Dress shopping and Chopp!

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
Trip End Jun 12, 2007

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Alex: We landed in Rio at about 12 midnight and the whole city seemed to be against us. The only bank that would accept Visa wasn┤t working so we couldn┤t get any local currency (luckily we keep a few US dollars for these situations), we then lost more time than we thought (2 hours not 1) so the last bus to Ipanema was long gone, our taxi driver asked for the address of our chosen hostel and when we got there it wasn┤t open....we ended up totally knackered in a overly expensive dump of a hotel in Copacabana for the night.

First thing the next day we checked ourselves into a far cheaper, and nicer hostel, although as we are now in a pricier part of the world it is dorm beds again. We then checked out Copacabana and did the required havaiana shopping (my flip flops were beginning to look very scruffy). The beach is lovely and the mountain backdrop is stunning and there were the requisite beautiful people on the beach, although in far smaller numbers than I had expected! There is also a disturbing trend for speedos - scary! Havaianas bought and beach visited we went for a Chopp (not pork silly, draft beer!), setting the trend for our time in Rio.

On the Saturday we went for a trip up one of Rio┤s most famous landmarks - PŃo de Aš˙car or Sugarloaf, the iconic mountain looming over the city. It takes two cable cars to reach the top, the first to the top of Morro da Urca and then another to the top of PŃo de Ašucar itself. The views from the top of both are spectacular and well worth the effort. You really appreciate Rio┤s setting surrounded by green mountains, golden beaches and blue sea, our photos don┤t in any way do it justice. We followed Sugarloaf with a taste of Rio┤s nightlife in Ipanema, which is full of nice bars and good restaurants, although we aren┤t as hardcore as the locals and only made it to 2am!

Our final day we spent relaxing & people watching on Copacabana beach and drinking Chopp & eating whole prawns next to Copacabana beach. There was also a bit of dress shopping to be done as after 6 months of the same clothes I was in need of some retail therapy and my wardrobe was in need of a little rejuvenation, a new dress was purchased and the retail therapy is to be continued in Buenas Aires!

All in all Rio is a really nice city although all the reports of crime put you slightly ill at ease. You just need to be on your toes!

Dean:  It did feel a little like being on Bay Watch, when we were on the beach (except Bay Watch is based in California, I know!).  I think that Alex was a little disappointed, as most of the men seemed more interested in impressing other men (there is a bit of a gay scene here in Rio)!
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