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Wet

We had two days in Rio - not enough as it's a beautiful City and two days does not allow us to do it justice. The first day we were escorted to Christ the Redeemer via the cog train and shown around the site. The quick ride up was interesting with views of the back yards early on then vegetation and some monkeys and birds the higher you get. Unfortunately The weather was not great, dry but cloudy and misty so our views from the top suffered slightly. We intended to visit Sugar Loaf mountain next but cloud came over on a strong wind and were told the cable car was not running, the view from the top would not have been great anyway. Our tour then continued to the Bohemian Santa Teresa district once home to the rich and famous but where now the majestic views draw writers, musicians, artists galleries. Its hillside location affords stunning views of Rio, and its cobbled streets and trams create a charming atmosphere. Our guide in Rio took us to a typical Brazilian Buffet for lunch. The place was heaving with locals office workers out for their lunch. The principal is to collect a plate (or two) and help yourself as conventional buffets but at the end of the line of buffet dishes the cashier weighs each plate. You can repeat the process until satisfied and when finished eating they tot up the total weight and present the bill. Not quite all-you-can eat but you can select from a great variety of Brazilian dishes.

Brazil is famous for coffee so we thought we had to go to the best coffee house in Rio, the famous Confeitaria Colombo so after lunch our guide Luciana joined us for coffee. The decor is based on the original 1894 which gives a great atmosphere, the coffee also was excellent and compares well with the coffee we had in Buenos Ares. We were tempted to sample some of the pastries on display, Luciana suggested the Portuguese Pastel de Nata tarts, very similar to the Belem egg tarts you get in Lisbon.

We had a free day on the Wednesday to explore the city. We like to wander around to "find" things although we were warned to stay away from the Favelas. Bright and early we ventured out to catch the Ipenema, Leblon and Copacabana beaches expected to see the bronzed beauties in minuscule string bikinis playing beach Vollyball. The weather was overcast and cold and threatening rain so why should they, when probably tomorrow would be clear skies and hot. We had the beaches to ourselves although we were not that impressed, yes, nice sand and clean but because no people around was a bit drab. We ended up at a beach coffee house and warmed up over a fantastic cup of coffee. We endured the long walk along both beaches and made our way to the Rio Botanical Gardens.

This was a surprise as they had avenues of indigenous trees and orchid gardens and it was a pleasure to walk around. We saw wild toucans in the gardens flying from tree to tree. It was time for lunch so we hunted out a typical Brazilian restaurant next to the gardens and an excellent meal we had too, buffet style again.

It was still threatening rain so we had better get back to our hotel. We must have walked about 5 Km getting to the gardens so expected sore feet when we got back. Referring to our tourist map it was a fairly direct route back, we did not have to retrace our path via the beaches. However the map did not tell us that the road we were supposed to take was for vehicles only, through a tunnel, "sem pedestres entrada" so our direct route back turned out to be longer than going as we then had to negotiate the Rio hills. Then it started to rain. Thunder and lightning and torrential tropical storm that went on and on. Clever people would have taken a taxi, but not us. We persevered and got a little wet. Found out our waterproofs were not. After about 2 hours we arrived back at our hotel and dried off.

All in all our short visit to Rio was just a taster. It gave us a flavor of the city but due to the weather we did not appreciate it properly. We would like to go back sometime soon.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer


Wild Life

Wild Life


View from the top - Cloudy and overcast

View from the top - Cloudy and overcast


Monica overlooking Rio

Monica overlooking Rio


Wild Life

Wild Life


Where the well off live

Where the well off live


Confeitaria Colombo Rio

Confeitaria Colombo Rio


Monica enjoying Coffee and Nata tart

Monica enjoying Coffee and Nata tart


Empty Beach - Rio

Empty Beach - Rio


View of The Redeemer

View of The Redeemer


Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden


Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden


Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden


Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden


Botanical Garden - Toucan in the trees

Botanical Garden - Toucan in the trees


Farewell Rio

Farewell Rio

Posted by cmbirdy48 16:00 Archived in Brazil

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