Big City Brazil

Trip Start Jul 06, 2005
Trip End Mar 10, 2006

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I write this to all of you wonderful people sitting in my hostel (my EXPENSIVE hostel) 3 blocks from the famed Copacabana Beach of Rio de Janeiro. NICE!

So since the last update weŽve covered a fair amount of ground in Brazil and weŽre now about halfway up the southern coast. Have mostly just chilled on the beach and, now that weŽre in Rio, done a few of the touristy sights. To get us all up to speed...


Florianopolis is the capital of its state and a pretty big town right on the coast in southern Brazil. Its main attraction is that the island it sits on is completely surrounded by cool beaches and chill little vacation towns. With limited time we skipped the city itself (not meant to be much to see) and headed straight for Barra de Lagoa, one of the aformentioned chill towns. This is where things went crazy; if youŽve been following along you may well not believe what you read...

We were up in the morning, every morning for the entire four days, for a full on run down the beach, workout session, run back, and whiled away most of the rest of our time hanging out on the porch of our room playing dominoes and drinking cold mate tea! We even slept like 9 hours a night. Hard core, I know. A well deserved detox session after BsAs, and a concerted effort to get our out of control laziness and terrible eating habits back on the sane side of things...have to say I feel a million times better and somewhat alive again. Oh, and the beaches were beautiful too!

Rio de Janeiro

Rio on first impression is huge, and a beautiful city to look at from any one of the viewing points available in the hills around. The city itself is quite spread out, hugging the beaches and bay and shaped by the hills surrounding it. On the ground...still trying to get a feel. Definitely a little seedier than Buenos Aires.

Brazil in general has an edge to it. It partly adds to the excitement, it partly just means I ASSUME weŽre going to be mugged sooner or later. Everyone we meet seems to have a story, and a few people from the hostel have already been mugged on the famed beach we are paying so dearly to be close to. That said, donŽt be stupid, donŽt go out at night by yourself or as a couple and whatnot and you should be fine. Oh, and on the bus route from the waterfalls to the coast someone on a bus a day ahead of us had their window SHOT OUT. Bus driver just floored it to the next town and stopped outside the police station, as rumour has it its just a ploy to get the bus stopped so they can rob everyone on it. Fun stuff!

We managed to have a pretty full on first day in town, paying silly amounts of money to do the two MUST SEE Rio attractions in one day. Went up Sugar Loaf Mountain, a hill right on the water with a cable car that provides some pretty stunning views back over the city. After doing all the obligatory photo ops up there, we came back, and set right back out for the famed statue of Jesus overlooking the city. Paid more tourist hunting silly amounts of money to get up there for some more pretty stunning vistas over the city from the exact opposite side. Got a little train ride to the top that was meant to be really cool. It wasnŽt, just an expensive metro car service with views of, well, trees mostly. That said it was a great day and came out with some wicked photos.

Bonus Story

So we get back to the hostel yesterday to find the police out front and quite the little dispute going on. By the time we unravelled the happenings, it turns out some dude staying in our hostel "met" a girl at the beach and brought her back to his room at the hostel...details pretty blurry in this part...then she called the police on him because sheŽs a prostitute and apparently he refused to pay up! So she called the cops! Craziness, the cops eventually just chased her off and gave him a stern warning.

And thats about that. Sunshine, beaches, sunshine, beaches, caparinhas, girls, sunshine, beaches. Something like that anyway. Having a blast, Brazil is definitely a must see country so far. Brazilian Portuguese still baffles all my potential powers of comprehension. Say what?!?!? K, take care queridos amigos and weŽll chat soon. Less than a month and a half till home,

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