Back for More Rio Adventures

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our trip back to Rio from Ilha Grande was booked as a "Speed connection" the day before we were to travel. Sounded like a good idea as the brochure promoted a fast looking boat and a late model bus that would take us right to our hostel. 

In reality it was a much older boat than we arrived on and the bus was a crowded transit bus with no air con! What was worse was that the boat appeared to have left the island without the skipper!! We were about three quarters across when a real speed boat caught us up and the boat stopped to allow a very frustrated looking crew member to climb aboard, who then proceeded to steer the boat to the mainland mooring. The boat was then met by what looked like a harbour inspector. Once we were all loaded into the transit bus, we only drove about a kilometre  when the driver left us sitting in the bus for about 15 mins while he disappeared. All very strange and annoying.

Arriving in Rio hot and bothered we were dropped at the bottom of the street where our new hostel at Copacabana (Mellow Yellow) was. However with no signage we walked up and down the steep street a few times before finding the green door that led to our new "home" for the night.

We were straight out the door again after dropping our bags as we had our "rain check" tickets for Sugarloaf Mountain to use and the sun was shining. We caught a local bus but by the time we had arrived at the cable car station it had clouded over again. How frustrating! We still went up and were able to get some views from the first part of the mountain but on the second upward section to the summit, the cable car just disappeared into the cloud. Way too eerie.

We amused ourselves up the top waiting in vain for the clouds to shift by photographing lizards and really small, cute monkeys. Then a sea of green and gold spewed out of a cable car and we found ourselves surrounded by Australian accents. A group of Australia's elite junior soccer players, over in Brazil to get some experience at world level, were also trying to see the view from Sugarloaf Mountain. We chatted with their coach and some of the players for a while and wished them luck.  

Back down the mountain, it was time to return to the hostel for a traditional black bean stew and rice for $7A each and an early night.

Finally the sun was out in a big way to mock us the next day, our last day of this leg in Brazil. Our flight to Argentina was in the evening, so it was off to the Copacabana beach for the day to catch a little bit of the elusive sun, a lazy lunch, and some people watching. Avan had a bit of a swim to bathe his leg where he had the stitches out, as it had opened up again, and was not looking too good.  

Off to the airport then in the evening on an airport bus, which managed to break down! Luckily we had left plenty of time and all was OK as a new bus was sent. We were lucky enough to sit next to a lovely young Argentinian lady, Augustina, in the waiting area who was going on our flight and then we were seated together. Augustina gave us lots of helpful info about Argentina and chatting with her made the time pass by quickly.  She just happened to work for the airline we were flying with. We arrived in Buenos Aires at around two am and stayed in the airport until our next flight which we were able to bring forward a bit (to 9.30am) and to change it to a direct flight to Ushuaia, at the very bottom of Argentina where our Antarctica expedition will leave from.  

Footnote: The Harbor At Rio de Janeiro is listed as one of The Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
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