I slept in a men’s dorm on the first floor of a Hostel in Rio, while Josh slept upstairs in a room full of “Jersey Shore” guys and Brazilian women.
The story begins in Madrid. We boarded a flight to Sao Paolo which included a stop in Barcelona and arrived in Sao Paulo at 3 AM. If you have ever visited the Sao Paulo airport, it isn’t one that you want to spend any amount of time in. It’s definitely not the cleanest or safest, ranking in Sleeping In Airports’ top 10 worst airports in Central and South America.
So there we were at 3 AM in the Sao Paulo airport with our next flight not leaving until 4 PM, 13 hours later. They wouldn’t even let us through airport security because the flight was too far away, so we sat unable to sleep and unable to do much of anything since the airport didn’t have free wi-fi.
As 6 AM came around, cafes and restaurants started opening up so we were able to get some real food. Once we got within 5 hours of the flight we could finally go through security. I won’t bore you with how we kept ourselves entertained for 13 hours, but we did board on time!
If all this airport talk seems long and boring…it was!
We landed in Rio at 7:30 PM and quickly got on to one of the buses into the city. We knew where our stop was, but didn’t know any Portuguese yet. Luckily the contact for the bus company not only introduced us to the bus driver but made it clear where we were getting off. Within minutes of finding our seats we were both passed out, sleeping on one of the most comfortable buses we had ever been on. The seats were sent from heaven insisting we have 1 hour of deep sleep.
We show up at our hostel around 8:30 PM where we had booked a private room. It’s always been worth it to us to have a private room, and we are willing to pay a little extra to book them. Since I knew we would have a long travel day and arrive in Rio late, I had confirmed our room multiple times, signed documents and sent them in.
Rio isn’t necessarily a place you want to be walking around with everything you own on your back looking for a hotel late at night. So when I hear that for whatever reason they don’t have our reservation, I do what any normal, exhausted traveler would do, I started to cry. In all honesty I couldn’t help it, I was so tired and when they didn’t have our room I had reached my end, I wanted this travel day to be over.
The front desk agent didn’t know what to do except offer the only thing he had, 2 beds in different rooms on different floors. One in a 6 bed men’s dorm room, and one in a mixed dorm with a group that you could tell was here for the all-night scene. At this point we hadn’t slept in dorm rooms since our 3 month trip through Europe back in college.
But, I was exhausted…and I needed a bed pronto.
What I haven’t mentioned yet was the men’s dorm had a bathroom attached, while the party dorm had no bathroom and you had to walk through it to get another room (in other words, non-stop noise). My sleepy sidekick (Sleepy Carl) took over and I crawled into the one bed left in the men’s hostel dorm, still in my clothes from the past 24 hours, exhausted.
In the meantime, Josh is upstairs texting me about invites to Samba clubs and parties in Rio that the Brazilian girls are inviting him to. Equally exhausted, he climbed into his bottom bunk and fell asleep, but we couldn’t help but laugh at the irony in the situation…
We were asked why we didn’t just climb in, cuddle up and share a bed. To clear the air, we tried, and these were small beds, made for one person and if you’ve been paying attention to how tired we were, we didn’t want to risk not sleeping. We love each other, but we don’t mess around when it comes to our sleep schedule!
Needless to say my one night spent in a men’s dorm in Rio de Janiero, after over 24 hours of traveling without sleep was a memorable one. It didn’t include any crazy disgusting stories that typically come from hostels, but it did include 5 men, 1 bathroom, and waking up in the same clothes from the night before.
In case you didn’t watch the Sleepy Carl video linked above, we embedded it here for your convenience. You’re welcome.