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The rocky road to Rio


REDEMPTION Ciara Galvin enjoys the famous view from Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue.

Diary of a home bird

Ciara Galvin

We got to South America, eventually. However, as expeditions to the other side of the world go, we had a rocky start.
We first missed our City Link bus from Galway to Dublin. Pops was in charge of delivering us to the 8.30am bus and instructed us to be ready for departure at 7.15am sharp. Many told us we were crazy to be leaving that early, but the male roomie insisted. To cut a long story short, we didn’t leave ’til 7.40am after all, and at 8.10am, stuck in traffic in Cloonboo, I knew we were doomed. I began frantically looking up other bus times.
The 8.45am bus would have to do the trick. The only problem was, we were now cutting it fine to make even that one. (Damn you economic recovery and everyone travelling to their workplaces in the city.) Pops put the pedal to the metal, and we made it to the station at 8.41am and, with a quick goodbye to Schumacher, hopped on the bus.
Relief didn’t envelop me. It looked as though we’d make it to Dublin Airport for 11.45am. Our flight was at 1pm – a flight I had not checked in online for, and we’re not dealing with Knock Airport here.
When we did arrive, we were faced with a never-ending queue for Aer Lingus. My travel buddy ‘Phileas Fogg’ suggested I skip the queue, something I’m only partial to doing if it’s the queue for Copper Face Jack’s.
Thanks to an agreeable couple I was checked in and through security before 12 noon.
Success, right? Well, the drama didn’t end there.
After joining the longest queue in the world in Bordeaux (we took a roundabout route to Rio) we reached the top only to find out the ticket machine had broken. We pressed on, and tickets finally in hand, we made our way to our gate … by walking in the opposite direction to said gate and straight into a bomb scare. After that, well, our flight to Lisbon (I know, roundabout) was of course delayed.
Landed in Rio at last, we decided that jet lag was not going to interfere with our plans, so we went sightseeing – Sugarloaf Mountain, Ipanema beach and Copacabana beach. Naturally, we went around the world for sport trying to find Christ the Redeemer (after attempting to hike up to the statue – we were told there would be rock climbing involved – we spent two hours on public transport trying to get there).
The aul’ budget took a bit of a hammering in Rio, between sightseeing and getting a taste for Brazil’s national cocktail, caipirinha. But camping in the wilderness of Patagonia will save us some mula next week, surely?
If that strategy doesn’t work, we’ll have to look for some divine intervention from a certain statuesque deity. Frankly, he owes us one after our epic pilgrimage.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.

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