DAY 21: We finally arrived in Rio around 5pm! It was long, very long and not the best we had. From the bus station we had to get to Copacabana where we will be staying. We rented an apartment just one block from the beach. Viviane our landlord was meeting us at the apt at 5.30
We grab a cab from the station, but had first to go around all the different companies to check the prices. We decided on the cheapest one and took off.
Viviane is a super nice lady. I think she is from Australia or New Zealand. She moved to Brazil a couple of years ago and she is a photographer for the lonely planet!
She offered us a cold drink and sat down with us, took a big map and told us about everything we needed to know about Rio. Where and when to go. Where not, what to avoid. t was very helpful. She even left us a list of all her favourites’ places, cafes, restaurant. How thoughtful!
She left around 6.30
We quickly unpacked and decided to go have a look around and check out the neighbourhood. We walked around, stop at Mc Donalds (so easy, no need to think about anything… very safe choice). Did some grocery shopping and went back to the apartment. Took a shower and went off to bed.
Anyway, I was up at 7am. Viviane warned us that most touristic places get backed after 9am. We found out the hard way that she wasn’t lying. We wanted to start by the statue of Christ the Redeemer. We had to take the subway and then a bus to get to the train station that takes you all the way up. The subway is amazing, air conditioning, very spacious, very clean. They even have some part of the train that is women only from 6am to 9am and from 5pm to 10pm.
We arrived at the station at 9.15 to be told that we wouldn’t be able to go up before 12.00!!!! How to lose half a day doing nothing but wait. We walked around the area but of course there wasn’t much to do or see. So we waited….
Of course it was all worth it, once you are up there you forget about it all. The train was a 20min ride in the middle of the jungles, the trees are so tall it’s hard to see where they end. It’s weird to see the statue, something you’ve only seen in movies. I have always wanted to see it but never thought I actually would. The 360degres view from up there is amazing. You can see all of Rio and how big it is. We took a couple of pictures and quickly gave up because of all the madness. _ Stupid tourists again!
We sat at the snack bar, had a cold drink (32degres) and enjoyed the view, tying to take it all in. Then, it took us another hour to get down and go back to the station!
We then decided to go to Centro, the historical district. Viviane said that it’s super nice during the day, but you shouldn’t go at night or during the weekend. It was our only chance to tour it. We walked around all the outside market, street vendors everywhere. Loud music in a very crowded place. The Colonial architecture is stunning, a mix of very old and modern. In one of the street we spotted this beautiful building standing almost on its own. We went it to find the most magnificent public library! With big paintings showing how Brazil was treated by Portugal. Not very friendly.
After lunch we made it back to the south and decided to go to Ipanema. Arnaud didn’t have his swimsuit no this flip flops because “he didn’t think we might go to the beach”! _ Why guys do not think the way we do is beyond me.
So we just walked along the crowded beach. I don’t recall ever seeing that many people of on a beach. As of the Myth of Bomba Latina, let me tell you that from what we have seen wherever we’ve been in the last couple of weeks. The bomba latina only exists in Music video. I don’t think they have ever heard of a thing called a diet in here.
We stopped for a drink at Ipanema, before we walked back to Copacabana.