was in the so-called ‘ Ônibus do Senhor’: everyone was very quiet and calm. Unlike the first trip, smoking and alcohol consumption were not allowed in the bus. Everyone kept himself to these strict rules, which were explained in a very clear way by our grumpy bus driver. There was a private party at the university campus, prior to the departure. I joined this party for a short time, since I had to bring home my personal belongings, and I only could return with my travel belongings at half past ten, at night. At that time, no one made a move to enter the bus. Only at half past eleven, the travel companions went for the bus; obediently, as a group of geese. The travel bags were dumped in the cargo compartment, and everyone entered the bus in an obedient way, on their way to their reserved seats.
I made a reservation for a window seat on the right; sitting there, I was able to take pictures of the landscape and of everything that appeared interesting to me. The seat next to me was occupied by an old friend of mine. She was one of my travel companions in Salvador, in July 2006. Her name was Stella, and she also belonged to our little group who traveled together to the beaches in Salvador. Her husband also had planned to travel to Rio, but for some reason he had to withdraw, and offered me his bus ticket. To my surprise, only fifteen minutes after the first call, everyone was already inside the bus. My second travel to Rio was started. We left Belo Horizonte quickly behind us; we were on the highway to Rio. The chatting among the passengers stopped quickly, and there was a deep and peaceful tranquility inside the bus. There was only the monotonous hum of the bus engine, the light vibration of the bus on the sometimes bumpy road.
I opened my eyes at half past six. My limbs felt a little stiff and painful, because now I had only one seat for myself, and was not able to stretch my legs. I took my camera, and started to take my first shots of that day. It loomed slightly, it was damp. We had just crossed the high mountains and there was light rain. Half an hour later, I was lucky to witness the appearance of a beautiful rainbow. The colors of a rainbow has always had fascinated me. Once I was happy that to see a rainbow from above, when flying in a small airplane above it. There was a wide, round base that made contact with the earth. Unfortunately, there was no pot of gold. That story will remain a legend forever.
At seven AM, we passed Duque de Caxias, a suburb of Rio. The dense deck of clouds gradually gave way to the sun; its warming rays raised the temperature inside the bus. This warmth was very welcome, since the night was chilly at high altitude. We really had needed our blankets to cover ourselves. The friendly sun provided warm colors to the landscape. The sky became gradually more bluish. Occasionally, we could observe some giant silver birds, each with a head and tail in different colors. We were approaching the International Airport of Rio. International Boeings and national Fokker airplanes reduced their speed above our heads. Aircraft from Air France, TAM, Varig, as far as I could distinguish the colors and emblems.
One of the motorized birds above us…
The grumpy bus driver was taking almost the same route as during my first travel to Rio. And also this time, our bus driver had to find out how to drive to our destination. The leader of our group had to get out of the bus several times, in order to ask passers-by for the correct route. Now we were not heading directly to our pousada; by accident the same pousada where I had stayed one week before. Now the bus was about to stop in front of the large Biblioteca Nacional, the National Library. Visiting this library was the main objective for the majority of our group. They were about to stay one full day there. I had a different objective. I wanted to explore the immediate vicinity of this library: the old center of Rio. My second stay in Rio had started.
By Dr. Adriano Antoine Robbesom
Original text in Dutch, translation with help of Google Translator
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