Week 1 - Crazy Rio to Chilled Trindade

Trip Start Jun 13, 2011
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Trip End Jun 12, 2012


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Where I stayed
Kaissara Hostel, Trindade

Flag of Brazil  , Rio de Janeiro,
Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wow - what a fantastic start to our trip!!!!! As far as a week goes, I'd say this has been one of the best we've ever had - and it's only just the beginning! All the hard work and preparation (i.e. Lou's lists haha!) feels like it's already been worth it! It felt like such a big step to leave our lives and loved ones behind - and we really can't thank everyone enough for all the love and support you've given us to get here! - but it's crazy how natural it's felt and how we've got into the 'traveling mode' so quickly! So here's a wee account of what we've been getting up to so far....

Ok, Rio - what a place! Absolutely loved it - couldn't think of a better way to kick things off! Everything we hoped it would be - but better! Much less dodgy than we were expecting and really multi-dimensional - each area really does have it's own feel about it. We stayed at the El Misti House just beside Copacabana beach - a great place to take a stroll in the morning sun and really central for getting around the city. Going up Corcovado (R36) to see Christ the Redeemer and the looking out over the city was definitely the highlight of our time in Rio - it really is the most spectacularly beautiful setting for such a sprawling metropolis! 
 
On day two we decided to have a bit more of a 'culture' day - we caught the metro (same price - R3 - as the bus but a million times quicker!) to Carioca to see the Metropolitan Cathedral (odd but impressive) then took the Bonde (a crazy little tram thing - but at only R0.60 the best value city tour around!) through Lapa and Santa Teresa, the older more traditional part of the city. You travel past the favelas and the local kids jump on and off (so keeping a hold of your belongings is essential) but it seemed pretty harmless and the atmosphere and views were great. We got off in the the middle of ST and visited a couple of museums and galleries, then walked down the cobbled streets to the infamous tiled steps (Escadaria de Selaron) - an ongoing labour of love for a local artist who we were lucky enough to meet and chat to! We took the metro back to Ipanema - which was nice but i think Copacabana's better - and sat in 'The Girl From Ipanema Park' for a picnic of cheesy puffs and the juciest pears I've ever eaten! 
 
The food was probably the only thing we were a bit disappointed with - there was literally NO cheap healthy food available (apart from the fruit and even that was pretty pricey) - everything was fried stuff with cheese! Obviously there were nice restaurants - but at anything from 20 each for a main course they were totally out of our price range! But even that didn't take away the wonderful experience that is Rio de Janeiro  - a chaotic, cultural and crazy city that we feel privileged to have visited
 
However, as much as it was amazing to start things off with a bang, we were more than ready to head down the coast for a bit of chill-out time - and we genuinely couldn't have found a more perfect place to do that than the little gem that is Trindade! The journey down the Costa Verde was one of the most beautiful we've ever had - only 4 hours on a really comfy bus (R55) to Paraty, then 45 mins (R3) to Trindade, a tiny little village surrounded by lush rain forest and countless picture-perfect beaches and coves, with a really relaxed vibe - just the place to unwind, re-charge our batteries and absorb as much sunshine as humanly possible! The first time we walked down to the beach it took our breath away - arguably the nicest we've been on - but we'll keep an open mind until the end of our trip!! 
 
Our days were pretty much spent chilling out on the beach and swimming in the sea, interspersed with gorgeous walks over the rocks and through the tropical forests - which were just challenging enough to make you feel you'd earned your next lie down on the golden sands! Every day we were accompanied by Teca, who was our faithful friend, companion and guard dog -and who we grew to adore and miss already!
 
Evenings generally comprised of hanging out at the Kaissara with the friendly staff and guests, chatting, playing cards, exchanging travel tips and a fair amount of alcohol - especially the caipirinhas (which are far too drinkable and Lou is now an expert at making!)!
We were lucky enough to be there for the annual Jazz and Blues Festival in Paraty, which, with it's cobbled streets and colonial buildings make you feel like you've stepped back in time, and was a great setting for the open-air concert.
 
We had planned to leave for the Iguazu falls on Monday or Tuesday, but after getting advice from the other travelers that a couple of days would be more than enough (and with the added pull of the blissful sunshine!),we decided to extend our stay by a couple of days, which was lovely although indulgent - but hey, we've got a year! So Tuesday felt like a real bonus day, and was probably our favourite so far! The morning was spent luxuriating on the beach (natch!), and in the afternoon Eli (one of the guys who worked at the Kaissara who was a total star) took us up to the waterfall - where he made us jump into the FREEZING cold water, then to the 'swallowing rock' - a tiny crevice in the rocks,with water cascading over the entrance, where you squeeze yourself into - and disappear! It looked a lot scarier than it actually was - once through the opening there was a small cave to swim through - I managed it, but Barry got in so far then pulled himself out - which was probably more effort than just sliding down but I think panic just took over - he then proceeded to have a couple of ungainly falls over the rocks with resulted in numerous bruises (mostly to his pride!) - bless! On the way back we walked over the beach and had to stop and sit down with a beer to watch the most amazing storm, where the waves were crashing over the rocks and a lone fishing boat struggled into shore - really awe-inspiring! The evening saw us tucking into the best food we'd had since arriving in Brazil - the guys at the hostel cooked traditional 'feijoada', which was washed down with copious amounts of caipirinhas! We had a bit of a cards marathon, where Lou beat all the boys - Barry, Eli, Jonny and Roland hands down, and we got some really great recommendations for massage schools in from the lovely Mr Klaus (who may or may not be a mass murderer-don't ask!!). Got to bed far too late and very pissed - and although we're up at the crack of dawn for the bus we can spend our travel time (27 hours!) catching-up on our shut eye!

So although we were sad to leave, we feel totally rejuvenated, revived, sunkissed and itching to begin our next adventure - next stop - Argentina!!!!




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Comments

Angie on

Wow! I looks like you guys are having the time of your lives. I love the pics and can't wait to see more. have fun in argentina. love you both xXx

Adele on

WOW !!!! just read your update, and seen your pictures, what can i say, it all sounds sooooo fantastic, you both must be having the time of your lifes and you are only at the beginning, sorry i couldnt make your party, i had my graduation etc. I will look forward to reading your next update, and remember to plenty of pics up too, Have a fantastic time you two and stay safe :-) x x x x

Ange Graham on

Looks and sounds like you are having an amasing time! Don't want to wish the time away but I can't wait to see you guys xoxoxox

Gayle Fyfe on

Glad you two are having a ball you both look so happy and refreshed xxxxxxxx

Cath on

Fantastic! Glad you went to see the beautifuly tiled steps. I so want to be there :-) Big lv xxx

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