We have embarked upon another adventure along our ‘long and winding journey’. We are heading to Rio de Janeiro!!
Once again, it is a very lucky happenstance that is taking us on this journey. My colleague (and friend) Liz and I are privileged to be attending the annual conference of the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua). At the meeting, the CPSA will be acknowledged for the ISQua accreditation of our laboratory standards, a project that Liz and I have laboured over for the last four years.
For obvious reasons, our husbands thought they should come along on this trip. Liz, Harvey and I travelled together – leaving Edmonton at 1 pm on Thursday for Toronto, where we had a 4 hour layover. We passed part of the time at Casey’s Bar & Grill, and at 11:30 pm, boarded an Air Canada 767 bound for São Paulo, Brazil. This 10.5 hour flight through the night was quite uneventful (as one hopes all flights are) and we all managed to get a bit of sleep.
In São Paulo, we passed quickly through customs – the Brazilian Policia Federal were very friendly. We had to claim our luggage and check in with Air GoLinhas. It was a smooth transition and we had time to wander around the airport and stop for a leisurely lunch.
Quick flight to Rio – about an hour.
Our luggage turned up quickly and we were easily able to get a ‘radio’ taxi. The cab ride to the hotel took about an hour, through heavy traffic. It was interesting to see the favelas (neighborhoods) on the hillsides. It looks like random boxes have been stacked upon one another for homes. Certainly, the first impression of Rio as you drive from the airport is of abject poverty.
We left these areas and arrived in Barra de Tijuca, a modern, upscale area along the beach, west of the tourist beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. Our hotel seems very good – fairly large, clean and modern rooms.
After settling in, we took a few minutes to take in the view from the rooftop (17th floor) of the hotel.
Feeling quite weary, and not wanting to travel far in the dark, we went to the Italian restaurant that is right next door to the hotel. It was excellent, quite authentically Italian and with more staff than I think I have ever seen in one restaurant.
Our dinners were excellent – but alas, in our weariness, we forgot pictures until the very end….
During our layovers, we connected virtually with Liz’s husband, Glen. Glen is a pilot who was taking a different path to our destination. Originally, his journey was slated to be quicker, but Mother Nature didn’t agree. He ended up on a somewhat prolonged ‘stop along the way’ in Dallas, due to thunderstorms across the U.S. As our day ends, he is in an airplane somewhere between Dallas and Rio and is scheduled to arrive around 11 pm. We are hoping his journey to the hotel goes as smoothly as ours did.
So here we are – on another continent. We are looking forward to a great week. We aren’t sure how often we will have Internet access so will post blogs as we have a chance.
Bev, Harv and Liz