Destination Rio de Janeiro, the third travel to the former capital of Brazil.
A free tram ride from Santa Tereza to Lapa.
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>> Click here for the complete overview of Rio de Janeiro, the third travel
We left Dona Elsa’s restaurant and met the others of our group. They had their warm meal at an earlier hour in a restaurant. They were spending their time in a local bar. We decided to walk back to Lapa, we still had plenty of time before the start of the night program. We descended gradually, following the tram track. The sun was still shining, it was comfortable for me to feel the warmth of the sun. Well, that was my opinion. The others quickly started to complain about the warmth. For me it still sounded strange, that Brazilians, who live their lifetime in the tropics, complain a lot about the warmth, while I, having spent more than thirty years in a moderate (Dutch) climate, hardly complain about the tropical temperatures. I can assure you, that many Brazilians still wonder that I hardly complain about the warmth.
Our idea was that we already must have walked one kilometer. We enjoyed the breathtaking views of downtown Rio from Santa Tereza. Again, I was missing my camera. Now the majority was complaining, it was decided that we would return by tram, back to Lapa. We had to wait another ten minutes. We sat down on the pavement, stretched our legs, and even lied down on the warm cobblestones. It was surprisingly comfortable to lie down on the smooth cobblestones and to gaze at the blue sky above us. It felt very relaxing. The sudden ringing of the tram bell made us get up quickly.
The group entered the tram. I decided to stand on the lateral beam, and grasped a metal hold. It was quite easy to keep balance, because the tram was riding slowly, with some shocking movements. Some time later, I was able to move myself to the driver’s compartment in the back, which was now vacant. Next to me was an officer of the military police. The police travel for free, they provide some extra safety during the tram ride. A student offered me to hold my backpack on her lap. She took much care of my backpack, as if it was full of fragile contents.
On the way to the cultural center, I met one of our friends of the dormitory. He asked me to carry a bag for him. The bag contained copies of a lecture, since he was one of the few who was motivated enough to attend lectures during the day. He even had attended the lecture given by the Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil. Yes indeed, the famous singer. According to my friend, Gilberto was not only talking, he also took his guitar and sang. His audience had become very excited. I went back to Urca with some other friends, in order to dump the bags and to change my clothes. We then had to return soon, to the center. Because a very interesting night program was about to start.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom