o Cristo Redentor - Corcovado
to those who are still wondering if i ever made it back safely from Rio... i did! nothing crazy happened there, and no muggings or kidnappings occured. we did however, have a splendid time there. at the end of the trip, many of us were saying "ah man, why do we have to go back to Curitiba
?!" but alas, we are back in "school mode" working on our field work and our massive paper due at the end of the semester.
Thursday - we boarded our flight for Rio at around 8am and arrived about 2 hours later. bus grabbed us and brought us to our nearly-beachfront hotel. if you walk out the doors, turn right, and walk 20 steps, you're on the sandy beaches of Copacabana.
palmyness, Copacobana, RDJ
the day was pretty chill, as we all suited up in our bathing suits, grabbed some inexpensive beautiful embroidered sarongs, and napped on the beach for a couple of hours. it was my first time in the Atlantic Ocean, and my, is it ever salty! the waves were fun too. i was pretty happy to just be there and just soak up the views. many of you will know that im not much of a beach bum... but there's something about Brazilian beaches i think that has captured me. the rain, however, eventually came which forced us to retreat to our hotel rooms....where my roomies and i napped while watching Gilmore Girls. we than ate dinner, and slept some more.
Friday - the morning lead us to the site of Corcovado, where many of you may have seen the "Big Jesus" statue that oversees the city of Rio.
As the largest Catholic country in the world, i found it very appropriate that we paid a visit to this site. unfortunately, it was SFU weather, and we were clouded over. i could barely make out the outline of Jesus in my photos, and well, the sites below of the city of Rio were non-existant. we essentially were in a giant cloud. still, it was nice to have been there. we made our way over to another view point called Pao de Acucar, or the Sugar Loaf. clouded yet again, only a handful of us made our way up the cable car...i was not one of them. instead, i stayed down below and ate churros from a vendor who filled them with doce de leite, or dulce de leche for you spanish speakers. it was... delicious. we also drank coconute juice on the shore of a smaller beach, more like a cove, that found.
a favela to the left of our hotel
for a moment, i thot i was back in BC because of the mountains!
Saturday - i went to Ipanema Beach
just a 10 minute walk away from Copacabana. gorgeous! i think the majority of us preferred Ipanema because it had a nicer view, and in my opinon was less crowded. spent the majority of the day there, and baked in the son, drank coconut juice and tasted an "acai" smoothie, a berry from the Amazon. high energy, but also high calories! we returned to the hotel, where i took the quickest shower of my life (not to mention having to get the sand out of my hair!) and made my way, along with 4 other guys, to Maracana - the world largest soccer stadium! the game was between Curitiba team Atletico, and Rio team Flamengos.
my prof's wife, Paty, and i sucking back some coconut juice
Flamengos won...but we still cheered for our team with other Atletico fans. the stadium wasn't at full capacity, but it was stiill impressive to see the size, and the fans cheering back and forth. we returned to the hotel to have dinner, and i decided to take a nap because we were going to a samba school later that evening around 11pm. partway thru my sleep, Hayley and Sarah knock on my door saying that there is a meeting in our prof's room just to run over the rules for the evening. you must hear me now...i was just sleeping, tired face, hair a little messy...we get up there, and "SURPRISE! PARABENS! FELIZ ANIVERSARIO!" it was a birthday party for me, complete with brazilian chocolate cake (bringadeiro), and presents (two cute acryllic paintings of capoeiristas, a Rebelde [my favourite mexican telenovela that i watched everyday when i was in Ecuador!] beach towel, and an interchangeable necklack and bracelet).
looks a little like BC, eh?
i felt loved i tell ya. ---SIDENOTE: my host mom also invited extended family over and Hayley invited our closer friends on the trip, Michael, Patrick and Gonzalo for a surprise party at our house the nite of our departure! more Brazilian chocolate cake, with other tasty treats, and gifts--- yah, i felt loved, and couldn't believe i was spending yet another birthday abroad. well, the nite had begun! we made our way to the samba school called Salgueira and danced he nite away. it was recommended by our prof! samba evolved as an art form from the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio. the school we went to taught this tradition, and also put on shows. we were there with hundreds of other locals. loads of percussion, really fast beats, and a ton of butts that i never knew could move that fast combined with a bunch of canadians bobbing around, drinking caipirinha, and soaking in the music.
Maracana - world's largest football stadium, RDJ
... good times. we left at 3am...and thanked our prof for a good recommendation.
Sunday - last day. more Ipanema. this time the Atlantic decided to bid me farewell. walking out of the ocean with my friend Kathy, the wave caught me JUST as i stepped on the shore and proceeded to pull me into the water again, a couple of meters. no problem. EXCEPT, as i try to get up a wave comes over my back and pushes me into the shore scraping my leg against the sand....and pulls me back in again, and throws me back on to the shore. this continues for about 7 times back and forth. all along, im laughing, weak unable to get up with all this water over me, and Kathy is standing there, pointing at me and laughing!! she eventually made her way over to grab me, where we returned to the others to tell them of how the ocean got me! flight home went well, and we're now back in Curitiba.
churros! being rolled in a sugar/cinnamon mix, then pumped with doce de leite (cooked condensed milk -- very popular in Latin America)
good news! i've extended my trip (surprise, surprise??) to return on Dec. 18th, instead of the 2nd! im hoping to travel up to the North Eastern part of Brazil, where the Afro-Brazilian culture is more apparent, and where the old capital, Salvador, is.
thanks to all who sent me love and wishes on my day...i felt loved...very loved. hope i haven't missed anything. heard that it's raining mad in Vancouver, and flooding in Chilliwack? if it makes you feel any better...the weather in Curitiba is very unpredictable. this morning, i walked out with a jacket, and had a warm tea at the break....by lunch, it was a tank top, and shorts at home!