Pat Baldwin’s first entry into his tour diary
The journey to Brazil began for me, of all places, at Southend Hospital, on Wednesday 16th July.
My poor old mum decided to fall over and break her leg, so I made the long journey over to Essex to pay her a quick visit.
Thankfully her operation went okay and was well on the way to recovery when I stopped by, so I was able to get excited about the trip knowing that she was okay.
I had a nice slow journey across both Essex and London, reaching Heathrow Terminal 1 underground station a couple of hours before the rest of the lads arrived. It gave me some lovely alone time before being stuck for ten days with the boys!
Our flight to Frankfurt landed at around 8pm English time, 9pm German time. (They are obviously an hour ahead!)
The connecting flight to Rio left about 10pm German time (9pm English...I hope you’re keeping up!)
One film and a sleeping pill later, we finally arrived at Rio airport in the early hours of Day 2, after approximately an 11-hour flight.
Our hosts had breakfast waiting upon our arrival. The place that is to be our base for most of our stay is set on top of a hill with mountains surrounding all sides. It really is a beautiful place.
We had a bit of a loosener in the swimming pool that is situated in Fluminense’s other residential building about a ten minute walk from where we are based along with a number of their academy players.
A little afternoon nap and then lunch was followed by an afternoon training session where we had a kickabout with some local boys through a local children’s charity that engages young people that live in the favelas.
Training was fairly light with it being designed to get the long journey out of our system, but Tis threw in a little running at the end as a reminder that we are still in pre-season after all!
Dinner was very nice and not too long after I was crashed out in bed along with my roommate Matty Oakley, trying to recover from the dreaded jet lag!
All in all, it has been a decent first couple of days.