Big and Beautiful Rio de Janeiro!

Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
Trip End Apr 11, 2011

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Where I stayed
Bonita Hostel

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our 24 hour bus got us into Rio at 11:00am and we then took a taxi to our Hostel in Ipanema Beach. The check out time at the hostel is 12 noon and the hostel was full so we were told our room would not be ready until 2:00pm. We left our packs in the storage room and headed out with the dogs., Our place was only 3 blocks from the beach so we walked there to check it out
Ipanema beach is definately an upscale area with plenty of upscale shopping, restaurants and bars. The beach was beautiful with lots of people and alot going on, volleyball, soccer sunning, swimming and boogie boarding. On sunday they close the road next to the beach to all cars so that there is plenty of room for the people to walk down at the beach. They also have a Hippie Fair at the Ipanema Park on sunday that I bought a new purse at (since mine was falling apart).
Most of the restaurants in Brazil seem to have buffets where they wiegh your food and you pay by the kg. We found one that we liked, "The New Natural" that was only 1 1/2 blocks away and we went to it quite often, they even had sushi there! Everything in Rio is VERY expensive,,,we were actually shocked at how expebsive things cost there. A can of Pringles at the grocery store is US$7 and I could go on and on.......!!

We took a tour to see all the major sites around Rio... Sugar Loaf mountain to ride the gondola cars, Christ the Redeemer statue, the tiled stairways of Lapa and the picturesque area of Santa Teresa with the cable cars..We also went to a Funk Party in one of the Favelas (a slum neighborhood) where the poorest of the people in Rio live. It was interesting but Vic and I were ready to leave by 3:00 but the tour did not leave until 4:00am!

We got ahold of a friend of our friend, Dave Easly. His name is John and he lives part time in Rio. He had never been to one of the Favela parties so we took him with us to the Funk party. One evening John and his friend Paul, from London took Vic out for drinks at a "special" place called The Balcony...lots of business men and beautiful "night flowers" (hookers)
We would have liked to spent more time in Rio but it is out of our budget!

One of the more interesting things about our trip in Rio was our taxi ride back to the bus terminal. We left our hostel an hour before our departure for a ride that should have taken no more than 30 mins.
When I got into the taxi I did notice that his fuel gauge was on E, but who knows, maybe it's broken. Well, we are stuck in a huge traffic jam, 30 mins have passed and we are not even to the freeway yet. Then the driver decides he needs to stop for gas!! We wouldn't have been so worried except if we missed the bus we would have to wait another entire day for the next one to leave. Needless to say while the tank was being filled we tried to tell the driver we were going to miss the bus...but we don't speak portuguese and he didn't speak spanish or english! Vic points to our bus ticket showing him the time and after that I thought I saw my life flash before my eyes several times!! He drove so fast, we almost had several accidents, almost hit several people and he even drove over a barrier onto the other side of traffic. He got us there 7 mins. before the bus was leaving and we WERE the LAST passengers on the bus. 
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