Rio Harp Festival, day 5 (2013)

(As I prepare to travel to Rio again for the Rio Harp Festival I realized I’d never finished my blog about last year’s experience…  Well, better late than never! :) I had a half-written post about day 5 that I’ve just finished, and I’ve also written about my visit to São Paulo, here, and here)



Friday was my last day in Rio, and the plan was to meet up with Isabella again, and probably Rodrigo and Sasha, and go to the beach.

Early Friday morning, though, it started to rain – and not just a gentle rain, but that torrential downpour that we just don’t get in BC, with what feels like big buckets of water just being dumped from the sky.

By morning the rain showed no signs of stopping.  Beach plans got cancelled, and I ended up visiting Isabella and her family, and Tatiana, and getting fed some delicious food.

One of Isabella’s sons plays the Bandoneón and I got to hear him play a little bit.  It’s an accordion-like instrument, that doesn’t have a keyboard, just a whole bunch of buttons that produce single tones.  And the crazy thing is that they change depending on whether you’re pushing or pulling the bellows – so to play the same scale you need to learn two completely different fingerings depending on which way the bellows are going…  Yikes – and people think pedals are hard! :)

I was due in São Paulo Friday night.  Originally I’d thought I would fly, but it’s actually hard to book a domestic flight from outside of Brazil – the airline’s website that I wanted to book with seemed to need a Brazilian or possibly a US billing address.  My thought had been to talk to the airline directly once I was in Brazil, but then I ended up deciding just to take the bus.

I believe the rain actually shut down the airport, so it’s just as well I didn’t try and fly!  But the rain caused problems with the bus, too.  Traffic was crazy slow.  Isabella dropped me off at the bus station and helped me get a ticket and find the bus, etc. (thanks again!)  But by this time it was all ready later than I’d planned, and it took the bus about 2 hours just to get out of Rio!

The trip from Rio to São Paulo is supposed to be about 6 hours, but it ended up being over 8.  Fortunately the bus was very comfortable, and I was able to get a little bit of sleep.

I would be staying with wonderful harpist Soledad Yaya in São Paulo (check out her performance of the Debussy Danses and her YouTube channel (including duos with her husband, violist Peter Pas).

With no cell phone I had no way of letting her know what was happening…  All told I think it was 3am by the time I arrived – yikes!  Sole and Peter were waiting up for me – what troopers!

Tomorrow – a 7am start to the day… :)


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