Rio, Rio I wanna a Rio and I want one now!

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Monday, September 3, 2007

I am sitting here at the computer thinking "hmmm, what should I write". At the moment I think that we are both in shock and lost for words (that´s a first hey?!) that this final night has come so soon.

Rio is a beautiful city there is no doubt about that, but it is a very unsafe city too and we have both found it hard to relax here on the streets, too scared to ever really take our guard down - and a big guard it is too! We have NEVER in over two years of travelling EVER felt like this anywhere, so it is a bit of a shock to the system!

When we left Iguazu our bus was comfortable and the journey was long, but knowing that it would be the last very long journey we take on this trip I think we both cherished every moment - really that is possible on a 22 hour bus journey! We arrived in Rio at the hectic bus station and took a cab to our couchsurfing pals home in Cosme Velho, a neighbourhood of Rio which sits at the base of Corcovado - the mountain on which sits the famous Christ the Redeemer. Saturday afternoon was spent in true fashion, eating a delicious lunch prepared with Carolina´s own hands and drinking beer. Another couchsurfing guy from India was in town and so he came for lunch and the chat continued until early evening. Needless to say our first day in Rio we did not head out and see much, we did see for the first time the view out of their bedroom window though - Christ the Redeemer - and when it is dark he looks like he is floating in mid air! We retired to bed early that night and headed out on Sunday.

The buses here are excellent, fast and frequent. However as we have discovered in most places they drive like madmen! So we held on tight as the bus headed from Cosme Velho to Ipanema - our first destination of the day. On Sunday´s there is a huge Hippie market in Ipanema, being broke and at the end of our trip, but of course wanting to buy some cool things from Brazil we went along and spent a couple of hours shopping in the market. We were shocked at the prices though, but not so suprised - glad we shopped lots in Peru and Bolivia! Ipanema is a middle class funky district and after eating a gorgeous fishcake stuffed with onions, paste and prawns (a traditional Bahian dish) on the market we strolled around the streets of Ipanema and then wandered onto the glorious long sandy beach of the same name. For other reasons we left the beach earlier than intended and walked along the promenade up to a lookout to enjoy the views over the beach. We watched the surfers and sunbathers and gazed at the view and then we hit a kiosko on the prom and downed a caprihina each!

From Ipanema we walked around the short distance to Copacabana. One of the most famous beaches in the world and the worlds most densley populated neighbourhood. Skyscrapers sit side by side almost touching each other for kilometres along the beach and blocks back, we walked along Copacabana beach which in our opinion was nowhere near as nice as Ipanema - but you get a good panorama with Sugar Loaf Mountain in the background. Tired we headed back home for a traditional backpacker meal of noodles!

Today we waited and waited for the clouds to lift off of the mountains and we took the cog train up Corcovado mountain to take in the breathtaking views across Rio and to see the huge statue of Christ the Redeemer. The views were spectacular up there, we watche the clouds move away as we drank a cold beer and said cheers to 25months of travelling, knowing that now it is time to go home.

And that is that! What more can we say, our job here is done, we have seen, smelt, learned and experienced so much on this adventure of a lifetime, we have cherished every moment, given our heart and souls to everything and now it is about to end. It has been brilliant - it has been more than that but no words are good enough to describe it.
In the morning we take a six hour bus journey south to Sao Paulo, from there we fly to Munich Germany to connect to our flight to London. Wednesday our feet will once again touch English soil. We are nervous and excited about starting this next chapter in our lifes.

This will not be the end of our travels, this is only the beginning.

Thanks for tuning in all this time and we will see some of you back home for a beer or ten?!


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