“And that’s all I have to say about that.” Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump.
The last day. Our tour guide Diana picked us up from our apartment. I hadn’t realised that the tour was starting from the minute we pulled out of the complex. As she began to highlight some of the buildings that had been our tapestry for the past ten days, I slept shamefully, though blissfully, anaesthetised by the interrupted cadence of Diana’s voice. I woke at the top of the Selaron Steps in Lapa as Diana pulled her car to the curb, high up a mountain. “..and that’s all you need to know about Rio De Janeiro.” She smiled wryly. I tipped my panama hat, sat erect. Had she noticed that I was out for the count? I had my sunglasses on, perhaps I had gotten away with this after all. I mopped some dribble that had burrowed it’s way through the stubble on my chin.
“A fascinating insight, beautifully presented. I think we’ve all learnt something today haven’t we ladies.” I arced round to the back seat and the girls nodded mutely.
“I’ll drive down to the bottom and pick you up from there.” Diana said. “I presume you’d rather go down the famous steps than up, less work in this heat.” She drove off, leaving us at the lip of a busied area, below in our wake, a stairwell completely tiled. Annie leant into me, “Did you enjoy your sleep?”
SHIT I thought. “Was it obvious?” I asked, my face mottled in a mini fluster of being found out. She mopped some more dribble from my face and shirt and we ventured down the infamous 250 steps.
The Selaron Steps, Escadaria Selarón, is a gorgeous mosaic of esoteric artistry from the mind of Jorge Selaron, who remained true to his word as he prophetically claimed he would die on his eponymously tiled masterpiece. Dogs found him in the early hours one January morning 2013 in a heap at the foot of the steps. Police did not rule out homicide, but the mainline of investigation hinted towards suicide.
Get there real early to avoid the tourists. It was near on impossible to get a decent shot with the amount of human traffic around. If you’re also being shown around by a tour guide try and stay awake, it will certainly help when writing articles like these. On another note, I would usually add a hyperlink to our tour guide to send some more business her way, however when her Brother chauffeured us to the airport I handed over some postcards, kindly asking if it’s not an imposition, for him or Diana to post them. She later messaged us saying that will cost you a tenner. And that’s that.