Men's Soccer Blog From Brazil: Rio de Janeiro and Paraty
The Penn State Behrend men's soccer team is taking part in an international sports tour of Brazil from May 17-26. The following blog was sent by Penn State Behrend men's soccer players Brian Bodnar and Brad Nowosielski, and is the fifth in a series of short updates from the team trip to South America.
Sunday, our second day in Rio de Janeiro, was very eventful. It all started with an early morning bus tour of the city. We were then on our own to roam the beaches during the day. We were able to watch various activities such as, beach soccer, handball, and beach volleyball. It was a beautiful bright and sunny day to just relax on the beach and enjoy the warm ocean water. The team then departed for a soccer game at maracana stadium to watch Flamengo vs. Gremio Prudente. The atmosphere was amazing with an end result of a three to one win for the home team, Flamengo. We then left the stadium to head straight for dinner. The restaurant was a very upscale place to eat, with possibly the best food that most of us have ever had. They served an array of different types of meats that were served continuously right out of the kitchen and cut right on to your plate. We all could not have asked for a better last night in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro.
Monday morning we departed from Rio on a five hour bus trip toward the city of Paraty. The scenery along the way was breath taking. The trip cut through the mountains and along a coastal highway. There were many great opportunities for photos the natural beauty of Brazil. We arrived in our hotel in Paraty in the middle of the day. We then ate lunch and went on to play seven vs. seven soccer at a local small soccer facility. Most of us had to play in bare feet since we were not allowed to wear cleats on the field. It was fun to get touches on the ball while knowing that we are all playing in Brazil. The night then concluded with everyone having free time to explore Paraty and shop on their own.
Tuesday morning the team got up and went on a walking tour of Paraty. We learned about the history and infrastructure of the city. Then we got on a schooner and boated all around the different islands around Paraty. The scenery was magnificent and breathe taking. The sun finally came out and we were allowed to jump off the boat and swim around for a little at each location. The water was very clear. The final stop on the schooner was off of a beach shore of one of the islands. There we had a very good lunch on the boat that they cooked right there for us. After we ate we were allowed to swim to shore and look around on the beach for a little. We then headed back and were on our own for the rest of the evening in Paraty. We have had an amazing time here and we are looking forward to our last day tomorrow.