The Girl from Ipanema..
Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog› entry 84 of 107 › view all entries
KERRY - What can i say except Rio is the best! Sun, sand and surfing as well as caiparinias and beautiful people. Rio has it all and is the most stunning city I have ever been to.
I was pretty nervous about coming here though, as a lot of people along the way had told us to be careful when we go there, but thank god, we didn´t experience any of that. We spent our first 4 nights in a hostel called Casa 6 on a little road full of other hostels in Ipanema, while our other friends were in the Hostel next door. We then treated ourselves to a nice hotel called the Ipanema Plaza to celebrate our engagement for 3 nights.
There is so much to do here that it is hard to see it all in one go, especially when the weahter was so nice and the beach looked so inviting. Every day we spent at least 2 or 3 hours on the beach relaxing and taking in the sights of the people around us! (much to Andrei´s delight....the boys were pretty nice though, but they love speedos here! not so sure myself)
We visited the biggest Favela (slum) in Rio called Rocinha with a guide which was really interesting. We arrived at the bottom of the slum and had to get on motorbike taxis up to the top, which i was pretty scared to do, as the drivers are not the best in Rio, but it was an excellent experience. The whole tour was really eye-opening, and it was also great to see how the money we paid for the tour is used to fund local projects such as the day care centre for children who live there.
We also took a taxi tour (50 reals each) on another day which took us up to see the view from Christ the Redeemer as well as some of the sights of the city centre, the bohemian area of Santa Theresa, the conical Cathedral (unappealing from the outside but the fabulous stained class windows are a must-see from the inside), and Selaron´s beautiful "St Theresa Stairway".
The hightlight of our time here in Rio for me though was our trip up to Sugar Loaf Mountain at sunset. The view from the top was stunning and even though it was a pricey trip at about 9 pounds each I will remember the view for ever. As the sun set and the lights came on over Rio the city looked spectacular. We could see the Centre as well as Copocabana beach, Ipanema and Leblon beaches and Christ the Redeemer as he looked down over the city.
We spent time with our fellow travelling friends here, Cari and Gordon who we had been travelling with since Chile, Steve and Tim who we had met on our Budget Expeditions tour and had met at various times over the past few months, as well as Phil and Stu our friends from the Galapagos. This was the last time we would see them all for a while as Cari and Gordon were off to Bolivia, while Tim and Steve were off to London to work and Phil and Stu were flying home. So, of course, a lot of drinking was done here as well. The caiparinias are great though, and very dangerous, as the boys found out!!
On our last night we went to the party area in the city called Lapa to see a live Samba band, who were great. It was also a bit pricey but well worth it and the music was great. The band were called Monobloco and the crowd went mental to them! It was a great way to end our time in Rio.......but we will be back here to visit again thats for sure!
ANDREI - I wholeheartedly agree with Kerry´s write-up. Sugarloaf provided a spectacular view - so much so that it silenced my continual humming of the James Bond tune (remember Moonraker....?)! The only downer was that the place was so much more expensive than most of the places we have visited in South America! However, all you lucky people back at home could easily come here for a summer holiday - the flight maybe a bit pricey but the weather is still warm (24 degrees Celsius) and accommodation in June-July-August and food and drink are generally relatively cheap. What are you waiting for?!
Much to my pleasure, July also happens to be the Winter holidays for the schools and universities, so the ladieees on Ipanema Beach were particularly eye-catching! (Don´t tell Kerry I said that...!).