...except when we have the World Cup in town.
After a long day of travel from São Paulo (via Brasilia), we arrived at the brand spanking new Natal airport...only to spend the next hour getting our rental car. I honestly believe securing our home mortgage was easier and less time consuming than what it took to get this stinkin' Renault.
Next step: drive to our hotel...through the pouring rain and a GPS free of any of the new built roads. When in Rome...er...the North East of Brazil.
Sadly, this beautiful beach town is experiencing some of the worst rain in long time. As this ProSoccerTalk article notes, the over 36 hours of rain is really taking its toll on the city and the pitch.
At least we found some cool bars along the beach to watch a few matches, enjoy some local grub and beers, and marvel in the crazy surfers trying to take advantage of the huge waves.
Today, we're sheltering at a Natal shopping mall to get some reliable Wi-Fi, some new foul weather gear and hang with a couple of new friends (USA supporters, of course!) we made at the hotel.
While the weather conditions haven't lived up to expectations for our first stop, the friendliness of the supporters from all the other teams has been amazing. We met a dude who flew in from Ghana while boarding our connection in Brasilia. We both felt the pressure and importance for our respective nations to beat the other in the match here tomorrow, but left each other with a warm smile and good luck handshake.
We also hung out with lots of Mexico, Aussies, and even a few local supporters while watching the matches yesterday. Everyone is truly enjoying the games and there is no evidence of issues or politics. While FIFA has its well publicized problems, what these games do for the fans of the World's Game is super positive.
Time to go buy a better poncho!