Rio De Janeiro

Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Saturday, April 5, 2008

Rio De Janeiro
Don´t believe the hype...about being held up at gunpoint for your camera, that is!
We did believe the hype; hence we only have photos from about three days into the visit!
The motorway from the Airport is worth a mention, no traffic lights until you get to Copacabana (40 mins in taxi).
Stayed at a hostel called Stone of a Beach, it was two blocks from Copacabana beach.
05/04/08: We rented bikes from reception the first day and took in a lot..including the Botanical Gardens, the Racetrack which is free to enter, so we watched a race from the seats of our bikes, Ipanema and of course Copacabana.
06/04/08: The next day we went to Brazil´s biggest football stadium the Maracana, and according to Michael, the biggest in the world. But, much to his disappointment, they made the place safer (put seats in) so now it only holds about 100,000 at the most. We were told by the guide to shout for the Flamingos, who were playing against another local team. It was a draw in the end. Only 16,000 people were at the game but they were well able to make noise. They had flares, flags and the works!
07/04/08: The next morning (this is where the camera came out), we went to the Favellas. Basically, ´the slums of Rio. They áre stuck into the side of the hill. People are very poor there, illegally build their houses, don´t pay taxes, and mainly work in the richer areas of Rio to get by. This was a really great tour. Property is cheap, if anyone is interested, seeing as house prices are rising in Melbourne and still high in Ireland (check out photo!)
That afternoon went to Christ the Redeemer, one of the seven wonders. Up until this point, the weather had turned us off, because one goes for a view of the city. But, had to bite the bullet as we were leaving the next day. We ended up going on the tour with an American guy called Adam, who earlier in the day, when we heard him at breakfast Grechy said - imagine being on a tour with him - he loves to talk!
Well, the three of us along with the taxi man who brought us from the Airport went off to ´find christ´ in Adams words. We did, and Adam nearly became a bigger tourist attraction, when he flashed the big tattoo of Jesus on his arm. Everyman and his digital camera came out to take photos! Adam, told us he was on a break from working as a fireman in Iraq. Nice guy, young, enthusiastic but couldn´t understand why no one likes Americans. When Grechy used the word ´compulsory´ he said ´compo... - what?´, again Grechy repeated the word and he said ´sorry dude, you~re like waaay stretching my vocabulary there, I went to Community College´. Grandpa from Swords so Adam said he said he was a fighter like all the Irish Catholics...I just nodded in agreement. Kept my mouth shut!
08/04/08: 29 degrees in RIO today. Got the bus to the main bus station which worked out much cheaper than what the Hostel/taxis were offering (2BRL), and boy was it worth it. Cheaper than a ride at an Luna park but with the same affect! Bus driver was crazy, we were bouncing from one side to the other (that's after we got ourselves through the turnstile with our big bags-yup, there are turnstiles on the buses). We made our way to Ilha Grande which was a two and a half hour bus ride and one and a half hour on the ferry, south of RIO. Michael made friends with Claudio on the ferry, a local sea farer who was great fun. His daughter, Bianca who had lived in London for a while, helped with the translations. She walked us to our hostel which is a cabin in the middle of a rainforest - and it´s raining! Go figure!!!  
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