deep turquoise waters…
and a productive work day? One of these things is not like the other. But when you spend a long working weekend in Rio de Janeiro, it’s not quite so out of the ordinary.
Tom and I weren’t sure if we’d make it to Rio during our time in Brazil. We went last year, and loved it, but there are so many other places in Brazil that we wanted to see. Since we don’t have unlimited vacation time or unlimited funds, we didn’t know if Rio would be feasible. But as the months passed, and people kept mentioning the Cidade Maravilhosa, the draw became too strong to resist. After successfully driving to Paraty and back in May, we decided that maybe if we could drive to Rio and put in a few working days, maybe we could make it happen.
I’m a firm believer in using every single vacation hour I’ve got, but sometimes that’s just not enough. Working vacations, along with weekend trips, help me stretch my travel time to the max. It’s not always easy or convenient, but it’s definitely worth it.
The drive between Bauru and Rio is quite beautiful, or so I’ve been told, we missed most of it driving in the dark. We stopped in Guaratingueta to spend the night the streets were mostly deserted and the town seemed rather plain. But when we awoke the next morning we saw otherwise.
The city is actually quite charming, and we were pleased to discover that our hotel was situated right next to Catedral Santo Antonio, a beautiful cathedral dating back to 1630.
We would have liked more time to walk around and see the city, but we had to make it to Rio before work started.
To make this work, we splurged on our accommodations to ensure access to good wi-fi to keep up with work. However, driving allowed us to take Ashton with us and the fancy hotel room was pretty nice after three months on a small, hard mattress and cramped quarters.
We stayed at the Miramar Windsor in Copacabana, right across from the beach. I have no complaints about the accommodation, except that the water in the shower was lukewarm at best. The best part was the breakfast buffet, included in the room rate. It was loaded with fresh fruit and juices, an assortment of cheeses, tons of pastries, an omelet bar and more. The pancakes (with real maple syrup) were even good, and buffet pancakes are almost always rubbish.
A pretty great start to a work day, I’ve got to say. Friday morning, we made sure to eat in time to go catch some sun before time for work. With the time difference, I don’t have to log in until10 a.m., giving us ample time to hit the beach.
Being forced to go early was a good thing – the sands were far less crowded in the early morning. Although Friday was the only morning we had to fit it in before work, we still got up early over the weekend to avoid the masses.We’re still working on it. Even though working on a trip isn’t ideal, it was almost enjoyable at the Miramar. The hotel desk was a hundred times more comfortable than the table I’ve been working at in Bauru. In fact, I quickly came to the conclusion that living and working in Rio would be pretty damn ideal. This sunset was the perfect reward to the work day, and then we set out for play. Sort of. I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and that paired with getting up early and work stress meant we didn’t really have the stamina for late nights.
We made sure to get a lot of fun in during the day, including a trip to Centro and a rewarding hike in Urca, which I’ll write about soon! We’re in Argentina this week meeting up with my brother, so the posting schedule is a bit behind. I’ll be back next week most likely!