Jim Walsh, Our Travel Co-ordinator has filed this report from Brazil to keep us up to date with the first four days of his World Cup adventure.
Day one was spent in Lisbon where a mix of English and Swiss fans on route to Brazil shared the hotel bar with the locals to watch the opening game. The English and Swiss all cheering on Croatia, the locals cheering on the hosts.
Day two was a long day travelling. First up was a near 10 hour flight from Lisbon to Brasilia where we had six hours before catching an internal 3 hour flight to Manaus. Brasilia was our first real taste of the World Cup with fans from many countries in transit to various destinations around Brazil – and the Budweiser zone where we caught Australia v Chile. Always nice to watch the Aussies getting beat!
After nearly 24 hours travelling we hit our hotel in Manaus – right on the banks of the Amazon.
Day 3. At breakfast we meet up with other England fans. Some are old hands from previous England trips – Millwall Kev and Micky T-shirts. Others are making their debut, including Steve, a Leyton Orient fan.
Having endured the flight to Rio last year next to a really smug Donny fan I avoided any temptation to rub it in.
We head to the game hopeful that England’s bright young things can start with a bang. We get in the ground early and get the flag up in prime position. Pantomime villain Sepp Blatter plays another wild card and the stewards tell us the flags have to be moved as they are covering FIFA’s emblem which looked a pile of pony anyway!!
The locals are all cheering for Italy – and booing England!! England play pretty well and the England section goes absolutely mental with our equaliser. We are all disappointed that we haven’t at least drawn the game.
So, here we are. At breakfast in the hotel we see Chrissy Kamara and have a quick chat about THAT midfield in 1985 with Hurlock, Bowles and Kamara. Apparently the parents of Lalana and Shaw are also here. We’ve just done a trip up the amazon. Fantastic!! Two more days here then we’re off again and a flight to São Paulo for game 2 – Uruguay.