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Rio Paralympics Day Two: The reality of Rio

 Katie Umback and Marquis - Photo Rozzie Ryan

Katie Umback and Marquis.

© Rozzie Ryan


By Rozzie Ryan

The Aussie contingent is growing with the arrival of Lone and Family Booth.

The horses are feeling more at home and seem pretty settled. The weather is very warm and humid, but thankfully the stables are well ventilated and spacious.The grooms and Dennis are staying close by to keep an eye on them.

The riders, Julia, Sally, Vic, and Raelene are in the village and everyone else is staying at various places in Barra and then to travel to Deodoro each day.


Sam, Shaz, Emma and Maddie, the all singing all dancing grooms - Photo Rozzie Ryan

Sam, Shaz, Emma and Maddie, the all singing and all dancing grooms!

© Rozzie Ryan

I'm staying in an apartment near the tennis stadium with Sharon's mum, Joy. It is owned by a couple who have rented it out through Air BnB for the games. They have been extremely kind and hospitable.

Everyone we've met so far has been very  friendly and helpful despite our lack of Portuguese and their lack of English. The first day it took us over two hours to get to the horses trying to work out the route. We have nearly halved that now. About a kilometre walk to the bus station (brand new) a 20 minute bus ride and then another 25 minute walk. The bus takes us through some interesting scenery, all with the back drop of the soaring, weirdly shaped and spectacular mountains.


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There are many new apartment blocks but we also pass through some 'favellas'. From a distance they have their own beauty with a jumble of red tiled roofs and vibrant colours; bright pink, mauve, yellow, lime green and blue all crammed together. Close up they seem half finished and crumbling. Some falling down and a mish-mash of wires, with satellite dishes  everywhere - even perched on seemingly uninhabitable half ruins and rubble everywhere, even on the roofs.

Any waterways and drains are blocked and filthy. The overwhelming image I have is of a small lonely brown pony tied to a bath tub in a dusty yard. I can only imagine that for many, life here is a desperate struggle and no wonder they want to take pot shots at the rich bastards behind the razor wire in the horse park.


Mike dedicated to making a cup of tea - Photo Rozzie Ryan

Mike dedicated to making a cup of tea.

© Rozzie Ryan


Lisa and Firegirl - Photo Rozzie Ryan

Lisa and Firegirl.

© Rozzie Ryan


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