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Rendezvous in Rio

This is me and Jerry. Jerry is short for ´jeroboam of India Pale Ale´.

You can see a handle in the hand of the porter to the left. That´s a bag, and in the bag is Kev. Kev is short for ´Keg of India Pale Ale´.

These are the brethren of dear departed Barry, and while they missed the canal trip from Burton, the cruise to Tenerfie and the Atlantic Crossing on Europa, they´ll be joining me on the next stage of the journey – 12,000 miles across the Atlantic, round the Cape of Good Hope, through the Indian Ocean to Mumbai.

This is thanks to Jeff Pickthall – beer writer, beer drinker, and now beer smuggler – who brought them to Rio for me in his luggage when all attempts to get them in through normal channels failed. After travelling from Newcastle, via Burton, Heathrow and Sao Paolo to Rio, Jeff arrived at the hotel FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER the man who came to pick me up to board me on to the container ship – the container ship that left three days ahead of schedule. It was skin of the teeth stuff – the stuff of legend.

While Jeff had a well-deserved few days beer drinking in Rio, me and the boys cruised down the Brazilian coast. I´ve´been getting soaked in Paranagua, blowing up balloons with whores in the sailor´s paradise in Santos, and finally we´re as far south as you can go in Brazil – Rio Grande, a deserted Wild West town where thankfully there´s an internet cafe.

This will be my last contact with the outside world till we´re off the coast of Oman in about 16 days time. In the meantime, I´ve got a book to write.

The theme of the book?

Taking a 30kg keg of beer on an 18,000 mile sea route that no longer exists is not as easy as it sounds…




Jeff P

It was quite an adventure – thanks Pete.

The flight into Sao Paulo was uneventful – apart from the landing. We touched the tarmac: seconds later we were peeling our faces out the nooks and crannies of the seats in front. The lack of alarm by the cabin crew suggested the abrupt braking was normal (then again, they have to practice looking calm).

Only after coming to a standstill did my neighbour offer an explanation – “I thought they might be a bit cautious – two hundred people were killed in a runway overrun a few months ago. I thought I’d better not mention it”.


Three days later waiting for the return flight I went to answer a call of nature. Whilst mid-flow I become aware of a character joining me (obeying urinal etiquette, three across) in micturition. I shook the drips off, zipped and turned – it was The Grim Reaper!

I’m not really susceptible to superstition and biblical myth-imagery, even so, my heart skipped a beat.

Lesson – don’t fly in or out of Sao Paulo on Halloween if you’re a nervous flyer. Or possibly, any other time.


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