Line up those caipirinhas
Trip Start Oct 18, 2007
24Trip End Nov 20, 2007
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What a sad morning. Al is so looking forward to getting off and seeing Rio and then getting home. He's had enough of seeing the same people day in, day out. There goes my world voyage in a few years time J.
The weather outside is very dreary and wet.
No idea of where the port is on the context of Rio so just look out the windows and try and absorb everything. Downtown is just a Brasilian version of any city's downtown area. We drive past the Sambadrome where they hold the carnival parade every year. Arrive at Corcavardo quite a while before our train ride at 10 so just wander around. Get on the train that reminds me of a giant version of the one at Katoomba just west of Sydney. We're joined on board by a group who launch into the most amazing samba music show. It is truly the highlight of my holiday.
Get to the top and poor old Christ is shrowded in mist.
Bus trip to the hotel goes via Copacabana and Ipanema.
Hotel is great. Our huge room is on the tenth floor with the most amazing view of a very wet Ipanema beach. We go out for a walk along the streets, bump into Karl and his partner who are going in to a Churrascario (sp?), one of the barbeque restaurants that we must visit.
Everyone seems to have a dog that wears little boots. I think it's beacause the cobbles are sharp but it reminds us of Beverly Hills. Hilarious.
Head back to the hotel, book for the samba show at Plataforma tomorrow night, - 180 reais each (ouch!!) for transfer, dinner and show, to be paid in cash to the hotel - sit and look out for the departing Rotterdam but have no idea when she was due to sail, get changed, put on our spray jackets and head back to the same restaurant.
Meal was a hoot. We are a bit confused with a little disc we get given, green one side, red the other. We get a drink and go and get salad from the salad bar but the meat just keeps going past us. Finally work out that when the disc is red side up it means we don't want meat, green means we do. That's the way it's meant to work. We get lots of meat, turn the disc back to red and the meat keeps coming. It is hilarious. The food is great but we are very soon full and head back to the hotel.
We have had a famous caipirinha at the restaurant and so decide to have a couple at the hotel bar. We eventually have four, they are way better than at the restaurant and we have to hit the sack.
Day 31 November 18 Rio
Down for brekkie and instead of sitting in the room with a view of the beach we are put out the back in the conference room as there is no space. Nevertheless the breakfast spread is great and we wolf down plenty as we have a big day today - Sugarloaf and Copacabana.
Head off along the tiled/cobbled path alongside the beach.
We walk right to the end hoping there is a way across the headland to Sugarloaf but there's a military base of some kind. We have to head back the way we came
Sugarloaf is reached by taking two cable cars to the peak.
Nor sure why, but wasn't as scary. I think the first one was steeper. We both wander around. There are some wild marmosets up here and I find them and grab some pics.
Sky is clearing so we head across the road to find the 'gay' section of the beach.
Get ready and head to the show. We think there is something dodgy about what we've paid (it's that flashing 'pick us suckers' sign over our heads) and this is confirmed when we are stood in the line to get our tickets when we overhear some fellow Rotterdam guests beside us pay 282 for 2 compared to our 360. Bloody hell.
Anyway, the meal is pretty good, we buy an fairly decent wine and then head in to the show. Sadly, we end up in the very back corner and I am pissed that the people who just buy show tickets are in first and get the seats closer to the stage. I get over it and it's a really good place to see everything but it would have been great to have been in the front row when the capoiera men were on stage.
Show over and we contemplate walking back to the hotel but are glad we don't when the bus ride shows us how far we were from the hotel. Leblon didn't seem that far on a map. We have to keep going round the block to drop each set of people off so we say we'll get off sooner to avoid another loop. Just after we get off the bus we look behind us and the bus has jammed as it turns into a very narrow street and traffic chaos ensues. Oops. Plan to have some more drinks in the lobby but looks like they're closed up. Ah well.
Where I stayed