Finally after two years of planning and saving we have started our Round the World Journey. It still does not quite seem real, will need a few more weeks before it feels more like travelling than a holiday, but what a way to start.
Flight departs from Heathrow Terminal 5 to take us straight to Rio de Janeiro. After 11 hours of flying we arrive late at night to our accommodation. Our first experience of a Brazilian hostel and maybe it was the tiredness and maybe not but our first thoughts were why did we book this place. Still was too late to change at this point so off to bed, maybe it will appeal more with fresh eyes.
Fresh eyes open the hostel is not too bad, we had forgotten what it was like to travel again on a tight budget and needed to adjust.
Relaxing day spent in and around Copacabana and Ipenema beaches, we even had a coconut.
Full day tour with Urban Adventures taking in the financial district, Santa Teresa, Lapa, Santa Marta Favela and Christ the Redeemer. This was a great tour and a good way to familiarize ourselves with the layout and transportation systems of Rio. The tour of Santa Marta was particularly interesting. This was Rio’s first pacified favela in 2008 and also the favela used for part of Michael Jacksons ‘They don’t really care about us’ video.
Early morning speed walk along Copacabana and Ipenema promenades, mixing with the locals daily fitness regieme. Rest of the day on the beach where we hired a parasol and some deckchairs. In the evening a few Brahamas’ whilst watching beach volleyball.
Change of location. Today we move from the beaches into the hills of Santa Teresa. This is the bohemian / arty part of town. It is a unique neighborhood, lots of steep hills, cobbled streets, graffiti and derelict looking buildings. On the plus side our hostel here was much better than the last. However its location meant we were a little stranded. Taxis would not drive up the hill and so venturing too far out after dark was not advised, which was a shame.
Sugarloaf Mountain. We managed to take the metro followed by a public bus to the cable car. This journey was tough for us as it was not easily signposted, still we managed with a bit of charm and wavey hand communication to get the directions we needed.
Fantastic views back across Rio from the top.
Headed to the Centro area of Rio to walk the streets and take in the sights. Stopped at the oldest Cafe / Bakery in Rio (Columbo Cafe) for amazing tea and cake in classic European grandeur and style. We then checked out some museums and parks for the rest of the afternoon
Final Day in Rio. We decided to get back down to the beaches and start at the military fort overlooking the entire Copacabana. This is a great place to kick back, relax and watch the world go by. We then headed over to the Leblon area of Rio to see how the other half live and visit the big shopping mall. Then it was back to the hostel to pack up and get ready for our trip to Ilha Grande the next day.