Disco'ing to Rio

Trip Start Oct 07, 2010
Trip End Mar 13, 2011

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Monday, December 27, 2010

An interesting last second passport pick up, dash to airport and flight to Sao Paulo via Bogota meant that it was a day in transit with stunning views of the Amazon. Brazil was a one week Brazilian extravaganza: not cheap but on the fun-o-meter, it was 100% and have some great friends now.

The first morning we picked up Travis from the airport and drove to Rio. It was a long drive and I didn't feel so good with a cold and tummy bug, but after a sleep we headed out to a local restaurant in the restaurant area of the downtown section of Rio. Went out to the very funky restaurant/bar Rio Scenarium: an eclectic array of bands, rooms and furniture, this gringo hangout had a lot of similarities to Andre Carne Des Res in Bogota. Partied there till the small hours enjoying a local band and did a lot of spoon waving. 

The next day I went to meet a friend I met from Paulas non-wedding, Bruna, and hung out with her, her brother and his girlfriend at the beach for a few hours before Travis and Guilherme turned up.

After the beach we took a taxi up to Christo on the hill, but when we arrived it made no sense to wait the hour to take either the 4 wheel drive or train up the last section, especially as it was in cloud a lot of the time. So instead we went to an outlook nearby. Rio has to be one of the most amazing cities in the world for location. It even makes Sydney, San Fran and Seattle- cities I typically rank up there for stunning physical locations, look like chump change.  Huge granite rocks coming out of the water, tightly packed suburbs spilling out onto gorgeous beaches and the favelas throwing a riot of colour into the mix. Favelas come by the hundred in Rio and their location right next to the rich parts makes it truly remarkable. I will certainly be coming back to Rio!   

Interesting things about Brazil
- Eyes, they have a huge diversity of eye colour, with many people having a large range of colours from green, brig blue and deep brown
- Walkie talikie mobile phones- they have what I think is fairly unique in terms of mobile phones also working as walkie talkies for people within a few km's, it's a small monthly fee for the service and all calls are free
- Lots of petrol options at the service station: ethanol, gas, petrol, diesel
- The large bars have a tab system, you get a card or piece of paper when you enter, and on leaving, pay the entire bill. It kinda makes sense as drinks are served faster but makes huge queues for entering and leaving
- The tele novellas (soap operas) are extensive, watched by many and have some elements of ridiculous with others being quite realistic to life
- The favellas in Rio are being cleaned up by a huge military operation (though people say the Sao Paolo government solutions are far better than Rio's). They have THE best real-estate in town
- Its a rich country near Sao Paulo, though extensive poverty around it
- They have a very different culture to the rest of South America
- Definitely some of the most beautiful people in the world! Being well dressed and looking good is compulsory for the girls and the extensive Italian population means the guys are some of the best groomed (and well built) in the world
- There is an interesting breed of steroid taking guys at the clubs, shirts off, huge muscles, big gold chain, possibly baseball cap, not too talkative.
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