Camino de Santiago – Part 3

All Posts, Blog, Blog Latest, Camino, Spain

A long ancient bridge led us into the picturesque town of Hospital d’Ortega a few days after leaving Leon. At 204  metres it is the longest bridge along the Camino – and considering the tiny river it crosses – about 200 metres longer than strictly necessary. The majority of this aged relic stretches over a large expanse of bright  green grass, which in all likelihood we could have just walked across. Our home for the night was a quaint little alberque that had been recommended to us – a peaceful and serene place until a large gaggle of Italian cyclists arrived.

Patagonia – Part 2

All Posts, Argentina, Blog, blog2, Latest, Patagonia

     It was still dark as we woke to the frozen town of Rio Gallegos. We disembarked into the scruffy, but warm bus station. Our legs wobbling slightly, as they became used to being used as legs again. The bus had long disappeared when I realized I had left a camera bag on-board.

    After a slow and fairly painful interaction with a bus employee, I was given directions to the re-fuelling depot. I ran frantically down the dark, icy street, my breath swirling into mist above me. A bus appeared out of the gloom. I barrelled into the road, waving my arms wildly and screeching like a rabid dog. It came to an abrupt stop, faces filled with fear peered out. I quickly realized that this wasn’t my bus – thankfully it pulled up along side it moments later.

    Patagonia – Part 1

    All Posts, Argentina, Blog, Latest, Patagonia

    Our option was a simple one. A flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, at the far bottom of Argentina, would take four hours. A bus trip would take forty-eight hours. One promised a swift and uneventful passage. The other held possible boredom, sore backsides and potential insanity – but also a great adventure. What better way to see something so vast, so epic as Patagonia.

    The End

    All Posts, Blog, Brazil, Latest, World Cup

    The line that greeted us on Copacabana beach stretched so far that we didn’t even bother finding the end. Instead we nestled ourselves in front of the second screen. The crowd was still thin – but overwhelmingly Argentinian. A lone German stood proudly behind us in his speedos, a German flag fluttering gently beside him.

    Brasilia

    All Posts, blog2, Brazil, World Cup

     On the penultimate day of the World Cup we traveled to Brasilia for the third/fourth place play-off, between Brazil and Holland. Twelve hours in Brazil’s capital, of which I had high hopes. Brasilia is unfortunately an unrelentingly boring city. Unless you have a particular interest in tarmac and fly-overs – or you get a real kick out of grid like systems, I cannot in sound mind, possibly recommend it.

    Dream No More

    All Posts, Blog, blog2, Brazil, World Cup

    Goal after goal. After goal. After goal. The Germans bellowed until their throats cracked. The Brazilians carried an empty vacant look. A look of complete astonishment – and also near complete pain. The rain hammered down around us. Brazil’s dreams had been obliterated in one astonishing half of football.

    Beauty and the Beast

    All Posts, Blog, blog2, Brazil, World Cup

    The crowd held its breath. The chants of ‘Julio Cesar’ had died down. The Chilean, Gonzalo Jara, placed the ball on the penalty spot – stamping down on the turf before walking a few yards back – turning, and exhaling. He had to score. Thousands of Brazilians packed into Rua Alzira Brandão held their breath.

    Rua Alzira Brandão

    All Posts, Blog, Brazil, World Cup

    We heard it before we could see it. The piercing horns, the banging drums – a steady rumble – the sounds of Brazilians doing what Brazilian seem to do best – partying – and frenzied support of their national football team.

    We turned the corner and were greeted by an arch across the road. Through it we could see the crowd, already enormous. A torrent of yellow, blue and green. This is where Brazilians come to watch their football.

    Welcome to Rua Alzira Brandão.

    Das Machine – Or how I learned to like the Germans

    All Posts, Blog, Brazil, World Cup
      At a certain unspecified point I stopped hating German football, and – whisper it – started to quite like it. As an Englishman, albeit an Anglo-Franco one, we are bred with niggling feelings towards our noisy cousins across the sea.