Friday, September 14, 2012

Rio - Final edition of Brasil!

We are backtracking a bit now, but we can't go past mentioning the amazing time we had in Rio! After arriving at our awesome accomodation at Pousada Favela Cantagalo (in a safe zone of favela right between Ipanema and Copacobana), we nailed some great burgers at a local cafe and waited for the arrival of my parents!

They traveled around 20 hours from Aus, via Chile to meet us in Rio and boy was I happy to see them!
Together we spent the next 5 days exploring Rio, relaxing on the beach and generally sucking up Brazilian culture.

Beaches - because it was "winter" the beaches were relatively chilled and not as crowded as the crazy summer postcard shots that I was expecting (in reality it was still packed), so we spent each morning hanging, people watching, swimming and relaxing on the beach. Ipanema seemed to be a little nicer and vibier, so we tended to chill there.

Football - We booked a tour to go and see Vasco Da Gama vs Botafogo, which was wicked! The company was called 'Viator' and we would recommend it highly. We rarely do tours, but felt it would be safer to do so in Brasil. They picked us up (along with about 20 other tourists) and took us to the stadium, whilst giving plenty of stats and info about the game and the players etc. The game was actually pretty bland, apart from the appearance of Dutch legend Clarence Seedorf, who dominted the game with European style passing and flair. Most of the Brasilian players just booted the ball up the field, sprinted like maniacs and then fell over all the time. So, we decided to liven things up a little by imagining what it would be like to sit in a pulsating crazy Brasilian football game (note the "excited" faces in the background!)

The Big Jesus - After getting some advice from some young backpackers, we fanged it up to 'The Big Jesus' (as we liked to call it) at 10am in the morning to beat a LOT of the crowds! It was a great tip.
Instead of waiting for a train, we took a dodgy taxi up to the top and got short lines and great views. Mum was particularly stoked as this was a 'bucket list' item for her.
After our minds had been well and truly blown by the stunning views and a couple of hugs, it was time to head back to the beach!

Sugarloaf Mountain - Again, a cheeky backpacker conversation helped us to time our run up to the top of Sugarloaf perfectly. We were told to aim for sunset (5:15pm in Winter) for the most breathtaking views and not only did we get the time spot on, but also we chose the perfect day. I think for all four of was one of the most spectacular sunsets we had ever seen! We were mesmerised and stayed up there snapping photos for a good hour or two. Wow!

Overall, Rio was an amazing end to our Brasilian adventure. It was safer, cleaner and more modern than we all expected and we could really see the booming economy seeping through all aspects of life in Rio. It is a place we think we could easily live! After all, who wouldn't want summer all year round :) The people were friendly, the transport was smooth and the vibe was great!

A cool city that all should check out when in South America. For us, it is just a short flight north...and that is one thing we love about Life in Argentina. :)