Rio De Janeiro

Trip Start May 01, 2006
Trip End Apr 30, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Sunday, July 16, 2006

A few days of recovery time in this very scenic and lively city. We heard extremely bad things before we arrived about crime, muggings and the like, but so far we've had no trouble at all. We might have helped ourselves out by choosing to stay in Ipanema instead of the Copacabana region as a lot of tourists do.

Tomorrow we go both to see the Christ the Redeemer statue and to climb the cable car to the Sugar Loaf. We've also been invited by some locals to a Samba night on Tuesday night. Expect some great photos some time soon...

... ok, so the Samba night was a bit of a disaster! It wasn't that we couldn´t do the steps - we didn't even make it into the club! On the way there in the car with our Brazilian friends we got stopped twice by the police. The first set of police demanded to see our ID (a legal requirement in Brazil) but we had left our passports back at the hotel for safety. The policeman tried to bribe us and threatened us with a lengthy visit to the tourist police to verify our identities. When we politely declined, the policeman chatted to his superior, returned and told us it was our lucky day and let us go. But not before stealing a bunch of cash out of the purse of one of the Brazilian girls!

The second set of police noticed the slightly anger-fueled driving of the car (Brazilian girls are crazy drivers, especially when robbed by the police) and pulled us over. They then proceeded to search us, including our underwear, for drugs. They also let us go and we finally made it to the Samba club.

Unfortunately, the club refused point blank to let us in without ID. In the end we left the girls to go into the club, got a taxi all the way back to the hostel, grabbed our passports and went back to the Samba club, managing to avoid the police roadblock on the way. We queued for 2 hours until around 2am in the morning, at which point the bouncer finally closed the queue with us right at the front! Annoyed beyond belief, we set off home, but managed to meet up with our friends an hour or so later for a late drink - what a crazy city...

One final note - for those of you who requested more close-ups of the ´wildlife´ of the Copacabana, I'm afraid I have to disappoint you. Due to the risk of theft we didn't take our cameras or mobile phones to the beach. You might be surprised however that I did see a penguin swimming around in the waves!
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