25.11.2015 - 25.11.2015
Woke up to my last day here in Rio de Janeiro. Thanks to the low season I was able to keep my room until 2pm before I needed to check out. In other words I got enough time to pack my bag without stress. Renato came and picked me up at 2.30pm. It was heavy traffic and we got stuck in long queues. And that so even though Renato drove on roads with the least amount of traffic, it took almost an hour to get from Copacabana in southern Rio de Janeiro to Galeão International Airport in the northern part of town. We passed yet again the poor parts of Rio and several favelas along the way and you couldn’t help yourself thinking about whether it’s healthy to live like that. When at the airport I received clear instructions from Renato how to find the TAM Airlines check-in desks since he needed to meet up his next guest’s arrival. “No problems”, said I and found pretty easily to TAM Airlines. Unfortunately the queues were long and there weren’t many people behind the desks serving us costumers. I had to wait almost 30 minutes before it was my turn to check in but when it finally was my turn it went fast and smooth. The big baggage weighted 18 kg and they didn’t even care about my backpack. Weird! In Foz do Iguaçu they were super strictly about the carry-on, which had a 5 kg limit, but now they didn’t even check. And before anyone asks, yes it was TAM Airlines. However I got a little surprised when they asked me about my closest relatives in case of emergency… uuuuhmm, okay!? So you do expect something to happen, or??? That was at least the first thought that popped up in my head. Because that’s the first time I ever got that question asked while traveling. And during this trip it’s my 5th domestic flight with TAM Airlines, and I get that question just now?!
Boarding took time due to some passengers who took the liberty to it on other seats than they were supposed to according to their flight tickets. When these persons finally got in their right seat the flight was 25 minutes delayed. Sigh! When the airplane had been pushed out and taxed to the runway it took off at 5.30pm. After 3 hours of flight with a lot of turbulence in the air I landed at Pinto Martins – Fortaleza International Airport. Time was only 7.30pm here though, since I had changed time zone again. So chaotic and complicated with several time zones in one country and when some of them apply summer time and others don’t. I got my checked-in bag and quickly found my local guide Rodriguez and our driver.
It was already dark here in Fortaleza and during my transfer to my hotel I wasn’t able to see much of the city. But I could feel how bad constructed the roads were, and if you never have been in the risk zone of whiplash injuries you definitely were that now! Eventually we arrived at my hotel Sonata de Iracema. Rodriguez helped me to check in and I got my room key. I took the elevator up and walked up to my door and unlocked. I was shocked to find a guy inside painting the ceiling. He looked as surprised as I was. He didn’t speak any English and I only some Portuguese. But I think he understood and phoned the reception. The hotel staff immediately came with a new card and apologized. So I grabbed my bags and took the elevator even higher up to my “new” room. The room wasn’t well cleaned and had low standard. Since time had run late it felt most convenient to eat dinner in the hotel restaurant.