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Me, Martin & Mirandinha

Posted by on 15/05/2014

Fortaleza’s Arena Castelao: tick! That’s 11 stadiums done, only 1 to go!!!

And after my last stadium visit included my parents, this time I was also accompanied by two other notable individuals – my brother Martin (who, in case you missed it, will be cycling the final 1,000 miles with me to Belem), and also ex Fortaleza, Newcastle United and Brazil international footballer Mirandinha!

The latter now works at the stadium hosting guests, including an incredible 30,000 local school children who’ve visited in the last 3 years (that’s 1,000 per month)! He was a fantastic host to us; so friendly and keen to chat about the #SambaCycle, the stadium and his football career (including mentions of Gazza, Wimbledon and scoring the winning goal here in front of 110,000 – the old stadium – in 1991’s state championship final). He even stuck around afterwards and called his mate who drives a taxi to come and take us back to our hostel – top man.

I should also mention that we met the Ceara state Sports Secretary too, Ferruccio Feitosa, who’s a bit of a dude and at one point hopped on my bike and took it for a lap around the pitch, then grabbed my WFC football and beckoned me and Mirandinha onto the hallowed turf for a quick kick-around!

All-in-all a fantastic visit to a superb stadium that’s clearly already an important part of the city and its community – it was easily the busiest of the 11 so far in terms of people milling around everywhere enjoying this excellent facility.

Fingers crossed that England make it to the World Cup quarter finals for a possible match here versus Brazil!!!

On a cycle lane into the city yesterday

On a cycle path into the city yesterday

Leg over surveying the beach in torrential rain

Legover surveying the beach in torrential rain

After a 5 hour delay in Lisbon, Martin arrived at 1am last night

After a 5 hour delay in Lisbon, Martin arrived at 1am last night…

...but was up this morning to reassemble his bike

…but was up this morning to reassemble his bike (with an audience)

Today's schoolkid visitors to the stadium

Today’s schoolkid visitors to the stadium

Emerging from another tunnel

Emerging from another tunnel

Mirandinha with English press clippings from his time at Newcastle Utd

Mirandinha with English press clippings from his time at Newcastle Utd

The schoolkids wanted my autograph!?

The schoolkids wanted my autograph!?

"Today's attendance is... 1"

“Today’s attendance is… 1”

Superb stadium

Samba stadium #11

The man himself at his beloved Castelao

The man himself once more at his beloved Castelao

PS. Martin took lots of photos too on his proper camera, so we’ll have to come up with a way of sharing those in due course.

6 Responses to Me, Martin & Mirandinha

  1. Roger Smith

    That’s my boys! Sounds like a totally fantastic day.

  2. Iain

    That right there is your highlight surely! Kids asking for your autograph!! hahaha

  3. Petronilia

    Estou amando acompanhar o seu percurso no Brasil. Agora voce vai entrar numa parte especial do Brasil, onde vai encontrar muitas comidas e cultura bem caracteríscitca do Norte do Brasil. Quando chegar em Belém prove o suco de acaí e de cupuacu e também os doces dessas frutas, eu acho deliciosos!!
    Gosto muito do Norte do meu país, tudo que vem daquela regiäo tem um gosto, um cheiro e uma cor especial!!!
    Nao deixe de ir ao Mercado do Ver o Peso.
    I am loving your travel. Now you will see the Northern part of Brazil. There have special things like, fruits, food, pictures, nature..When you come in Belém I recommend that you test Acaí and Cupuacu juice it is delicious, I like very much. And go to ” Mercado Ver o Peso” that is fantastic. You can see many different things that come från amazonas!!

  4. Dominic

    Your route goes through the Lençois Maranheses right? I was there at the start of rainy season, but by now they should be full of water and absolutely gloriously beabutiful.

    • Smudger

      Yep we’re heading that way but only got time for a one day tour of the ‘bedsheets’, looking forward to it!

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