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Stadium number 7

Posted by on 22/03/2014

After Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Sao Paulo, Rio De Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia, this week I visited #Brasil2014 stadium number 7 in Cuiabá.

The Arena Pantanal is another one that’s been in the news because of delays, and I can tell you that they still have plenty of work to do! I was shown around by Walter from the communications team of the local Secopa organising committee, and of course he was keen to talk positively about the construction project, so apparently the “only problem” they have is installing all the seats because of late delivery by the manufacturer in Curitiba. Well I think that’s a big understatement since as far as I could see nothing inside the stadium is finished, and they’re due to hold the first test event (a Brasil Cup match) here on 2nd April – good luck with that!

And I’m afraid there’s big issues with the city’s infrastructure too; many of the key access roads are dug up and seem far from completion, as is the light railway that’s meant to link the airport to the city centre. And don’t get me started on the lack of food and drink outlets around the main squares (near to my hostel), basically ok-ish for lunch but everything closes at 5pm, even on a Saturday!

Sorry but I’m glad England aren’t playing here. Enjoy your visit Aussies!

Stadium access road!

Stadium access road (yes, that’s my finger at the top, was blocking the bright sunlight, which didn’t last long)

Storm blowing in

Storm blowing in

Stadium (right) and gymnasium (left)

Stadium (right) and gymnasium (left)

Inside - will be a nice stadium when finished

Inside – will be a nice stadium when finished

The England/Brazil shirt

The England/Brazil shirt + hard hat

There'll be landscaped banks in the corners between the stands

There’ll be landscaped banks in the corners between the stands (part of the sustainability theme)

I passed by again the next morning on my way to the airport

I passed by again the next morning on my way to the airport – much sunnier!

Main road (and Statue of Liberty

Main road-works (and Statue of Liberty!)

Airport entrance road-works

Airport entrance road-works

View from inside the terminal (decent facilities in there at least)

View from inside the terminal (decent facilities in there at least, even though it’s very small

I flew back to Brasilia yesterday, and today Luciano (my Couchsurfing host) took me and two of his mates kayaking for 30km down a local river, hard work but fantastic, photos to follow…

Unloading the kayaks

Unloading the kayaks

Ready to launch

Ready to launch

What a great way to travel!

What a great way to travel!

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