Barry Manilow eat your heart out !?!

Trip Start Jul 20, 2005
Trip End Nov 23, 2005

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Monday, October 3, 2005

Well, the long awaited trip to Rio had finally arrived...!! That meant that Elio (my friend from Uni) also headed out to Brazil catch up and sample the travelling lifestyle for a couple of weeks.

We felt like we'd entered a slightly alternate reality when we arrived at the Ipanema beach house (backpacker hostel) to find a Louis Vitton store about 3 doors down - fair to say a pretty unusual neighbour for a hostel anywhere in the world !! That was where the luxury ended though, the 2 sets of 3 tier bunk beds sharing one bathroom with 4 other dorms was not our idea of suitable accommodation (just imagine the health and safety issues around trying to climb up and down three bunks after a few too many Caipirinhas) !! So, the next morning Herdy took on the mission of going out of Ipanema to find us a better hotel. That didn't take long and by early afternoon we had hit Copacabana beach in the sunshine !

The next few days in Rio were a fairly up and down affair for more than one reason... We had mixed weather, a couple of days of stunning sunshine and a couple of dodgy ones with cloud and rain... The great news that two sets of friends from home had both had their respective babies... But very sadly one of the main inspirations for my general wanderlust, my grandad, passed away in Southampton after illness. All in all it made for quite a surreal few days.

Anyway, fun activities enjoyed in Rio included... Drinking copious amounts of Caiparinhias all night on Copacabana beach (which for the uninitiated, contains a particularly harsh local spirit which seems to remove the lining of your throat - not the most comfortable the following day!), going to a comedy Music/Dance show (supposed to try and recreate the carnival atmosphere, but instead provided a Benidorm style amateur cabaret including men in drag!), going up Sugar loaf mountain in the cable car (luckily without Jaws from James Bond causing any Moonraker style crashes into the bottom), seeing the views of Rio (without doubt the most stunningly located city I've had the pleasure of visiting) from the Jesus Christo statue at Corcoevado... Then, on the football related side, we also went to watch a Brazilian football match (or rather to watch the crowd who were 10 times more entertaining than the dreadful football!), played footie on the beach with Brazilians (badly) and went to the Maracana (home of Brazilian football)...
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