The beach is calling!!!

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Saturday, June 11, 2005

We made our way up from Foz do Igacu to Sao Paolo first for a couple of days. Visited the city and met some friends of Michelles who treated us to a lovely dinner! After day two we felt that we had seen enough and needed to get to the beach. Back on the coach for another 8,5 hours (was meant to be 6 but there was a traffic jam!) and we arrived in Rio!!

What a place. The first night we stayed in a hostel in Botafoga which is a really nice part of Rio - near the sea and corcovado but we moved the next day to Copacabana! We stayed in a beautiful apartment overlooking Copacabana beach. This place is the penthouse of a building right on the sea front. You could see all the way over and beyond the sugar loaf right down to Ipanema!! Incredible! Needless to say we adored our time here. Marta and John who own the place have been lovely to us. Lucia made us breakfast everyday and tidied our very messy room. If you are going to stay in Rio check this place out www.rioguesthouse.com.

I actually took up surfing. Much to the delight of the people on Ipanema beach. I had a crowd of adoring fans (two very cute 4 year olds). Who waved and applauded my efforts.

Me and Michelle met up with Bas who we met in El Calafate and Buenos Aires! We did lots of sightseeing together and saw Pao de Azucar which over looks the whole of Rio. You have to get a teleferica up there (much to my delight) and the view is spectacular. Then we did Cristo de Redentor - what a statue. Had to do the tourist thing of being a national monument (all makes sense when you see the picture). From there we saw Sao Bento monastary then the municipal cathedral and finally Santa Teresa BY TRAM!! What fun was that. Going over the arches of lapa with all the kids hanging off the side. Santa Teresa is so pretty so we wandered around for a bit before having a well deserved beer.

One night Michelle Bas and myself went to the football. There were no tickets left so the men on the gate gave us complimentary ones. How nice is that! We sat on the terraces drinking beer and singing songs. There was a samba band playing the whole of the match and everyone was going wild. They all had huge flags too. Vasco de Gama was playing Coritiba and they were two up until the second half so it ended up being a draw. It was brilliant and whilst I wouldīt say Iīm now a football fan I would definately recommend you go to a game in Rio!

The finale in Rio was the hangliding! Went up to the national park stood on top of a platform 525m up and ran off the slope (donīt worry I was tandem with an instructor - no one is going to let me wander off with a few grands worth of that kind of kit alone!). It was amazing. I saw the whole of Rio and even got to steer a bit. So cool! Unfortunately I had to borrow a pair of their shoes as I only had flip flops and they were horrendous. Everyone was laughing so much at them (Michelle was in tears of laughter!) They nicknamed me Cinderella cos the shoes fit. Ha ha! I got over my embarrasment though and really enjoyed it. On the way down spotted some stingrays close to the shore before we landed on the beach. Totally brilliant.

Well thats it from Rio more from Salvador where there will be a carnival this weekend. Canīt wait!!
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