TV star

For some reason still unclear to me , upon arrival in Aparecida I was asked to give an interview to the local TV station

Well, I thought it was local. Apparently it’s broadcast across Brazil

So millions of devout Brazilians can watch me respond to the question :”how did you feel about arriving at our national shrine ?” With a non stop stream of whining about blisters, “stupid” mountains and endless sugar cane fields that made my life a misery

Oh and I think I may have used national Brazilian religious TV as a vehicle to publicly appeal for information about leg stress fractures. The reporter looked bemused

“And another thing: make the sugar cane farmers replace the signs when they plough into them otherwise youll have more idiots like me wandering around lost

“And if that bus driver who refused to pick me up near Sao Simao is watching : I want you to know I hate you”

“But Bobby did you like Brazil?”

“Suppose so”

Tv journos huh ?

Same the world over

They arrived 45 mins late.and the cameraman was just like every other camerman I’ve ever met

Grumpy. Pissed off and secretly thinking to himself “This ain’t a story”

After the obligatory walking around shots and “noddies” we were driven about 6kminto the countryside to recreate our triumphant arrival

The TV pool car was also like every pool car I’ve ever been in. Creaking. Wheezing and with bits of the dashboard missing.

Filming was marred only by the fact I’d forgotten my rucksack and walking boots and everyone seemed to be ignoring my increasingly plaintive references to “stress fracture” as they made us walk and walk again for those atmos shots

But to be fair they were professional. The reporter reminded me of me. Thirty years ago when my journalistic future still seemed bright

He’ll learn

And I do like Brazil. Very much