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Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog

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I was pretty tired as I had tried not to fall asleep.  Around 3:30 PM-- I went to bed though. 

Light was creeping into my room at 4:45 AM, when I finally woke up.  I was running late.  Quickly, I took a quick shower and changed my chothes and locked my dirty things away. 

By 5:00 AM, the taxi driver had come but I was not ready.  I quickly finished up and was ready by about 5:10 AM.  The guard did not know that the taxi was for me, since the name the taxi had was for Phillips.  I bungled my stuff into the taxi before going back to my room to make certain that I had not forgotten anything.  I had everything. 

The taxi then speed away to the airport.  As we were going, I felt a large saddness.  Salvador had been my home and no I was leaving her.  I did see people and buses on the way to the airport.  Can you catch the bus for the 6.55 AM flight?  I do not know.    Twenty minutes late we were at the airport--alot quicker by bus then when I had come.

I paid the taxi--60 reals and it was time to leave.
Getting in line for my ticket, I meet two people from Europe and we chatted for awhile about where we had gone and where we were going.  The line moved steady, and before 6 AM I was infront of the agent.  I thought that they would take a picture ID and copy of my passport--wrong.  I had to open up my suitcase since it was locked.  Checkin and the security point took only 5 minutes--I could only wish it went that effortlessly in the US.
I waited for about 20 minutes before they were calling my flight. 
I thought that the flight would be filled--but there were spare seats all over the place.  I forgot that alot of brazilians cannot afford to travel let alone fly.  Boarding went smoothly and before too long we were airborne and I was saying goodbye to Salvador. 
Flight service was OK--offered typical drinks.  The only thing missing no tv.  The airline people were very polite and could speak English which helped with my drink orders. 
The landing was alittle bumping--but soon I was back on the ground.  After getting my luggage is was off to find American Airlines.  I asked around and found out they were on the second floor.  When I got there--guess who was not there--American.  It looks like they are only there after 3:30 PM when their planes fly out.  Not much I could do--so time to leave.
At this point I descied to change my plans and go directly to the bus station.  I caught the REAL bus for approx 6 real and I was speeding towards downtown Rio.  It is one thing to read about the poor in Rio it is another to see it.  The poor housing brought it right to the front of my mind.  Then there was there was the stangant river--the smell--guess where it ends up---the ocean.  Brazilian though love to work and hustle.  There were people on the highway selling goods and water.  I just could not think of someone doing that in LA traffic.  It also made me think of my nepthrew and him not working.  He just needs to hustle a little.  It made me think maybe that he reallys on his mother too much.  :-(
Soon I was at the bus station.  I found information and found out where I could check in my lugguge.  Then it was off to find Pluma.  I found out that Pluma did not offer super executive service to the falls.  They were offering a specail of approx 150 reals to leave on the morning bus.  I thought about it--but descied against it--since I did not feel that I wanted to be rushed when I get to the falls.  I would rather relax--1 afternoon even though it might cost me an extra day.
Next to get to the beach.  I went outside to look for the REAL bus to take me to the beach.  Where was REAL?  I waited and waited and saw other buses going all over the place but no REAL bus.  Let me try and find the bus stop for 485.  I person showed me where he thought the bus stop was and I waited there.  Again--5 minutes, 10, 15, 20 minutes no bus.  Was I in the right place?  I descied to go back and wait for the REAL bus--time now noon.  Waiting about 20 minutes I thought about just taking a taxi.  Then man came up to me again and walked me over this time to the bus stop and pointed at me to wait here.  So I descided to wait.  I later found out the other bus came on the other side of the street but I did not know it when I first waited.  About 15 minutes later--the bus came and I jumped on it.  Was it the right bus going in the right direction?  The bus was pretty packed and there was me with a small suitecase and bookbag struggling with all these bags.  She really helped.  She told me to wait to the end of the line.  Twenty or so minutes later--when the bus ended since pointed 2 more blocks to Impanema.  So off I went.
Once I got to Impanema--I soon found the beach.  Yes a man´s dream--women in bikinis and not much more.  Everyone seem to be in their swimwear.  I followed the directions to the hotel and soon found Impanema Sol and made a right.  But how far right did I go--1 block two blocks?   I went a couple of blocks and did not find the street that I was looking for.  Maybe the street I was looking for was a small 1 way street?  I descided that I needed to go back to the Sol Impanema and start again.  After about another 15 minutes of walking and pulling my suitcase I found the Lighthouse. 
The Lighthouse owner was great and offered me some rolls and asked me did I want to go to the game--Brazil vs. Columbia.  I was too tired and declined.  It was though time for the beach.  She told me that I had missed the Gay Parade by a week.  I live in LA--and SF is pretty near--being in a Gay parade do not think so. 
Off to the beach I went--Post 9, Land of the Honey!!  I was loving life.  After checking out all of the bees it was time to look and see what else was around.  Things in Impanema seemed a little more expensive compared to Salvador.  I walked back to the Hostel just to make certain that I had my bearings before I ventured a little further.    My next stop was copacab beach.  Down the streets I went, I carefully noticing not to turn off the main street.  I went into some supermarkets, shops, and just checked things out.  Finally I was at the beach--touchdown.  Two beaches in 1 day--I was in heaven. 
After spending 1/2 hr at the beach it was getting towards 6 PM and it was time to head back.  Everyone was leaving the beach and I was in a new city and not quite certain of my directions.  I did find this small sandwich place in Impanema that offered a streak, egg, lettace, and fries for under 10 reals.  A nice man explained to the staff what I wanted--and it was time for dinner.   A quick stop at ZonaSul Supermarket for beers and then it was back to the hostel.
When I reached the hostel---I drank one of the beers.  The owner had been replaced with Sabrinia and we talked for about 2 hrs about brazilian life.  She told me that a new doctor only made 1000 reals a month and most people could not save any money.  It reminded me of the conversation that I had on MSP with the programmers.
I then decided to walk around for another hr--but I did not go back to the beach.  Beach at night can be dangerous especailly when you dont speak the language and it is your first day.
Around 10 PM I went to bed.  Around 1 PM, I heard noise as the air conditioning was turned on and I saw my future roommates--I had 2 women.  But I needed sleep more.


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Rio de Janeiro Hostels review
Great hostel--miss it already!!
Great place and I was sorry that I had to leave after 1 day The only reason that I left is the LightHouse is a small hostel and they did not have a… read entire review