2023, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Brazil Day 13: Rio Thursday September 7, 2023

I slept! I was only up 3-4 times, I think. Things seemed to be looking up with the respiratory problem but the traveler’s diarrhea ramped up so it was a trade off. I took too many Imodium and it didn’t do enough.

It was raining, but despite the rain we decided to go to the botanical gardens. For whatever reason, Jenn and I often seek out botanical gardens when we visit big cities. And given that it was Brazil’s independence day, we weren’t sure what would be open or how busy certain things would be.

It might seem like a weird thing to do, to go to a botanical gardens in the rain, but we weren’t the only ones, and the rain stopped basically the moment we got there.

The first garden we went to was cacti and it was really, really interesting. There were some really big cacti and also some fascinating that didn’t look like cacti. It was probably the highlight of the gardens. That or the monkeys. But it’s a really pretty place.

It’s a huge garden and it took us a long time to walk around the entirety of it.

After finding me a bathroom, we walked back to Leblon, which is next Ipanema. We went looking for a cachaça bar because I was thinking I was up for it. When we found it, it was just absolutely jammed with people. It turns out, at least in Rio, on independence day people like to (specific) bars. Many restaurants are bars weren’t busy but the ones that were were just absolutely rammed with people.

So we gave up and walked a little bit further where we found a “healthy” restaurant. I thought I could handle pasta salad and then had to eat Jenn’s salad as I could barely stomach the pasta salad, which was rather dry. (And contained chicken! Don’t order chicken in Brazil.)

At this point I just felt horrible, between the respiratory thing and the intestinal thing. I didn’t think we walked that far in the morning but I just lost all energy.

So we walked from Leblon to Ipanema and at one point I just couldn’t conceive of walking all the way back to the hotel, a few neighbourhoods over.

The good news is that once I digested whatever I was able to eat from lunch, I did start feeling better.

I lying on my stomach on the bed, as it was the only way I could lie down without coughing, and I rolled over to check on the sunset, to see if it would be worth going up to the roof to watch it, and I pulled a muscle. I am generally a very positive, optimistic person but, in that moment, I had a really hard time not feeling sorry for myself. Fortunately, after walking around a bit, stretching a bit, and lying down again, it turned out to be a really minor twinge, not a pull, so I had overreacted.

We went to Ipanema for dinner. Jenn had a really nice steak. I struggled to eat my fish and chips, partly because it was cut up and individually battered, so my perception of the saltiness was so much more intense due to way more batter. (But, also, you know, I was nauseous.) Jenn got to try two kinds of cachaça and turned out she liked the one the restaurant itself made. We tried to figure out how to buy it from them but things were lost in translation and they ended up just giving her another glass.

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