Early saturday morning
Our morning started early, waking up at 07:00 to get ready for training at 08:00. We had luckily packed last night. Today we are moving to our second hostel in Rio.
We asked the host to call us a taxi at 07:20. We had 20 minutes to get up and ready for the day.
The taxi took us next to the Beach volleyball arena at Copacabana beach. From there the beach is hardly seeable as the arena and Olympic tents are covering most of the beach. But no worries there is still plenty of beach left for sunbathing.
Venue specific training
It took us some 30 minutes to figure out where I was supposed to show up for the training, but in the end we found it. The entrance was heavily guarded with security guards that checked passports and inspected bags. It was a difficult task to check my bag as I had all my things with me.
In the check-in part, I received a name tag and Stig had to entertain himself for the next 4 hours. He found a shopping mall with internet. 🙂
I found my way to the training tent and was ready for 4 hours of info about beach volleyball and the different things I am supposed to know about the venue. But of course, there was one thing i hadn’t considered…. the whole training was in Portuguese. So the only thing I understood from the slides presented were some occasional English words and signs. 😀 Oh joy!
It was 2 hours of clapping when everyone else was and the same with laughing. In the end we were all given balloons to blow up and throw around… probably there was a point, I just didn’t understand it. 😀
After this part we were divided up to groups according to our positions. This is where things actually got exciting. Eventhough, I was still the only foreigner in the group, they decided to do the last part in English – Thank you!
We got a tour to the volleyball arena, our main working areas and also to the venue media center that is the home for various press conferences in the volleyball arena.
The people were really cool and when they heard that I come from Estonia, the reactions were really surprising, but positive. 3 people, from our group of 6, had been to Estonia and one girl said that she has a friend from Estonia. Really cool. 😀 Although, one manager did tell me: “Girl, you are far away from home”. 😀
The training today might have started off as total boredom, but the final part was amazing and now I am even more looking forward to the experience.
Second part of the day
After the training, I found Stig and we continued on to a local shopping mall. The mall was huge and it took us some running around to find an ATM and a place to eat. Finding an ATM that actually accepted our cards was also trickier than expected.
After we managed to take money out and hide it in different places, we chose Fifties burger as our foodplace of the day. Food was good and we were ready to head towards our next hostel.
We took a taxi and explained the address where we needed to go. No one knew how to get there, nor did the driver know how to use the navigation on his smartphone, or his smartphone for that matter. He even stopped in the middle of traffic to ask a fellow taxi driver how to get to our hostel. No one knew.
That should’ve been our first “something is off” sign. We found the hostel, it took a lot of stairs climbing to a neighborhood that I wouldn’t want to visit at night. But in a funky opening next to some stairs was our home nr. 2.
We are travelling on a budget, but this felt, from the moment we walked in, a bit too much budget.
The room has no window, there is a square opening in the wall into the next room where someone else is staying. The door doesn’t close unless it is locked and we have taken out our “bed linen”-bags as we do not trust the cleanliness of the bed. But at least we do have WiFi, and that’s a good thing, because our next move was to book a hotel for the next nights. More than one night we do not want to stay here. Hopefully we will survive this night. 😀