10.11.2009 - 14.11.2009 35 °C
Still cannot believe that we are now on our travels, thousands of miles from home!....hopefully it will start to sink in soon. So Rio began in an interesting way, starting with not being able to leave the airport or go through passprort control due to not only Rio but around 4 other states in Brazil having COMPLETE blackouts!!!!!!!!! Anyway, managed eventually to leave the airport on a very scary taxi ride up to Santa Teresa (a town in the hills) to then find that we couldn't get in our hostel because the bell was off because of the power cut!....finally managed to get in and into our room aided by candle light. Woke up with the first view from our balcony of the whole of Rio.....Christ Redeemer, and Sugar Loaf Mountain etc! Breathtaking doesn't even come close!!!! Saw a Tucan (the highlight to our first breakfast) and then went and explored the local area and got a bus down to Central. Crazy busy, mad traffic. Found a cool place for lunch where they weighed your food and u pay per 100g...really reallly good! Made our way to the beaches (really odd coming out of manic city to quiet, white sandy beach) then managed to get EXTREMELY lost on our way back to the hostel! Got stuck on the metro in rush hour, in a woman only cart so crampt that we couldnt get off at the stop we wanted then only managed to get off at the next one because we had all the lovely brazilian ladies pushing us in the direction of the doors!!!!!! Anyway, then it started raining, then we couldnt find our bus stop...this went on for about an hour, then managed to find our way to the Bondie stop (the oldest tram line EVER!) then got a scary journey through the hills back to the hostel!
The second day was more successful with transport and so we made our way to the botanical gardens....beautiful! Had a lovely time wondering through the grounds and saw some monkeys, then headed down to Ipanema beach for some Caprianhias whilst we watched the sun go down over the Two Brothers (two big hills!) Then managed to come back to yet another power cut! Candle light supper!
Third day was spent sunning ourselves on a little local beach at the base of Sugar Loaf Mountain, before heading up via some monkeys to the top just before it covered in cloud. Cable cars and little to no railings around the edge didn't do anything for Gemmas fear of heights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stayed up there to watch the sun go down and see the whole of Rio by night...once again, words can't describe how beautiful it is, but the pictures will!
Today was our first properly clear day, so we decided to go up Bob AKA The Christ Redeemer (renamed by us!) Amazing! Biggestest butterflies we've ever seen let alone the biggest Jesus!!!!
So now we move on to Ilha Grande for a week in the morning, looking forward to some peace and tranquility.....thinking the phrase books gona come in VERY useful to get us there! Its already been a life saver.
Photos will be coming shortly, once Gemma has found the patience to do it :-)
Love you all lots and missing you already,
Chez and Gem (Francesca and Gemma)