Start of the Southern Highlights Tour

Trip Start Feb 16, 2012
Trip End May 03, 2012

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This morning was all about breakfast and packing as this tour finishes today.  Spent some time with all the girls as we were each going our own way.  Sat on the rooftop to catch up and took some shots of the view.  I thought my next hotel was the one on the left in this photo - the very tall one 

Well, that's what I thought when I walk down the street with my bag. I stepped into this beautiful 5 star hotel only to find that it wasn't my hotel! The hotel I was staying in had a very similar name but that was where the similarities ended. My hotel was not 5 star by any stretch of the imagination! They were lovely though and arranged a taxi for me a carried my bag - man in top hat and all! I must say that the Brazilian people are very nice, friendly and helpful and I have had not come across anyone who made me feel uncomfortable or in any kind of danger. I was really nervous about coming to Rio purely from everything I have read and been told by others. On day 1 I would only step out of the hotel with some money that I might need for that outing - no bag, no camera, no nothing else. Each day I would take more and more and in the end I had my good camera with me when we were sight seeing. I also ensured I was never flashing anything that might put me in danger but apart from that I felt very safe at all times.

Anyhoo, I digress. The only people I have come across with attitude was the reception at this hotel! Never mind. We were staying in a different part of Copacabana ( your all singing that song in your head too, aren't you!). This meant I got to explore another part of this suburb which was great. Turns out I am sharing a room with an Irish girl named Orna which I am pleased about. She is fun and reminds me of Brid (if you are reading this Brid, it's not just that she is Irish!).

Tonight we went to an all you can eat Brazilian BBQ for 49 reils (about 25AUD). Wow those Brazilians know how to cook their meat - yummy! Paddy - I even allowed myself 6 chips! It was fantastic - had a full salad bar too including sushi.

After dinner we decided to walk home and call it a night. Earliest night so far - 11pm. I think the whole week of Carnival has really knocked us about. And I wanted to get up at 7 to have breakfast and get organized as our bus was coming at 8:30.

Haven't found the Internet as reliable as I hoped so haven't loaded too many photos for today yet. More to come when I can get a good connection.
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