The Marvelous City

Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Saturday, May 20, 2006

I returned to Salvador last week to extend my stay in Brazil by obtaining another 90 day stamp for my passport from the Federal Police. The process was quite painless actually and I was only worried for a minute when they asked to see my plane ticket home... proof that I will actually leave. I told them I´m going to Argentina overland from here and I won´t be going home. Simply showing a credit card got me past this as they consider it to be proof that I can afford to be here and I won´t work illegally. So after spending time with some friends that I met in Lençois that live here, I was off.........

Rio de Janeiro! Said to be one of the top 5 most beautiful cities in the world and nicknamed "The Marvelous City" by Brazilians. To get here, a bus from Salvador costs R$199 and takes 27 hours... a flight is only 2 hours and was R$170... you do the math... I flew here!

And an amazing city it is except for the stories of all the crime and violence that come from the favelas, or slums, that line the hillsides here. The rich and poor literally live right next to each other with intense security barriers separating the two. Favelas are no place for tourists to go wandering so the first thing I did was head out to Rio´s most famous landmarks with a new buddy, Menno from Holland, that I met in the Salvador airport waiting for our plane. So far so good exploring the marvelous city. The downside is that it is expensive!!!!! ...not sure how long I will stay or what activities will be worth paying for but I feel the financial drain here more than anywhere I´ve ever been so far. That´s life in Rio, however, and I´m lucky prices are a little lower now that it´s low season. Prices quadruple for Carnaval! That´s all from here, enjoy the cool fotos.
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