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Trip Start Dec 19, 2008
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Trip End Dec 19, 2009


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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Monday, April 20, 2009

  Monday 20th April. We arrived back in Rio de Janeiro to teaming rain and decided to get a taxi to our hostel which we had booked this time near Copacabana beach where we thought we would get to see the beach at least. Arriving at the hostel we found the Che Legarto (a hostel chain across Sth America we had used in the past) was excellent and clean and close to the beach area. We had a small double room and were just in time to sign up for the evening meal they offered of pasta yummo after crap food on the bus the last day/night. Heaven. It kept raining all night.
Tuesday 21st April. The rain cleared and we set off for the beach after breakfast (yummy brekky too at the hostel). The beach was quiet as it was still cloudy and we rented 2 chairs and an umbrella and promptly chilled all day. You get everything offered to you at your site - drinks, food, souvenirs, bikinis, hats, jewellery you name it. We took advantage and enjoyed drinks and food on the beach. The water was turbulent but refreshing. It was interesting as the locals stand by the water with little buckets and tip the water over themselves- few actually swim and I think it was because the water has rips and is rough. The bikinis are definitely tiny and yet beautiful bodies were not the only ones wearing bikinis as large women and obese women wear them and funny thing is it is not unusual as all women wear bikinis no matter what size so is normal. That was good to see really as large women not wearing bikinis is a western thing. The sights on the beach kept us entertained as there are families, volleyball games and posers. We had a great day and in fact did exactly the same thing the next day. Blissful relaxing on the beaches of Rio.
Wednesday 22nd April. The day was sunnier today and being a National holiday the beach was bopping. We hired the chairs and umbrella from the same hirers who treated us like old friends as we came back to him; we were on credit all day as we also got drinks from his stall. A crowded day where many many families came to enjoy the beach. Rio is a beautiful city with the mountain backdrop and the beaches are pretty. The pace of life in the city is fast but casual. There are lots of retired people in Rio it seems as a lot of older people seem resident here and they live the beach lifestyle as evidenced by the older people walking around with well tanned bodies. Drinking a few cans of beer on the beach (legally) is certainly a pleasant way to while away the hours under an umbrella.
That night, our last in Rio we took a trip on a group tour to a soccer game at the massive soccer stadium in Rio which can hold 100,000 people. Tonight's game was a minor one but nevertheless the vibe was there and the team Flamenense was battling an out of towner team and they needed to win by 2 goals to continue in the league. The fans were all decked in the soccer shirts and many carried flags. The core fan group had drums and sang their fan songs throughout the game. We sat near them and we were clapping and singing with them during the game as it was impossible not to get into the vibe too. Fluminense after the first half made 3 goals and won the game and with each goal the fans went nuts jumping, hugging each other and going off. The stadium does not sell alcohol which is a good thing given the fanaticism soccer has in Sth America and especially Brasil. The stadium game was a great finale to our trip in Brasil.
 
Thursday 23rd April. Today is our last day in Sth America and I am sad to go as there is so much more we didn't see we wanted to. We really could have spent 6 months here and still only scratched the surface. What an amazing continent. Sad to leave we spent another half day at the beach after packing our packs up. The hostel is great and let us store our packs and use the showers before we left to go to the airport. The taxi to the airport had us there in way plenty time and I spent time updating the blog on the laptop. We ran into the Belgian couple we met on the Pantanal trip as they were on our flight so it was great to chat with them and swap stories about where we had been since then. After midnight we boarded the British Airways flight to London due ton arrive next afternoon around 2 pm. Good bye Sth America and thanks for such a wonderful trip. Highlights too many to list, we will be back another time.
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