If you have been following my posts regarding my trip to Brasil, then you have already stepped into the world of Casa 32. So, I am sure you can understand then why I chose to remain there for my last day in Rio. I could have gone to one of the numerous glorious beaches or shopped for some Havaianas or climbed Sugar Loaf Mountain, but instead I grabbed my book, sunnies, and found the perfect spot by the pool.
Several hours into my sunbathing session, the owner, Lucio, brought me a delicious fresh coconut drink and turned on some samba music. I seriously felt like I was in heaven! He even made sure to send his son-in-law over every hour or so to clean the pool. Next to the pool was a sauna and when I needed a break from the sun I would take turns visiting it and the al fresco shower.
Surrounding Casa 32 is the remnants of a rain forest that truly makes you feel like you are in the middle of the Amazon and not in a major metropolitan city. I loved the feeling of taking a vacation inside of a vacation! It was an incredible backdrop for me to reflect on my time in a city that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with in only a few days time. I had been warned of Rio’s powerful seduction, however I had no idea it would be this magical of an experience! It is of no wonder to me now why Brasilians call it Cidade Maravilhosa, or Marvelous City.
Sadly, my flight to Manaus was approaching and I needed to finish packing. Lucio told me to make sure that I saved some time in order to say a proper goodbye. When I went searching for him a little later, I found him and his closest relatives by the pool in the midst of a cookout. I did not want to interrupt their party, but as soon as Lucio saw me he got very excited. The cookout had been arranged for me as a farewell celebration and I was the guest-of-honor! I was really, really touched.
Before I got inside the taxi that was to take me to the airport, Lucio, his daughter, Joana, and I posed for a picture in front of the main door to Casa 32. I refused to say “goodbye” to them, since I knew with all certainty that I would be returning one day soon. What I did not know, was just how soon.