The sun had set on our final night in Brazil. Kooks took a quick nap after an exhausting day exploring the city. I opted for a Skol beer while watching the Russia vs. Algeria match at our Hostel. After the end of the first half, Kooks woke up from her nap and we decided to head towards Copacabana Beach for dinner.
Ultimately, we ended up stopping at Potenza Pizza & Grill – the same all-you-can-eat pizzeria that we ate with the rest of our group the night before, only this time; we were by ourselves as the group trip had officially ended that morning. Potenza is about a 2 blocks away from the main intersection of Rua Santa Clara and Avenida Atlântica. The official address is 18 Rua Santa Clara, and it is open daily from 11am – 12am Midnight.
I really wanted to head to the Rio Fanfest as we had missed it at the beginning of our trip to a flight debacle by Air Canada, so we rushed to pay for our dinner and tried to catch the celebrations on the beach as I did not realize this was the final match of the Opening Round.
Walking up along Copacabana, I was distracted by street vendors, sand castles, locals playing soccer and volleyball on the beach, the sights and sounds of the car zooming up and down Avenida Atlântica, fellow World Cup fans, and the official FIFA World Cup store.
In the end, we did not end up making it in time for the Rio Fanfest. But, it was okay. It was somewhere past 8pm at this points, and poor Kooks and I were getting a bit tired after two adventurous weeks in Brazil. Rather than push our luck, we decided to head back to the hostel to get ready for the long flight home in the morning.
It finally settled in at that point that we accomplished our ultimate travel goal – watch the World Cup in Brazil. Was it worth it, though? You bet it was!
Whether it was watching the Persian fans cheering for Team Iran in front of their hotel or riding the speed boat at the bottom of Iguaçu Falls; swimming with beautiful tropical fish just outside of Bonito or fishing for piranha in the Pantanal; getting to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World up close and in person or embracing the chaos of Paraguay’s shopping Mecca, the time we spent in and around Brazil was well worth the cost and effort.
Most people came to Brazil with the sole purpose of watching a soccer tournament, and that’s all they did while they were here. However, there is more to life than sports, so not only did Kooks and I actually get to watch a World Cup match in person, but we also got to visit the real Brazil along the way. It was truly the trip of a lifetime, and one I would recommend to others considering going to a future World Cup. Hopefully, this won’t be the last World Cup we go to, either, but only time will tell.
If you are interested in exploring Brazil the way we did, then check out G Adventures’ website here.