Her name is Rio and Rio was grand

Trip Start Feb 15, 2006
Trip End Feb 14, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Friday, December 8, 2006

We were a bit anxious over our last stop in South America. We had heard some pretty grim reports about safety in and around Rio so we didn't know what to expect.
Well, it is difficult to generalise but our experience in Rio was wonderful. We had felt more uneasy in Lima and at times in Quito and with six nights' experience in Rio under our belt we found it no more threatening than elsewhere in Latin America. So don't let the stories put you off. For me it was the best city stop we made, the place was buzzing.
For a start it is a beautiful city.
The two main beaches Copacabana and Ipanema join at right angles, but that is not the end of it. There are other beaches and lagoons in almost any direction usually with one or two granite rocks rising out of the water. 
There is no end of choice for an evening out, bar culture, samba culture,   pigging out culture just to name three. It would take at least a fortnight to do it justice, and of course this is only when it isn't carnaval time. Goodness knows how the place lights up then.
So end of the tourist office plugging, but I guess you can tell - we had fun.
Perhaps it helped that there were two couples, that we had met earlier on our travels, there at the same time. No matter how we tried (even on my birthday) we failed to meet up as a sixsome, so Gill and I were out to the small hours with alternating friends each night of our stay.
Then there were the daytime activities, which included a visit to a very racy pay by the hour hotel where our suite had its own electric roofed swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and even disco lit dance floor. I don't know how we found the energy to visit the cloud shrouded Christ the Redeemer and the Sugar Loaf Mountain cable car,
 but we did - honest!

Then suddenly it was time to catch a taxi to Galileo international airport for the 13 hour flight home which surprisingly only crosses a two hour time difference. Back to cold wet and windy London and a one week lead into Christmas - didn't Christmas start late this year?

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