Samba de Janeiro

Trip Start Mar 01, 2011
Trip End Jun 12, 2011

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Where I stayed
El Misti Botafogo Rio de Janeiro
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Sunday, April 3, 2011

Apologies for the delay in writing this blog, this is due to having too much fun and too many caipirinhas. We will do our best to recap on the last few weeks :)   Where do we start? Rio was just as we imagined and better. The day after we arrived (our 3 year wedding anniversary) we did a day trip to the largest favela in South America (Rocinha). It was a real eye opener, but worth the visit. There’s no roads through the main parts so you have to walk through a narrow pathway which is guarded by drug dealers, so photos were limited. The electricity,  water, cable tv, internet the lot is illegally tapped and therefore free for all the residents. We were taken to various projects that are on the go to give the people living in the favela a better chance. We visited a gallery and a nursery which is partially funded by proceeds from the tour. But probably the most eye opening was the bullet holes left recently from a gun battle between the police and the gangs. We had to rush through the narrow streets as it could all blow up at any moment and there would be nowhere to hide! That evening we had a romantic dinner for two before heading out with a group from the hostel to Lapa for some caipirinhas and samba

 Whilst in Rio we took in some main sights, Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches plus lots more caipirinhas before heading south to Paraty. Which was a picturesque, Colonial town with cobbled streets and restored buildings and lovely beaches nearby. We stayed there a few days before heading to the big smoke that is Sao Paolo, to catch up with my pal Monia. There we pretty much repeated our activities from Rio, minus the beaches but with some of their famous pizzas, yum, washed down with caiprinhas, as you do! 

 Next we headed further south to chill out on Ilha do Mel (honey island) and it was sweet! lol It's a national park with no roads or cars and the only way to get around is by boat or by foot.And there was plenty of surf for Luke and lots of sun for me. Whilst we were there it was pretty much deserted (apart from a group from narcotics anonymous) which meant we were the only ones on the beach most times, nice!
Our last stop in Brazil was Foz do Iguaçu, where we visited the falls which were amazing and well worth the visit, check out the pics. 

For more than a week we've been in Uruguay catching up with family, first in the country near Paysandu and now in Montevideo. As it was the week before Easter (semana santa) there was plenty going on including rodeo, which was a great experience full of gauchos, my uncles included. There were three types of rodeo, saddled, Argentian style and bareback. Those guys have got balls! Those that impressed the judges got to do a lap of honour with even the on hand ambulance turning it's sirens on in appreciation, only in South America :) Our lunch consisted of assado con cuero, barbecued beef cooked with the leather left on, and other types of meat, delish. Now we have a couple more days left In Montevideo before heading to Buenos Aires. 
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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