I have to keep reminding myself that it is winter time in Brazil. I knew it felt weird heading to the futbol game last night and it was so dark--it was 5pm and felt like 9pm because the sun was already missing from the sky. Then I remembered the season and realized it was much the same my for Kentucky winters.
Lucky for us, the rains from yesterday were gone when we woke up this morning. The sky was blue and the sun was shining. There was one problem though: the wind. Wowzers are we talking some wind! And it definitely had its effects on the ocean. I have never seen waves like that when there wasn't a storm rolling in. Unfortunately the wind made the beach not so warm except when the sun was shining (then it was quite warm), but the wind kept the clouds rolling quickly and we'd go back and forth from goosebumps in the shadows to feeling the tingling of the sun on our skin.
However, we saw a rather large cloud roll in that told us the majority of our sun rays were gone for the next little bit so we headed back to the hostel and changed into some non-sandy clothes and walked to the nearby mall. The idea was to visit the food court so that we could each get whatever we felt like for lunch. Wouldn't you know we all went with the same choice: the pasta bar! Bellarmine had a mini-version of this for one semester (what a terrible thing that they did not continue it!) This just had five times the options. You picked out your pasta type, your sauce and up to eight different ingredients to put into the sauce. We had a little learning session with Carla where she went through the order slip to tell us what every ingredient was so we could more wisely choose what we wanted. We followed that up with a stop at a cafe where I could have some glorious glorious REAL coffee--the super super strong type in a tiny mug. (The kind you don't find in the U.S.--Dani knows what I'm talking about!)
That bit of cafe was just what I needed to kick me off for our next run of fun: Sugar Loaf! These two giant cliffs--especially the taller one-- stick out of the ocean and the land like someone just stuck half a banana in the ocean. I've gotten used to seeing the taller one, but as I stared at it today I took note of how odd it is and really wondered what formed this unusual protrusion. It was so easy to get caught up taking picture after picture since none of them really felt like they captured the magnificence. It was good that we finally just bought some drinks and took a seat on a bench near the edge and chatted as the sun began to set over the ocean and behind the cliffs that bordered thedistant the city.
Carla left us later this evening as she headed back to her town so she can head to work tomorrow. Micah, Melody and I are on our own for the first time since setting foot in the country. We've learned the important phrases (we thinking... yes, no, thank you, help, excuse me, etc) and already have our bus tickets to Gui's town in Sao Paulo for Tuesday. Tomorrow we will hit all of the other high points of Rio with a tour group through the hostel (yay, they'll know English!) Two days and so much has happened...so much in so short of a time, yet I know it'll go all to quickly! Either way...bring on a new day!