With Bruce and Nani in Rio
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But time is the real thing, as when we were in Rio, we were very busy, and then in between I was fighting off serious jet lag.
But anyway - have found a random computer (we are in Guayaquil) so hope to get as much down as possible now, and will then edit it when there is more time. I have put in map pins so far and will then go back to filling in the details when possible.
Andy has gone off to see our agent about our vehicle arriving in Guyaquil, and it seems as though the vehicle will be here later rather than earlier. But will find out when he gets back. We cant stay here in Guyaquil as it is an awful city - and I think that we are the only tourists!
(As I type, everything is underlined in red - it is a Spanish computer!!!!)
We arrived in Rio from Sao Paolo and were met at the airport by Bruce and Nani. They took us back to our hotel in Copacabana, just down the road from Nani´s parents apartment in the area. What a beautiful area to be. The beach was a short walk down the road, and the whole coast is just magnificent beaches. Further along was Ipanema beach and Le Blon. We had lovely walks along the Copacabana. The beach area as far as I could see is really a giant playground for the people living in the area and visitors - it hums... Young children take soccer lessons, the beach bat courts are always busy, there is volleyball going on, and even a place to slackline. (Didnt know what that was - it is like tightrope walking) There are bars and live music and dancing all along the way. People have made elaborate sand castles and they sit there all day waiting for tips! We went one night to listen to the Brazilian Youth Orchestra who were playing against the backdrop of a giant screen, with a Hitchcock movie being shown. Lots of old people live in Copacabana and they sit on the beach with their chairs. We saw one frail, stooped old man coming back from a day at the beach dragging his beach chair - shirtless and brown as a berry! There are also places along the beach - and throughout the public areas in the city - that have free outdoor gyms. These are in constant use. Such a good idea! Very simple, but non-destructible contraptions.
There is now a queue waiting for this computer so will publish this just to get started on the blog
The best way to get around Rio is by bus as they are regular, efficient and cheap. But you have to know the language and have a general idea of where you want to go. Luckily Nani took charge of that, and we went to see the "guy on the hill" (as Bruce calls it) – Christ the Redeemer. It is the largest Art Deco work in the world. And how fantastic it is…He looms over the city, seeming to watch everyone at work and play…. And the view from there is awesome. We also went to the Botanical Gardens where they have a big orchid section. We wanted to see the fish there, called Tambaqui. Bruce and Nani are perhaps going to be farming this species in Brazil, close to the Bolivian border, in an area called Rondonia. They are huge fish. They will sell them at about 3 kg, but they do grow much bigger.
It was interesting chatting to them about their plans. Exciting for them, but lots of hard work to come in setting up their fish tanks and establishing themselves. The provincial government in Rondonia is offering some good incentives to encourage growth, and I think specifically in fish farming, in that area. We spent an evening with Nani's dad, Enio and went to a typically Brazilian bar just down the road where they were showing the Brazil/Argentine soccer match