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Ruh-ruh-ruh-rioooooo

BRAZIL | Monday, 10 December 2007 | Views [625]

Yes, that's right, we're in THE Rio de Janeiro, probably one of the most hyped cities in the world. And from what we've seen of it so far, it lives up to its hype. But as usual, I have to do a bit of recapping before I go on about this place.

So... last I left off, we were just about to leave Córdoba in Argentina. We were hosted by Sofia for two nights, and had a lovely time lounging around at her and her family's house. The first thing Sofia did when we got there was to take us to the swimming pool in her south European-style garden and after a bit of swimming, sunning and petting her dog's 2 week old puppies, we were treated to a chicken barbecue with her family. That night, we went to Sofia's friend's birthday party on the edge of the city where all the fancy clubs are and did some fun and sweaty dancing. The next day we repeated the pool thing, while listening to excellent music and drinking maté on the grass. What a fat life it is we lead.

We moved on from Córdoba... ok, I've lost track of the days, but I think it was on Sunday or Monday. We went on another one of those 21-hour bus rides, this time to Iguazú. We stayed at Peter Pan hostel, which provided us with the 3rd swimming pool in a very short time, and also a lot of friendly Israelis (after a rather conspicuous absence in Chile and most of Argentina, they were back!). We obviously also went to see the Iguazú falls, which were immense, and surruonded by really lush, tropical vegetation. The climate really changed, to one which was much more humid and warm in a different way; even though it was raining the whole day we went to see the falls, we didn't freeze to death.

After two nights there we crossed the Brasilian border to Foz do Iguaçu and entered the land of Portugueseness! Needless to say, it made things a little difficult for us in terms of communication. We made it to the big bus terminal, however, and finally bought tickets to go to Rio. Unfortunately, the tickets weren't cheaper than from the Argentinian side and we paid lots of money in this stupidly expensive country for 25-hour bus ride this time.

In due time, we arrived in Rio, and luckily managed to contact a couchsurfer who could take us in. Unfortunately, it turned out that he had invited us to stay at his friend's place. Luckily, his friend was really cool about it and let us stay there for one night even though he lived there with his wife and a friend was visiting them.

The next day we met our couchsurfer, Humberto, whose English isn't the best, which results in our communication being a little difficult. He hung out with us for a few hours that day though and told us about Rio and what we can do here. We also moved to a hostel smack in the middle of the center and went up the famous Sugar Loaf and looked out over all of Rio; pretty damn cool. That night, our neighbourhood, which had seemed rather sedate during the day, became packed with people and stalls and bars and clubs opened up all over the place. We made the most of it by drinking caipirinhas on the hostel balcony and watching the mess of people walking by, and then going out to a club.

The result of last night's going out was that we got up pretty late today, but again we made the most of the situation and hung out on Ipanema beach the whole afternoon. It was really crowded, but perfect for people-watching and the big waves were fun to tumble around in. Now and then we would look around from one end of the beach to the other, with lushly vegetated mountains on one side, lots of 70s apartment buildings in the middle and then more mountains on the other side, and between all this a white beach full of beautiful people - and this is when we realized that we're in Rio de Janeiro!

Tags: Beaches & sunshine

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