3rd August

Mike went to register for his conference after breakfast (lemon drizzle cake and coffee cake) and I’d put the ‘Do not disturb/please make up my room’ on the wrong side so room not made up when we got back. Bit of a drama in the dining room – middle-aged, skinny man in shorts sitting attempting to eat bread roll and apparently oblivious to the fact while 5 people surrounded him talking to him, waving hands in front of his face. He didn’t react but kept eating slowly. After some loud discussion in Portuguese 2 people helped him out of the room. no, we didn’t understand what was going on either …

When the cleaners had finished I started to create Mike’s Powerpoint presentation for the interview in Portsmouth when he gets back, justifying my role as PA and the presence of the laptop for the purposes of this holiday.Took longer than I thought, mainly because I couldn’t get the table to work at first – anyway after a lot of swearing and a couple of G & Ts it’s done, saved to the hard drive and 2 memory sticks – belts and braces.

At 1.30 the jewelery car came for us to go to Ipanema for the Diamond manufacturers tour. It’s about 25 minutes from Barra past the biggest favela in Rio which is next to a Sheraton resort – hotel complex

posh hotelstrange juxtaposition, but we found that situation of very rich and very poor living cheek by jowl, old family estates next to shanty towns.

At the jewellers we got the hard sell, bought nothing and then sat on the beach, (something that sets us apart form the locals – Cariokas, they stand and chat to friends). Intrigued by green coconutty things that get the tops slashed off and a straw stuck in, have to try one sometime. Icecream is elusive in Ipanema although kiosks all along the front – not a tradition here maybe, and I haven’t seen any knotted hankies either … No photos of Ipanema – it wsn’t very pretty, mainly 70’s cement apartment blocks, no architectural features of any worth on the seafront.

goes dark very early , so we sit on warm dark balcony sipping G & T’s with the lights on -very different experience