By: Jake Riggir
So you’ve gone to Brazil to enjoy the footballing carnival that is the FIFA World Cup. It’s all going great. You’re having the time of your life and you don’t want it to ever end… then your team gets knocked out in the group stages.
What does a guy do? Switch allegiance to another country? Difficult, but I suppose you could always pretend to be Swedish and surround yourself with buxom blondes. The other option, if you can drag yourself away from the Scandinavian beauties, is to check out what the rest of the continent has to offer.
Luckily, there is so much to do in South America that you’ll soon be forgetting about the football. Tour Peru, for example, witnessing the sights of famous Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and Cusco. Or maybe head over to the Galapagos Islands, with its incredible range of wildlife, or spend days sailing through the beautiful ocean between the islands.
Or, if you’re situated in Rio De Janeiro, bask in the glorious sunsets or enjoy the magnificent views from world-famous statue, Christ the Redeemer. (His thumb got damaged in a lightning storm the other day, but don’t let that put you off!)
Be adventurous; your team wasn’t going to win the trophy anyway.
Four travel tips for heading to Brazil for the World Cup (i.e. the busiest period the country has ever experienced)
1. Brazilians don’t speak much English
A broad statement, yes, but generally Brazilian taxi drivers, bus drivers, and even people who work in the tourism industry out there are unlikely to speak very many words of English. Be prepared to get your Portuguese dictionaries out and attempt to utter words such as “futebol” (football) and “estádio” (stadium) in order to get yourself around.
2. Expect delays
With the amount of people flocking into the country, not everything can go swimmingly, so don’t be surprised if your bus scheduled for three o’clock rocks up at four. It’s going to be a frantic place, which will be a shock to the system for the Brazilians. When feeling frustrated, don’t go off your rocket – be like the Brazilians and “afrouxar” (relax).
3. Have your wits about you
No matter how much you try to hide it, you may as well have the word “tourist” brandished on your forehead. Don’t go walking alone at night, don’t show off your flash gadgets in public, and be careful of kids (not baby goats). They may look harmless, but some of the street boys are worldly-wise and hardened, and, with the influx of wealthy tourists, they’ll be looking to make hay while the sun shines.
4. Suck up the hangover
Brazil is known for its party lifestyle. Get set for some really big nights out and enjoy it.