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The final few days in Rio de Janeiro

BRAZIL | Friday, 15 February 2013 | Views [235]

The last couple of days in Rio have been hot!! Average temperature 35 degrees C, so I've been hiding in the shade to avoid melting into a puddle altogether. On which thought, I headed to the Botanic Gardens in Leblon on Wednesday to enjoy the shade and relative quietness. The Orchidarium and Bromeliad House were stunning, but the Rose Garden was definitely in need of help. Afterwards, I walked down to Leblon beach (via a snack place for Guarana and a pastel (pastry) with chicken and catupiri cheese) and along to Ipanema beach until it got too hot for my sanity and I found somewhere cool to consume half a litre of Açai. This on reflection was infact about 200ml more than I needed, but was definitely worth it to cool down! Full of energy I walked onto Copacobana beach, then admitting defeat from the sun, caught the bus back to the hostel. Dinner was at a kilogramm restaurant down the road - I still don't understand why this idea hasn't migrated to the UK yet - better than an all you can eat buffet especially if you don't eat loads!! Yesterday I went into Rio city centre to walk around and see the sights. I started off heading ro the Real Gabinete da Portugues Leitura (18th century library), and on the way saw the Teatro Municipal and walked through a market near the Uruguaya metro station. The library from the outside was fairly plain, but the inside took my breath away- 3 levels of books, beautiful wooden bookcases and stairs and a rixhly decorated ceiling. I was there for about 10 minutes just staring at it. Having recovered my sensea, I walked on to the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. There they had an exhibition of the moving image and cartoons from the beginning of the 20th century, featuring excerpts of movies. Moving down towards the government building, I had lunch at the best kilogramm place in Rio. It was packed with locals having lunch, I didn't hear one foreign voice in the whole place, the choice was extensive and the price definitely the best. After I rolled myself out, I walked down to the Confeitura Colombo for coffee and a teensy tiny fruit tart in the oldest cafe in Rio. This was packed, but this time I didn't hear a single native voice except for the staff!! I finished up my travels at the National History Museum and walkes back to the hostel.once it got a bit cooler, I went out for Gnocchi (or Knoque as its known here) and Mango juice in a cafe, people watching and enjoying my last night of travelling. Today I made my way up to the Fine Art Museum, which although it was in an impressive building, did not contain a particularly impressive collection. Lunch was a giant plate of salad and fruit with lime juice in an effort to stave off the oncoming cold caused by slightly overdoing it at Carnaval and sleeping im a bed next to the A/C unit!! After a long nap and a shower, I went out to get two of my favourite Brazilian foods for the last time in Brazil - pao de quiejo (little cheese rolls made with manioc flour) and Açai (this time combined with strawberries) and watched the people go by on the street. And so ends my South American travels.....

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