Ah Rio, beautiful Rio...

Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog

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Ipanema Beach
After having so much fun in Brasilia I then had the reunion with the boys to look forward to in Rio before they finally got to go home after being delayed because of the volcano in Iceland disrupting their flights back to the UK.
The weather was so much better than the last time I was there, I thought I was going to cook in the heat waiting for the bus to Ipanema and I almost wimped out and paid for a cab but for once my patience prevailed.
I arrived at the hostel to be greeted by the most miserable receptionist ever who then even denied that the guys were there, only for Jon to come downstairs to chivalrously help me with my bags! It was great to see all of them again and after welcoming hugs from them all we hit Ipanema beach for the rest of the afternoon.
Carb fest- uuurrghhhhh!
Already I felt as though Ipamena had a safer feel to it (although there were still a few strange characters hanging around on the street where our hostel was) than Copacobana, it's definetely a wealthier suburb that's for sure.
It was a relief to finally be able to chillout on one of the worlds most famous beaches and bask in the Rio sunshine. I love people watching at the best of times but this has to be one of the coolest and most beautiful places I've been able to do it so far; then there's the random pedlars on the beach selling everything from Sarongs, jewellery and food through to whatever talent they're trying to amaze you with (and get you to part with your cash for).
As the sun went down it was time to hit a few bars on the way back to the hostel, watch a bit of the footy and for the guys to demonstrate their darts skills.
Christo under scaffolding :-(
A slight error on my part was to sink three Caipirinahs before dinner whilst forgetting I'd not really had much to eat that day, oops.
Dinner was at one of the boys usual haunts and soon descended into playing with our food (see Flickr for kebab skewer duelling) and drinking games, let's just say there was plenty of mileage in the star jumps forefit and much amusement! We cruised the bars in Ipanema for the rest of the night and the Caipiranhas and cervezas kept flowing, the guys asked i was ok on more than one occassion as they said I looked a bit away with the fairies, I certaintly didn't feel too hot the next morning that's for sure.
After hanging out with Jon & Mark till their cab left I then picked up a cab of my own to go visit Christo Redentor as the tram was still out of order and the best way to get up there was to negotiate with a taxi driver to take you to the top and get him to wait around till you were done.
After negotiating a fair price I did just that and a few kilometers of steep twisting roads later I reached the top, even though Christo is still covered in scaffolding (and will be until September apparently) I thought he was still quite impressive to see, you could still make out bits of him through the scaffolding and even though he's only 30m tall still commands quite a prescence. The views though are really what make it worthwhile overlooking the bays and beaches and Sugar Loaf, you notice though how high you are by the fact every so often you are enveloped by a cloud. I think I spent most of my time up there admiring the view, that and trying to take pictures of myself with Sugar Loaf in the background.
After a speedier trip back down I met Gareth on Ipanema beach where the clouds had rolled in and I found him near shivering, at that point we decided a few drinks were in order to shelter from the weather.
Spectacular views over Rio
The evening thankfully didn't follow the same quantity of drinks as the previous night but we did start sampling the cocktails a bit more, I love the way  in Brazil a good 75% of the glass is taken up by pure alcohol, you certaintly can't complain you don't get value for money!
Saturday Gareth was flying back home and I was heading by bus to Paraty, it had been such an amazing week with even more amazing people that I felt a little bit sad to be on my own again, but I guess you have to deal with that when travelling.

Next stop Pataty!
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Ipanema Beach
Ipanema Beach
Carb fest- uuurrghhhhh!
Carb fest- uuurrghhhhh!
Christo under scaffolding :-(
Christo under scaffolding :-(
Spectacular views over Rio
Spectacular views over Rio
You have to wait until clouds pass…
You have to wait until clouds pas…
Sugar loaf in the distance
Sugar loaf in the distance
The spot where everyone gets that …
The spot where everyone gets that…
Just sublime...
Just sublime...