March 07, 2004

Rio de Janeiro

Brief summary for those of you that don't read long log posts:

We are in Curitiba after 3 nights in Rio. Saw the main sights, Sugar Loaf, Christo Redentor, Copacabana beach (didn't see Ipanema). Met 4 other Canadians, 3 from Regina 1 from Abbotsford. Now on our way to Iguazu falls. No new pictures up yet, too expensive here, be patient.

And incase you didn't notice, there is a link just below this that you can click on to read the more verbose version of this post.

Sarah and I just arrived in Curitiba after 3 days in Rio. Our 18 hour bus ride turned into a 20 hour bus ride complete with noisy Israeli guys right behind us that wouldn't stop singing in Hebrew. I didn't get much sleep, I'm a little too big for the chairs, but I think Sarah didn't have any problems getting a fair amount of sleep. Once we arrived in Rio we B-lined it to the hostel because we heard that they were pretty full. We saw a flyer for a hostel called Shenkin while we were in Arrial and we went there first. There was room for us but it turned out to be a hostel run by Israelies and most of the people staying there were Israeli as well and guess what, the two guys that were sitting behind us on the bus from Porto Seguro to Rio showed up at the hostel a little after us, but there weren't any free beds at that time.

While we were sitting around waiting to check-in we notice 3 guys playing backgamon that had backpacks with Canadian flags on them. Turns out that they are from Regina and are taking a little time off from their studies at UofR. There was even another Canadian from Abbotsford at the hostel as well. It was the most Canadians we have met at one spot on our whole trip.

We didn't get up to much our first day in Rio, just a quick dip at Copacabana beach for me and then a nap and dinner. We also watched the Canadians and some Irish guys play a couple of drinking games, which was entertaining. I didn't participate because I had gone a little overboard with the drinking games in Arrial. Day two in Rio took us to the Sugar Loaf, a couple of hills at the entrance to the bay Rio is on. You take a couple of gondolas up to two different peaks that offer some spectacular views of the city. We had a little too much sun doing this and didn't feel too hot so we went back to the hostel for another nap, its a tough life I tell ya. That night we went out to a rodizio with the Canadian guys, all you can eat meat that is brought around on a sword to your table. There is a restraunt in Vancouver called Samba that does this, you should go check it out if you like meat.

Day three had plans to go to Santa Terresa and then to the statue of Christ on the hill overlooking Rio. We only made it to Santa Terresa, a little town in the middle of rio that you get to by cable car. The weather wasn't very good so we put off the Jesus trip until the next day. Its a good thing to because when we got out of the subway station on the way back to the hostel is was pouring down rain, and I mean seriously pouring down rain. We walked a block towards our hostel and we were completely soaked. The roads turned into rivers and the storm sewer man hole covers turned into fountains as water overflowed from them and squirted out the holes.

The next day we went to the statue of Christ with the guys from Regina. We ended up taking a cab instead of the train to the top because it was cheaper and we got to go to another view point as well. The statue of christ (Christo Redentor is its official name) is pretty impressive but crawling with tacky tourists (ourselves included). It was a somewhat clear day and we got some good pictures. More pictures are on the way, possibly this week, and if not this week then when we get to Argentina. Internet is pretty expensive in Brazil and the upload rates are really slow. I've heard that things are better in Argentina.

Right now we are killing time in Curitiba waiting for our bus to Iguazu falls. We will stay there a few days then come back here to take a train ride to the coast that is supposed to be spectacular. Then we head south towards Uruguay and Argentina. Sarah has been complaining about not getting any emails so make sure that you send her an email or two :)

Posted by bforsyth at March 7, 2004 11:18 AM