How slow does life get!
Trip Start Sep 22, 2011
36Trip End Mar 09, 2012
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Where I stayed
Hotel Astoria Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
Read my review - 3/5 stars
Read my review - 3/5 stars
Saqua Hostel & Surf
We arrived after a brief 2 hour bus ride getting a cab in the midday sun, and it was hot. There are no real indications as to the hostels existence apart from a tiny sign outside, behind a 6ft wall the small house sits with a hammock in the sandy garden and a little patio to sit at. A small black and white dog and the very relaxed Jose greeted us upon our arrival, we later discovered the dog was a rescued street dog called Jolietta
Vanessa was going to join us later for her last couple of days on holiday before her return to the UK. After the usual settling in we headed to the beach we had read so much about with high hopes. For a change we weren't dissapointed and the beach was as white and wide as we had hoped, it was even quite clean, but it was very very busy, but thats weekends for you. There was a bar overlooking the beach attached to the local 'Posh' hotel, called Maasai Beach Hotel and Restaurant, as ever Neil had found his spot. A couple of hours of beach sun for Hannah and a few beers and back to the hostel to see if Vanessa was there.
We met a young Zimbabwa couple who were also staying called Ashley and Dave. They had been travelling for two years and also were at the end of their trip, having the same idea as us and a bit of chill time before returning to Jersey where they both now live. Within minutes Vanessa rocked up and regailed us of her exploits further north, were she had managed another dive or two.
Life at Saquarema continued in much the same vain for most of our stay there, mornings head to the beach, stay for lunch then mid afternoon head back for a siesta. Evenings we would set off to a restaurant, the first being a little Italian place where the waitress thought Hannah and Vanessa were sisters and was enthralled by them both. We also found a place to eat a bit further into town which rapidly became our favourite. Dave had decided one night that a BBQ was in order so we even managed a night in.
The area is host to lots and lots of animals from tiny Monkeys and Rattish Opposum like beasties to big colourful spiders and a huge variety of birdlife
Jolietta managed to cause a stir after she dug up a dead cat one morning and started to eat it! She was swiftly relieved of the stinking carcass and after a day of trying to hide it from her it was disposed of sucessfully, at which point she opted to vanish in a huff for 24hrs.
Vanessa left a few days after getting there and Ash and Dave a couple of days later leaving us alone for our last two nights. Quiet and calm and regenerated from Rio we headed back to the city after we had decided to have the last few days in a Posh Hotel in the Copacabana area of Rio.
The Hotel Astoria Copacabana was a stones throw from the main beach, in the famous part of town. We knew there was some building work going on, and that had made the prices affordable. Three stars but in Copacabana and with a pool, so not cheap anyway. We had a room on the 10th floor but not much of a view, but we had aircon ahhh bliss. The form for our stay was pretty much going to follow Saquarema, with beach time and a bit of sun soaking , or at least that was the plan
We arrived the day before Ash and Dave were leaving so we arranged to meet up outside the Hotel and grab a quencher or two. They inevitably became a few and we swiftly arranged a night out before we all retired to our respective abodes to scrub up. We ended up in a most peculiar but quaint little club mainly attended by young faced individuals all proclaiming to be old enough, though the music was pretty good and the atmosphere much the same. The dangerous thing was you didn't have to pay anything until you left! Rio has this strange system in a lot of bars, restaurants and clubs where you are given a ticket on entering and every drink you order is marked down and you pay at the end of your night. Not such a good thing when you loose your ticket and are charged £80 no matter what.... luckily Hannah managed to retrive said lost ticket! We obviously had to party ourselves quite hard and didn't return to our digs until after 5 the next morning, ooohh dear hangovers will ensue...... As you can imagine the post sleep period was as activeless as could be, barely making it out for something dinner in the evening, good job the tv had a few films on.
Most of our remaining time was spent beach baking or pool roasting when the surf was a bit insane, although we managed to make it up Sugar loaf mountain again, only on foot this time
We awoke pre packed on our final day, though Neil had done his usual of 'last night here better have a drinky poo' till 4am and was...... tired, or so he said. We made it outside and tried to catch a glimps of Christ, the weather was glorious and Sugar Loaf was in bright sun, though Christ the Redeemer was a bit harder to see, being behind so many 20 storey buildings. A swift wander up the beach road to find a vantage point. Two hours later we managed to discover the statue was also in clear skies (the view being from our closest metro stop 5 minutes away, not the opposite end of Copacabana beach!) We made it to the base of the hill and opted for a walk up again, mmmm maybe not so bright
Bags packed and check out of the not so bad Hotel we gat a taxi to the airport through the insanely busy streets. An hour later we reached the airport with a triumphant flourish 30 minutes early only to discover South America hadn't quite finished toying with us. Our flight had been delayed from 11pm to 5am the next day! Can't complain though, an extra 6 hours in Brazil, even if it was going to be in an airport.
Bye bye South America, we have had an experience that will do nothing short of live with us for the rest of our lives, and we are pretty sure influence us subtley, or not so. Not forgetting our family and friends, they'll get bored of the stories eventually.