The Semi-Finals

The day after Germany put France to the sword, I enjoyed some down time away from the touchline. Logistically, I was unable to reach a second Quarter Final, so was left to enjoy proceedings from the far more relaxed environment of Barra de Tijuca. The day started on a positive note when I was informed…

The Quarter-Finals

A 7am cab was the order of the day as we began our journey to the Maracana in Rio for the first of the Quarter Finals, between France and Germany. Our party was now 6-strong, so a couple of cars were required. Finding one with enough boot space to cater for our equipment continued to…

The Last 16

As the last round of games are played out in the Group stages, the 2nd Round fixtures begin to become apparent. You can try your best to predict these at the start of the tournament, but sport is sport, often surprising and almost entirely unpredictable. We guessed Brazil would top Group A, but had no…

France vs. Ecuador

We were bound to come unstuck at some point on our travels. Everything had gone remarkably smoothly so far, but we knew that, with every journey we booked, and every game that needed covering, the chances of something going wrong were only increasing. That moment came on our way back from Belo Horizonte. The road…

England’s Farewell

We arrived in Belo Horizonte just after 6am, after an eight-hour journey on the luxury Leito bus. It was our first trip between the two cities, so when we originally booked it, we decided a proper night’s sleep was in order; a journey without the interruptions and occasional discomfort associated with a conventional bus. The…

On The Road Again

With Belgium’s star line-up on show, this game was a gimme. Being played in our base city, in a great stadium to work in, everything made sense. Our morning started with a struggle to find a taxi near Joe’s. It was a Sunday…Brazilians don’t like to over-exert themselves at the best of times, so it…

Belo Horizonte

Moans and groans echoed around the inside of the bus as the driver switched the internal lights on at 8am, shortly before pulling into the main rodoviaria bus station in Belo Horizonte some eight hours after our departure from Sao Paulo. We had a hotel booked for the night, and were keen to freshen up…

England: The Same Old Story

We arrived at the now-familiar surroundings of Sao Paulo’s Tiete bus station once again not long after 6am. Initial thoughts: it was cold. Even by UK standards, it was fairly chilly. My shorts/ t-shirt combo may have met it’s match. Due to a lack of space in my rucksack, I’d decided to gamble and travel…

The Return To Rio

We landed back in Rio at around 11am, this time at the domestic Santos Dumont Airport. The approach into SDU is incredible. Whichever route the pilot takes, and whichever side of the plane you’re sat on, the views are incredible. The airport is located much closer to the city, so Corcovado, Sugar Loaf Mountain, the…

Manaus

We arrived at the Sleep Inn, a hotel south of the airport, at about 4am. Manaus are an additional hour behind Rio, making it 5 hours behind the UK. Just a little extra thing to toy with our body clocks. The 4 hour flight was uncomfortable, but I still managed to sleep for most of…

Sao Paulo: The Opening Game

Our first experience of Brazil’s night buses took us from Rio to Sao Paulo as we journeyed away from the sunny shores of Zona Sul and into the concrete jungle of South America’s largest city for the opening game of the tournament. We caught the 00:05, a comfortable service with well-cushioned, reclining seats and air…

Our First Few Days In Rio

After settling in to our familiar accommodation in Barra, on the western side of Rio, Chris (Brunskill), Ben (Queenborough) and I decided to head out for a few drinks nearby with our host, Joe. Joe’s part of the Jennings Bookmakers family and a former school mate of mine from Framlingham, in Suffolk. He’s not shy of a…