Well four years since the last World Cup, so it is time to do it all again. Holding down a job so I can pay for all of this, means that I can make the first two weeks (or so) of the competition. (Who knows in 4 years time?). Obviously I would love to be able to go travelling for two months (like some I know…Mick…John), but I have to return to work and pay for the next trip.
I put out my intended itinerary some time ago and invited others to join me, but (would you believe) I am on my own again, it appears I am the only one taking on this particular schedule.
14th Belo Horizonte Colombia v Greece
15th Brasilia Switzerland v Ecuador
17th Fortaleza Brazil v Mexico
19th Natal Japan v Greece
20th Recife Italy v Costa Rica
22nd Rio de Janeiro Belgium v Russia
23rd Sao Paulo Netherlands v Chile
25th Porto Alegre Nigeria v Argentina
26th Curitiba Algeria v Russia
28th Belo Horizonte Winner A v Runner Up B
Once again with the help of good (and trusting) friends I have managed to secure tickets for all 10 games that I planned to go to, despite all the obstacles FIFA try to put in the way.
I would say that I can't understand how they are allowed to (a) charge so much (b) allowed not to put tickets on sale for 10 games for a long period of time, but I think by now we all understand that while they exist they are a law unto themselves.
Having been shocked at Euro 2012 at the price of accommodation (especially in Ukraine), and the fact that everywhere I booked 6 months prior to the event cancelled on me and put up there prices, I was wary of booking anywhere.
However, despite an increase in prices, the places I have booked have not cancelled or raised prices further.
The logistics of travelling from A to B in Brazil meant a straight choice between getting a flight or catching the bus. I have opted (with one exception) for taking the bus. The benefits of this are that there is an established bus network in Brazil, the coaches are more comfortable than here in the UK, no waiting at airports.
Travelling mainly overnight, means there is no need to book as many nights in hotels. Also the flights I have booked the one to Brazil and the internal flight have already been altered a number of times, thankfully the new times still fit into my schedule.
Planning the trip to Brazil, meant reading Futebol:
The Brazilian Way Of Life by Alex Bellos and spending time trying to work my way round Brazilian websites, with my very limited Portuguese. From the websites it is already clear that my years of studying the English language at school will be of little or no use over in Brasil.
From previous trips to South America, I do not expect things to go to plan. I can still remember the strike in Peru which grounded planes and the bus I was travelling in being pelted by stones, because there was a national transport strike.
In Venezuala, we had the tickets that didn't materialise, and in Argentina they used the volcano in Iceland as a reason for postponing one of their flights which led to a quick change in schedule, so who knows what awaits in Brazil.
During my travels I will be looking out for Oscar, no not Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior who plays for Chelsea but Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho Known as Oscar Niemeyer.
One of the reasons for this is that a friend recently looked at some pictures I had taken at the Europa League Final
and they complained that I obviously liked all the straight line architecture.
Well with Oscar's help, I will try and show a different side as he said "I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire Universe, the curved Universe of Einstein."
© Ross Clegg & Soccerphile.com