Off the ship, Good byes and on our own

Trip Start Nov 07, 2013
Trip End Dec 11, 2013

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Sunday, December 8, 2013

Well early this morning Ken and Andrea said goodbye to the Seven Seas Mariner and once again got on a tour bus.  This time we were off to Sugar Loaf.  Rio is a city of views and K & A were deternined to take them all in.  Turns out that Sugar Loaf was a much more enjoyable experience than Corcovado.  We once again had Neils, our Danish guide from the night before.  We had to take some detours to get to the Sugar loaf tram because it is Sunday and they close the street in front of the beaches and everyone walks, skateboards, bikes etc.  Very nice.  The other thing going on was that Bill Clinton was in town, so security was high and other roads were closed.  However, we got there without too much trouble.  To get ot the top of Sugar Loaf you ride on two aerial trams.  They each take 2.5 minutes and hold a lot of people.  There was no line wating here.  The tour groups go to the front of the line and on to the tram.  We quickly reached the first level, on a mountain next to Sugar Loaf.  It was cool and the views were lovely.  We walked around there and then got on to the next tram to the top of Sugar Loaf.  We had clear weather and could see all around,  The other great thing was that they have trails on these mountains, through the Atlantic rain forest.  They are all made of mosaics, as are all of the sidewalks in Rio.  They had benches and tables and you could spend the day up there.  We thoroughly enjoyed this.  However all good things come to an end and down we went,

We then were taken to our hotel, where we are staying for two nights before the long trip back to snow and ice.  We spent the afternoon with the friends we made on the ship, Nancy and Brian and later Phil and Aubrey, who are from Winnipeg.  We talked and talked, had lunch, talked some more and then it was time to say goodbye.  These were some of the hardest goodbyes sd have ever made.  Promises were made to keep in touch and visit each other.  Watch out Winnipeg and Kent, Ken and Andrea are coming.

Ken and Andrea then faced the reality of the hotel.  The pubic areas are beautiful, tow pools and a beach.  However, we had to change rooms once (this time it wasn't Ken driving this room change, which those of you who have traveled with Ken will get, but Andrea, although Ken agreed). This hotel is being renovated and the unrenovated rooms are really bad.   The new ones are lovely.  However, due to the renovations, the restaurants in the hotel are very limited and there isn't even a bar.  We settled for room service and ordered two hamburgers.  We only got one - apparently the ship must have left orders not to feed us too much as we had clearly been eating way too much on the ship.  We did not go hungry and we did have something to drink as we took the bottle of champagne that had been sitting in our cabin on the ship for the entire second leg of the cruise, so don't get too concerned about us.  We did have to get to bed early because tomorrow we are spending a whole day with a private birding guide, starting at 7 am.

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