August 14, 2016...A day on Cruise

It’s tough to book events from Canada during the Olympics for days when you don’t have games, when you don’t know in advance the times the team will play. As it turned out, Ruth booked a tour of the islands around Rio a month before we actually came to here. We had already rebooked it once after a game that started at 10:30, so decided to try and make it this time. After Canada won their game against Mexico, we just had to watch the next game between the two Titans, Brazil and Italy. What a game…many of the rallies crossed the net five and six times before a decisive play ended the point. The play was fantastic, but from the very first, it was obvious that had Italy brought its A game to play against the number 1 ranked team in the world and 18,000 screaming fans. Italy just never let up, and dominated Brazil badly, putting them down with all of the other four teams with 2 wins and 2 losses. Whoever named Pool A, the “Pool of Death” gave it an appropriate name.

 

We left the game at after 1 and took a taxi home. We got up before 6 to be at a pick-up location across the city for 7. We had wolfed down a few hard boiled eggs and some fruit before leaving and I was anticipating wandering around on the deck of a fairly decent-sized ship eating little goodies and looking at scenery. The cruise was slated for 5 hours, so we were planning on trying to get back and scoop some tickets to track and field events for later in the evening. Our pick-up arrived at around 8 and we drove from hotel to hotel gathering more tourists as we went.

 

After all were on board and crammed into our little seats, we started journeying. I watched out the window thinking that surely we would be arriving at the dock soon, as we had been driving for quite a spell. An hour and a half later, the bus pulled over at a gas station that had a few amenities for sale and were told this was a ten minute stop. After piling back on the bus, we drove on for another 2 and a bit hours before we finally came to a stop at a sea-side resort and all piled out. We were walked like a group of school children to a dock where people were lined up and being crammed onto wooden crafts that were loaded to the gills. It took more than half an hour standing there shifting from foot to foot before we got on ours.

 

Once we were on board we were told that we could rent masks and snorkels for the dives we would be doing. We all just looked at one another in surprise—we had not even brought our bathing suits. The one good thing was, we had beautiful weather and got to watch everyone else swim with the fish from our seat at the edge of the craft. They made a total of three stops with the three of us wishing that we were back in Rio watching track and field events. Alicia, finally tied up her dress and went onto the beach with her skimpy blue underwear, which looked every bit the part of a bikini. The Brazilians on board were a very raucous crowd and before the journey was over, we could hardly hear ourselves think. When we got back to shore many of the passengers were so hammered that they were needing a bit of assistance from their fellows to find their way back to the bus. After another 4 hour trip back to Rio, we got off at the first stop and abandoned the bus.

 

I had been crossing my legs for the final two hours of the trip, so we stopped at the first restaurant we came to so I could relieve myself. As it turned out, it was a fairly decent looking Italian restaurant, and when I returned to my seat we all ordered. There was only one menu in the restaurant in English and we had to wait our turn as it was passed from table to table to see what we wanted. Ruth and Alicia ordered a three cheese variety and I thought I ordered one with bacon cheese and veggies. The waiter looked at the English menu we had and then pointed at the Portuguese menu until we all nodded our heads. He then passed the English menu to the next table. He returned a few minutes later, pointing at the menu in his hand and putting out two fingers. We assumed that meant that we wanted two orders of the triple cheese order. When our order final got there, Alicia and Ruth got their triple cheese orders and I got nothing. After a few insect looks at the waiter, he returned in a fluster and carried on in Portuguese. A half hour later, I got some rendition of a beef spaghetti that certainly wasn’t from Trail’s Colander.

 

Like the tour before, we had spent 70% of our time crammed into a tiny seat. We all retired in full agreement that we would never book another tour!