This blog entry about the events of Thursday, February 19, 2004 was originally posted on February 25, 2004.

DAY 124:  The Friday before Carnaval weekend in Rio de Janeiro, city of the world’s most famous party, was the day the city really geared up for the influx of tourists.  Men in costume and on stilts waited that morning in front of oceanfront hotels (picture above) for the lines of taxis that eventually pulled in all day.  By the late afternoon, the streets were full of even more people — many of which had the familiar accent from my homeland — and I said to myself, “Could there be any more Americans here?”

Lara and I also had to prepare for the influx of our own guests, starting with Lara’s two pairs of friends from back home in Guernsey.  She got some hair removal via waxing, while I some hair removed via a barber who finally leveled my hair so I wouldn’t have that dent in it from when I had my stitches removed.  The day was pretty gloomy, but we realized that didn’t stop the festivities when we saw one of the many seemingly spontaneous street parades go down our block.

Inspired by this, I went off to go on the bike ride along the beach that I planned on doing anyway.  I rented a bike and pedaled about seven miles on the bike path along the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.  At the north end of Copacabana, the grey skies didn’t thwart what looked like a film shoot for an MTV-esque show live from the beach. 

I returned the bike after riding through a drizzle for a bit too long and went back to the apartment.  Lara was on the couch doing one of her guilty pleasures:  watching Touched By An Angel on TV, solely for the sake of making fun of the cheesiness of it — particularly when the angels all of a sudden start glowing in front of humans who ask, “What’s happening?!”  She got me hooked on the “comedy stylings” of Roma Downey — and in one episode, Ozzie Davis as the Angel Gabriel — until we got ready to meet her friend Kate, who was traveling with her friend Jilly, at the fancy Rio Othon Palace hotel along the beach.

Kate and Jilly were already drinking chopps (a little smaller than a pint) of beer at the bar when Lara and I arrived.  We sat down and lounged around a table over some more rounds.  Lara and I entertained them with stories of our adventures in South America, together and apart.  Lara’s other friends, Esther and Pago turned up at the hotel and found us, and we continued the conversation until we went out for dinner.

“HELP” IS A BIG DANCE CLUB ON THE BEACH, known to many people (and some guidebooks) as the place to go to pick up prostitutes.  Right next to Help was an outdoor sidewalk restaurant where we decided to have dinner —  with the huge influx of tourists, there was an influx of hookers left and right, many of which we assumed were not normally hookers, but just did it during Carnaval season for the extra pocket money.  The six of us talked over dinner amongst the old men at tables with up to five young Brazilian girls primpped up in obvious and suggestive clothing. 

“Isn’t that Justin?” Lara said to me, noticing the Canadian we met at Iguazu Falls walking by.  I ran out to him — he was on his way to Bob’s, the Brazilian fast food restaurant with his friend Steve from Ottawa.  The pair of Canadians joined us for drinks at an extended table.  With tourists pouring in left and right, our group was getting bigger and bigger — it was bound to happen before the Carnaval festivities really kicked off.

Next entry: Meanwhile, Back at the Airport

Previous entry: Before We Have Company

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Comments for “Incoming!”

  • First!!!! =)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/25  at  07:51 PM

  • 3 more entries posted..yippee!

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/25  at  11:42 PM

  • can u feel the magic in the air?

    btw, that bike ride shot looks awesome. I think i can speak for all bikers in our group that we’re freakin’ jealous.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/26  at  10:14 AM

  • Fourth! Yea! the blog is back!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/26  at  10:38 AM

  • Where have I been?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/28  at  01:07 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today,, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.

Next entry:
Meanwhile, Back at the Airport

Previous entry:
Before We Have Company


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BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

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