Sydney - Rio

Trip Start Aug 31, 2007
1
51
Trip End Ongoing


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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Chrisso & I left Sydney on Friday 31 August and arrived in Rio at 3.30am on Saturday after 3 stops & 32 hours. It was a long journey! We were very happy to check into our hotel, look out the window & see the Corcovado (the big Jesus on a hill)!!!

We werenīt feeling too jetlagged on our first day, so went for a long walk along Copacabana & Ipanema beaches ... about 10kms round trip! The weather was great and it was a saturday, so all the families were out and the beaches were really crowed. We stopped at one of the many little stalls along the beach and had fresh coconut juice, then later stopped for lunch in a little cafe, where we had no idea what anything was ... we just pointed & hoped for the best!

After a quick afternoon nap, we went wandering again and came across a little brazilian churrascharia restaurant where all the meat is grilled on a massive bbq in the middle of the restaurant. I havenīt eaten that much meat in one sitting in my life! Chicken, pork, beef, chorizo ... with a little bit of tomato & onion salad thrown in on the side. It was salty but very delicious!

The weather was a bit overcast on Sunday, so we skipped the beach & went into central ... which felt a bit dodgy as everything was closed & there werenīt many people around ... everyone was still in bed or at church! We came across a weird park full of cats and massive ecuadorian rats ... very odd! We walked & walked & walked ... it got busier as time went on ... walked passed the Outback Steak House around lunch time but thought it was silly to go to an aussie restaurant in brazil ... So went to a pizza joint instead! We walked a bloody long way, about 15kms if not more, all the way back to Copacabana.

On Sunday night we went to a local soccer match at the Maracana stadium between Vasco de gama and Fluminense. Vasco fans definitely outnumbered the Fluminense supporters and they were very, very passionate! We managed to get to the stadium ok, but had no idea what to do once we got there. The ticket guys didnt speak any English, so we bought two tickets & followed the crowd. We managed to find someone who told us where we were supposed to sit (which was anywhere!) and went looking for seats. The Vasco fans took up so much space, we had to walk half way around the stadium before we could even get into a section! The game was pretty good, made even more exciting by the screaming, singing & cursing fans! I donīt know what they were saying, but sometimes Iīm pretty sure I could guess! Vasco scored the first goal & the crowd went off, never seen anything like it! Fluminense scored in the 2nd half and the game ended in a draw.

We woke on monday to find that the sun was shining, so we went visit the Big Jesus. He is at the top of a massive hill, and overlooks the whole of Rio ... which is a pretty big place! There were heaps of people up there & it was a bit hazy so the view wasnīt as great as it could have been. Still very impressive though! We spent the rest of the day down at the beach people watching & drinking beer ... every few minutes a little vendor man comes along selling what ever you may need ... t-shirts, sarongs, beer, peanuts, chips, anything at all! They arenīt pushy like in some other countries, just say no & they move right along.

We had to move hotels on Tuesday to the place that the tour started from. We were expecting the new hotel to be a bit dodgy, but if the rest of the hotels on the tour are as nice as this, weīll be very very happy! After we were settled, we went to another tourist view point, Sugar Loaf. You catch a two cable cars up to a platform at the top of this huge rock called the Sugar Loaf (itīs supposed to look like something to do with sugar cane from years ago, hence the name). It was such a clear day that the view was awesome. It was a bit windy though, so the cable car was a bit rocky!

We met our tour group in the evening, 12 in all, plus our guide, a german guy called Andreas. Mostly Aussies with one Irish, 2 English and 2 Austrians. After our briefing, we all went out to dinner to an all you can eat place & got to know each other. Everyone is doing different length tours, with our tour being the longest. They all seem like a lovely bunch of people so far!
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Comments

helenc109
helenc109 on

Football fever
is the stadium on fire or is that just Chriso's excitement bubbling over?

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