Thursday 24th July 2014Last morning in Juiz de Fora before the return to Rio and the Academy accommodation so everyone has had at least two boiling hot showers to try to make it through the next few days!
With the kit being used for matches and training, keeping up with the washing has been fun. We don’t have the Academy service in Juiz so a local Laundromat has taken the strain! The main issue for me is that my bag has been used as a kitbag so I have to trawl the market just after breakfast to buy a new bag for my own belongings. Luckily, the prices here in Juiz are very favourable and only £12 comes out of the budget. Not Tis-style but more than adequate for me!
On the bus to the University for a post-matchday training session, Taggy’s spelling issues crop up again. He’s been calling Laranjeiras ‘Laran-jenas’ (like Jermaine Jenas) all tour, like some colonial lord deciding that towns and cities should now be called something entirely different.
Now, for the umpteenth time, he asks how Juiz is spellt. ‘Is it J-U-E-S’ he asks me. My reply is along the lines that the spelling is still the same as the last time he asked me a couple of hours earlier! Clearly I risk the potential issue of receiving a P45. However, fortunately I doubt if he can spell it so I should be on safe ground.
The boys take a dip in the pool in Juiz de Fora
I don’t know if you remember yesterday’s notes when Tis felt forced to take an early morning dip in a freezing pool because Dan, Dan the Cameraman (with us to record footage for DVDs and documentaries) had spotted him and waved. Well, it transpires that it wasn’t Dan. He was in his room. So it seems as if Tis has felt peer-pressure from an absolute stranger. Oh well, could have been worse. It could have happened to me!
The players’ session was in the magnificent pool at the University so a pleasant change for their bodies after the game the night before. Towards the end there were a few heads barely above water. Swimming isn’t their game.
Arron Davies keeps himself afloat
After lunch we headed off on the journey home, well finally after gathering players, staff and cameramen from different parts of the city. We swung off down the motorway with the now familiar aroma of urine spilling out of the toilet, aided by the air-con system blasting out freezing cold air at the front and boiling hot air at the back of the coach. If we thought that was it for coach issues then we were wrong. The latest in the catalogue came as we headed down the hills on the motorway out of the mountains. Carrying a bit of weight (add your own fun comments here) the driver was pretty constantly on the brakes. They overheated and we spent more time waiting on a motorway hard shoulder for them to cool down.
Matt Jay reclines in the pool
The view of the surrounding forest clad hills and valleys was actually pretty good and I found myself still pinching myself to check we were really in Brazil and in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth! Which reminds me, I haven’t checked the basins or toilet to see which way the water circulates. It should be different to back home. Little things like this amuse me. It was one of the first things I did on arrival in Australia.
Finally back at the Academy now. Thanks to the brakes, a two-hour journey took four-and-a-half hours as we ran into the heavy rush-hour traffic we would have otherwise avoided. No change of luck there but we’re just getting used to it!
Match day at Rio Cricket Club tomorrow. Fancy Matt Jay to take a couple of early wickets!