Time to go home, but to get there a really long day beckoned ahead. Neither of us were looking forward to it.
Our last Brazilian breakfast and I must say I am quite relieved. All I want is some simple porridge for a change. Nevertheless we tried to fuel up for the day ahead. Immediately after eating we went for a walk along the beach for the last time. This time we turned right and it was much further to the end of the bay than it looked. It was lovely as the waves lapped over our feet from the surprisingly cold sea. We were glad to turn round at the end as we could feel the sun burning on the back of our necks.
Back at the Hotel we had arranged a late check out of 1pm so after making sure we were almost ready to go we went and sat in the gardens for the final time. Whilst there the garden sprinklers came on unexpectently and soaked me. Fortunately in the sun it didn’t really matter. At 1pm I carried our cases down the stairs and we went to Reception to formally check out. Our transit back to Rio airport was not due until 2pm so we went and sat in the outside Computer room which did have some element of air con fitted to try and keep cool. The computers installed were somewhat dated and under powered and could not cope with most modern websites. At 2pm we went and sat back in Reception to await our pickup.
Sadly we had had to leave Karen’s chair behind but whilst waiting the guy at Reception tried to return it to us. We explained we couldn’t take it and that he could have it. He was delighted but insisted we sign a piece of paper confirming this so that he wasn’t accused of stealing which we did.
It was almost 3pm by the time our transit finally turned up. By that time we were both rather agitated even though we knew our flight was already showing that it was delayed. As on our journey to Buzios we had to get on a minibus for the first few miles before transferring to a proper comfortable coach. After a couple of stops we got underway and after travelling for a hour had a break at a service station. The journey through the outskirts of Rio seemed to take ages through the Favelas and we got to see Sugarloaf and the Christ statue again. The journey took 4 hours.
At the airport we had to wait awhile for the BA desks to open in order to drop our bags. Karen got herself a coffee whilst we were waiting. We breezed through security and had a quick wander round and found ourselves a food court where we bought a couple of Caesar Salads that unfortunately when we got them had seen better days.
By now I was really tired and still had a 12 hour flight and then drive home from Heathrow to look forward to. The flight was delayed by 28 minutes and boarding went smoothly. We had premium economy seats on this leg which gave us a bit more room. I watched Mamma Mia 2 whilst waiting for the drink and food service. The food was poor again. I actually fell asleep eating it and Karen ended up clearing away my tray for me. I slept intermittently for a few hours as did Karen. Breakfast was served eventually and was even worse than the main meal, with the scrambled eggs being the greyest of the trip. I didn’t touch them as I was not sure if they were off.
There was literally no queue at T5 passport control and we were through in seconds. Trouble was whilst my case came off quickly, we then had to wait ages for Karen’s. Sunny our parking guy, brought our car back really quickly and we were soon on the drive home. Our only stop was at Starbucks on the A11 where we both indulged naughtily in a Greggs sausage roll as well.
So our South American adventure was over. We managed it without being taken hostage, being mugged or intimidated. Also surprisingly, without spending a lot of money. The highlights were definitely Iguassu and Christ the Redeemer Statue. The weather was great although too hot for Karen on many days. We are really glad we made the trip and overcome our fears. Saying that it is not a place we will rush back to or feel any need to. Each time we travel we refine our requirements, desires and needs for future trips.
Finally the medical update. Literally as I was getting dressed for the last time in Buzios the ‘scab’ on my leg came off revealing some lovely pink healthy skin underneath. A combination of the antibiotics and being able to wear shorts exposing it to the air did the trick in super quick time. We have also arranged an appointment to try and arrange to get Karen’s knee looked at properly.