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Big Small Journey Off on the adventure of my lifetime: 5 glorious months of sun and snow in South America, then the UK for further fun and frolicking.

Rio - the touristy stuff

BRAZIL | Monday, 18 February 2008 | Views [681]

The last few days has been a jumble of events, not sure if I can recount them chronologically, but here it goes.

Day 1. Tuesday: Arrived Rio midday, had trouble getting to the hostel in Botafogo because they were meant to pick kme up at the bus terminal, but of course they weren't there. Good thing in the end because they were going to charge me 60 reais for it (about $50). That evening I sick with food poisoning or something, and was eaten by mosquitos. I would count it as a bad hostel experience.

Day 2, Wednesday: Climbed half of the Sugarloaf (the first mound), then cable-car'ed up to the top. Nice view but nothing extrodinary. But I was happy to see that Rio has lots of tree covered mountains, buildings squatting in between them, and there are long stretches of beaches to the South East; Flamengo, Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema, and more......(forget their names). Went to bed early coz was still feeling a bit tender in the tummy. However, did have an x-tudo burger for 2 reais. Basically its a hamburger with EVERYTHING, e.g.: crunchy corn, crunchy peas, mayo, tomato sauce, chips (yes, packet chips!), onions, bacon and more.

Day 3, Thursday: Moved to new hostel, Stone of a Beach in Copacabana. Quite nice place, about 3 blocks from the beach. Went to Ipanema to do some shopping, bought a Brazilian style bikini (won't show photos, its naughty). Went to Ipanema Beach in the afternoon, then walked back to Copacabana, had Churrasco dinner, then drinks on the roof of the hostel, then went to bed reasonably early. Slept very badly, as one tends to in a room of 14 with people coming in and out at all hours.

Day 4, Friday: Moved into an apartment in Copacabana with a few new friends; Stine, Thom & Mita. Went to Central - the city centre - with Mita. We walked around for 5 hours looking at buildings and churches. The New Catheral is a monstrous pimple in the land, but inside, with four 60metre high stain glass windows, it was amazing. Also saw the Arches of Lapa, very graffitied. Then went to the Steps of Lapa, where Senrac, the artist has been decorating it with tiles for 18 years. Had a photo taken with him, and plan to send him a nice tile from Australia. We went back to the apartment, drank a bit, then went back to Lapa (its a poorer district but party central, lots of samba clubs, people milling around in the streets, vendor food and drinks). Hung around in the streets till very late, then came home and slept.

Day 5, Saturday: Got up early to do a favela tour. Rio has the poor people living right next to the rich. The people in the favela I visited (Riconha, something like that) weren't that bad off, the houses were small, cramped together, badly built, and surround by rubbish. The 'roads' were very narrow, because houses are always being built on top of each other, and creeping into any space thats available. Some houses have running water, but most don't. The water company turns on water at public taps every half hour and people can go and get buckets of it if they want. For electricity, they just wire themselves up to the pole so the pole looks like theres millions of tiny branches growing out of it. Went to Ipanema Beach again in the avo, lazed around, ate lots of food on a stick (cheese, pastry, prawns).

Day 6, Sunday: Visited Christ the Redeemer in the morning, very unimpressed by it. Overrun with tourists. The monument itself is huge, but the effect was lost in the crowd. Then, went to a soccer match at the famouse Maracana stadium, Flamengos vs. Visco. Flamengo won 2 to 1. Met some people at the stadium, including a girl who's doing almost the exact same as me (from sydey, same age, work a couple of years, travel a bit, then UK to work and travel). Later on there's a big street party and concert in Copacabana beach, see if I'm alive enough to go to that.

Tags: Adventures


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