Our South America adventure begins

Trip Start Jun 07, 2009
Trip End Oct 15, 2009

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Monday, June 8, 2009

Well we are off and running.  Finally after a lot of planning and farewells in London we arrived in South America.

Admittedly it took a few days to find our travel legs - it had been some years since either of us had backpacked anywhere but in no time at all we were in swing with the backpackers way of life (well maybe the flashpackers way of life!).

3 days in Rio – a city in a spectacular setting with the mountains, rain forest and beaches. We stayed in Ipanema which lent itself to long walks on the beach and a fresh, cold coco every morning.

While the standard tourist hot spots of Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain were ticked off, a particular highlight of Rio was the favella (i.e. slums) tour. While, initially, we were hesitant to do the tour as it felt voyeuristic, it in fact turned out to be a fascinating and informative tour. The guide talked us through the creation of the slums in the context of the social and political environment as well as the control exerted by the drug gangs. An interesting fact is that you´re less likely to be robbed in the favella than the rest of Rio as the drug gangs don´t want petty theft attracting police attention.
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