Gonna go to Rio

Trip Start Feb 06, 2007
Trip End Jan 14, 2008

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday November 16th, Here we come, Rio !
We caught the cheapest Util company bus to Rio, and if this was the cheapest the most expensive would have to have hot towels and champagne. Our only complaint was that the telly screens stayed blank.
The scenery was so reminiscent of the Adelaide Hills, for hours, that it got positively boring. Then the rain started, and by the time we reached some beautiful rocky hills that looked like Ayers Rock, small waterfalls were everywhere. As we reached Rio the Christo Redentor statue could barely be seen in the mist.
We had made a booking at an LP recommended hotel last night, for the massive price of 120R ($80) but at the bus station there was a hostel advertising stand. For 85R we have a huge room in the suburb Catete, cable TV with CNN in English, hot water, balcony and snazzy orange towels, plus use of a kitchen and mega-security. Not our usual style at all, very flash.
A metro station is almost outside the hostel, as are at least 3 supermarkets and a fruit and veg shop. This is like being back in Adelaide. But Adelaide doesn't have a row of bars with tables on the footpath. We took the metro to the station at the far end of Copacabana beach, and hit the beach. In the pouring rain. Instead of the beautiful bronzed bodies and beach umbrellas we watched a handful of wetsuit-clad surfies and some hardy volleyball players, with a cloudy view of a cable car going up to Pao de Ašucar in the distance.
Would you believe 1.5R ($1) to visit the dunny on the beachfront ?  With this cold weather Barb was in dire straits but too mean to pay that much. In the next street we found the David Jones food hall of Rio, complete with the necessary, free. Wandering round the shop we came across a wine-tasting stand, (Chilean wine, not Brazilean) and got talking to a lady even older than us, also having a free swig. She has a niece who lives in Adelaide !
We had another wander along the beachfront, Pete snapping photos of fibreglass cows in rainbow colours, and sand sculptures when the sculptors weren't watching. Scruffy though we look, we poked our noses into a Stern's jewellers, and found ourselves with invites to their workshop tomorrow. Will Barb's next Chrissie present be an emerald ring ?
The rain won, so back to the hostel armed with supermarket goodies and fruit. Dinner was bread, marge and pineapple jam, with fruit salad and yogurt. How disgusting, but nice.
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