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Ben and Ange - On the Road

Rio de Janeiro

BRAZIL | Thursday, 6 November 2008 | Views [1279]

Welcome to Rio with open arms

Welcome to Rio with open arms

I must admit i was a little bit tentative as we arrived in Rio. Ange`s past stories of getting mugged as well as the OTHER stories you hear and then of course there was that lovely heart warming film ¨City of God¨. The city did have a bit of a reputation. It also has a reputation of being a beautiful party town, and THAT is the city we encountered.

It has to be one of the most beautiful settings for a city. Crystal white beaches, lush jungle along the hill sides and a scattering of the hugest granite boulders throughout the city. Add a vibrant night life and 6 million people and your in for a ride.

Our first step once we recovered from our 50 HOUR bus ride (Where they showed only 4 MOVIES!! NOT HAPPY!) was to vist J.C. himself. That`s right the BIG CHEESE! Perched on one of the forementioned granite boulders, about a thousand meters high over looking the city, He makes an impressive sight. To get there we caught a great little cog train that took us through some lush forrest to the top. At the top you are greeted to 360 degree views of Rio and treated to some cheesy church music blasted out of some speakers, but we we`re there on Sunday. The big guy himself is quite a sight especially close up although you can see him from just about anywhere in Rio. The first thing you do there of course is take lots of photos,,,,, that is of course if YOUR CAMERA WORKS!!! The camera had decided to play up, AGAIN!  Euuwwwggghhhh!! (Spoken in Napoleon Dynamite fashion! It`s a movie, watch it) After a few attempts of fixing ie: banging the crap out of it, it didn`t look like it was going to work. Giving up, the camera then fixed itself. HALEUAH! The big guy does miracles!

After taking a million and one photos we then hit the beach, Copacabana style. That`s right the very same one mentioned in that dodgy song that your going to have in your head for the rest of the day. (You can thank me later). We joined the crowd on the beach and lazed away in the sun occasionaly venturing in the VERY BIG surf for a wave or two and marvelling at the locals deliberately getting slamed by these waves for fun.

Our day wasn`t done yet as that night we ventured out Brazilian style for a football game. A local derby no less between Fluminese and Vasco De Gama. Both sides are fighting relegation and the fans were very hyped up. And we almost got in between two sets of very hyped up fans. Asking a local security guide where we could get our tickets we suddenly noticed a large group of people running toward us, or more should i say towards the other group of people behind us. All of a sudden other people start trying to get out of the way of the two groups (who weren`t about to trade good luck messages), a VERY LOUD fire cracker is set off and police charge in from nowhere, on horses, with SWORDS!!! Pandemonium breaks out! People going in all sorts of directions, me included. The police had it all in control within a couple of seconds, guess the guy on horseback swinging a sword had something to do with that. Ange found me (I handled it well people) and we then bought our tickets and entered the stadium. Just like that. Simple game of football in Brazil really. Finding our seats anywhere in the 60,000 seat stadium (was only 40,000 fans though). We sat right next another Aussie couple we met on the boat on the Amazon, THE ODDS! The rest of the game was down right normal. Vasco won (they wanted it more) and all that left to do with the night was drink caprinhas. GOOD LORD THEY ARE POTENT!! And Ben now forgets anything else that happened that night!?!?

The next day we have a bit of a slow start, don`t know why, and vist Sugar Loaf mountain. A huge granite boulder right at the entrance of the harbour. Some people climb the near verticle 400 meter rock face, Ange and I took the funicular (same adrenaline rush i`m sure). We enjoyed the sunset with a nice bottle of red and some cheese and farewelled the lovely city of Rio. Two days is nowhere enough time to really appreciate the city but the city certainly appreciated our wallets, tis a tad expensive.

So now it is time to bolt for Argentina and almost complete our loop. Just have those little things called the Iguazu Falls to catch on our way.

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