Jul 27, 2004
Dec 13, 2006
Rio de Janiero.. city of the Beautiful people, we felt like we fitted right in (especially with our white bodies and lack of plastic surgery!). Mandy bought herself a new ultra-skimpy bikini so she could wear the same as all the other girls on the beach. Ipanema was the place to be seen so we spent a couple of days there sunning ourselves and people watching. Our apartment in Copacabana was central and close to the beach and meant Mandy could cook some great food for us - curries and other things we've been craving! We took the streetcar up to Santa Teresa - this was like the oldest fairground ride you have ever seen and very clanky and noisy. As the carriages were quite small the schoolkids hung off the side as you climbed up through the cobbled streets and had themselves a great time. We also took the funicular up to the huge Cristo Rey overlooking the city where we got great views despite it being a little cloudy. Later the same day we made a pilgrimage to the temple of football - the Maracana stadium - where we saw Fluminese beat Sao Paolo 2-1. We stood with the home fans (there were seats but no-one used them except at half time) and sang through the whole game to the beat of samba drums whilst flares were lit and huge flags waved constantly. On our last morning we got up early and took the cable cars to the top of the Sugar Loaf which is a huge granite hill rising up above the beaches. Fantastic views of the city, its bays, beaches, mountains and jungles - definitely the sightseeing highlight of the city. We were practically the only ones there but then as we left the tour groups started rolling in - we had timed it well and felt quite lucky to have had the views to ourselves. Off to more beaches next but hopefully somewhere a little quieter...