Articles tagged with "football"

Alto del Naranjo

Alto del Naranjo

With three friends, I set out for a weekend climb. Our plan was to climb Provincia, and stay in the hut at the top. But we left a bit later than planned, and it took us a long time to get to the start of the climb. We waited ages for a bus to Plaza San Enrique, then decided to get a taxi instead, and then got another taxi from there to Puente Ñilhue.

It was the middle of winter but it was a hot day and the early part of the hike was tiring, climbing very steeply. After three hours we reached Alto del Naranjo, and it was already after 4pm. There was snow on the ground here and nice views of the cordillera. El Plomo was about as thickly covered in snow as it had been after the storm in February.

With about three hours still to go to reach the summit, we’d be arriving in the dark if we carried on. We had a brief argument with some wanting to continue and others wanting to go down, and eventually we went for the descent. We were near a fork in the path with one way continuing to the summit and the other descending to San Carlos de Apoquindo, and we took the path to San Carlos. We got to the bottom in darkness.

It was the world cup semi-final. I’d been to Brazil and seen two games live, and watched almost every other game on TV. But tonight, I’d missed Germany v. Brazil, and once we were on a bus back into town, I looked up the result. I thought there was some crazy error on the BBC when I read 7-1 for the score. Turned out that the one significant game of the cup that I’d missed was just about the most extraordinary game in world cup history.


Germany v. Portugal

Germany v. Portugal

I stayed a night in Morro de São Paulo and then headed back to Salvador for my second game. I was bracing myself for a renewed attempt to survive the chunderfest of the fast boat, but then it turned out I’d bought a ticket for the alternative route, by boat to the nearby mainland, road to Bom Despacho and then a slow large boat across the bay to Salvador from there. I didn’t mind, it was nice not to have to retrace my path and go a different way, but the annoying thing was that this was a much longer journey. By the time I got to Salvador, I only had half an hour to get to the stadium. Luckily it wasn’t far from the ferry terminal, and I got into the stadium with seconds to spare.

The atmosphere was electric in the Estadio Fonte Nova. Germany v. Portugal sounded like it would be a great game, and 50,000 people in a covered stadium make a huge amount of noise. It was something incredible to be a part of. But Germany quickly ruined it by being vastly better than Portugal. By half time they were 3-0 up and Portugal were down to ten men as well. So the atmosphere in the second half was very different, with a few grief-stricken Portuguese leaving and the ones who stayed not making a whole lot of noise. By the end, all the Germans were quite disgustingly happy with the 4-0 scoreline. It’s difficult to support Germany, as an English fan, but then it’s also difficult to support Portugal. Really I’d been hoping they’d both lose, so I was half-happy.


Mexico v. Cameroon

Mexico v. Cameroon

There’s not much transport between São Miguel do Gostoso and Natal. I was going to get the only bus of the day at 6am, but then luckily I met a friendly local who was also going to the game and was driving. He kindly offered me a lift, and we left at a civilized 9.30am and headed south.

It had been beautiful and hot and sunny for the last two days, but today it was grey and overcast, and soon it started raining. It got heavier and heavier, and by the time we reached Natal it was torrential. The streets were flooding and the traffic was heavy. But we were in plenty of time to make it to the game. It was Mexico v. Cameroon, the second game of the tournament, and I was incredibly excited to be going to a world cup game. Outside the stadium, I joined the crowds heading in, our spirits high despite the miserable weather. The other fans were mostly Mexican and Brazilian, with a smaller number of Cameroonians.

The brand new stadium didn’t have a roof. This was a pity. But, I was at a world cup game and I was happy. The game was a good one, and even though Mexico only won by a single goal, they had two disallowed and Cameroon had one ruled out, so I felt like I’d seen plenty of goals. By half time, though, my part of the stadium was getting pretty empty as people left for shelter. By the end I was soaked to the skin, but happy to have stayed until the final whistle.