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My experience of Brazil 2014 has been both exhilarating and very challenging logistically. The VU group has been in Rio now for few days. Blue sky, caipirinha has been aplenty. The newly refurbished Othon Palace on Copacabana exceeded expectations – it’s quite energising waking up to sunshine and glorious sea view.

The Fan village on Copacabana was a sea of yellow during the opening game where Brazil thrashed Croatia 3 – 1. The atmosphere on the beach was amazing and scantily clad local beauties added to the excitement!

The logistics issues started with our first day trip to England’s opening game in Manaus. Our ground agent is the Official Match Connections and 48 hours before I was emailed our eTickets. On reading the eTickets discovered our flights had been changed from 0720 to 1215 and 1235 – yes we had been split into two separate groups. Furthermore, our return flight had also been changed and I’ll be notified later re timings.

Game day was a series of challenges at every juncture, courtesy of our official groung agents Match Connections; transfer to the airport not turning up so had sort taxis for all; last minute flight changes, we were split untie groups for flight to Manaus; one less room booked at the Manaus hotel than required with wrong names sharing, woeful hospitality at the stadium comprising stale mini sandwiches and mini burgers with no sauces; incorrect flight number and departure time giving for the return charter flight back to Rio – I had to earn my crust as tour host! Luckily I am follicly

challenged otherwise I would have lost hair! 

All the above apart, it was a fantastic stadium, great atmosphere and unluckily England showed promise but just couldn’t chances their chances into goals.

Glad to be back in Rio and a few days R&R on Copacabana beach before the must win Uruguay game – a stroll along Copacabana relieves all built up stress, life again, is worth living!