Paraty: Brazil bankrupts British backpackers

Trip Start Jan 18, 2011
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Trip End Dec 01, 2011


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Where I stayed
The 3 Dogs Hostel

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Monday, January 24, 2011

L:

Part two of our blog and we're finding the 25 degrees in the coach a welcome relief from the heat of Brazil!.

We spent 4 nights in Rio in a hostel without any air con… blunder! The temperature got to about38/39 degrees in the day but was so humid it felt like 45+ ( i.e.hotter than the sun). Cram six people into a dorm room with a paltry fan and it makes for sweaty and sleepless nights! Aside from the heat (which made walking 500 metres feel like a 5 mile run), Rio was excellent!

We did all the usual sights, Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana beach and an excellent Favela tour. For those that don’t know, favelas are the slum towns built into the hills of Rio, often right next to very rich areas. Amazing city but really pretty expensive (and hot!) for us (London prices basically). I was also surprised that in such a big city (hosting the Olympics in a few years) barely anyone speaks a word of English. We have done a lot of pointing and hand gestures to get by as Portuguese is so different from other European languages we can’t work anything out. For instance the word 'frango’ means chicken – eh?

 Anyway after 4 nights in the hot dorm room we were ready to move on.

Paraty was our next stop after a 4 hour bus trip with amazing views of the Costa Verde. It’s a lovely colonial town with cobbled streets and a beautiful harbour. It had a really relaxed feel  and was a few degrees cooler than Rio with a great breeze. Yesterday we did a boat tour to four beach islands (Paraty doesn’t have a beach itself). There was a mediocre guitar player singing the whole way which was nice enough but we were shocked when they tried to charge us a ‘cover’ of 10 Reias for him – we refused to pay which I don’t think is the done thing, but we have to be shameless in our money saving!

On that note, Brazil is really quite expensive – not far off prices back home.  So tonight will be our last night here we think. We’re currently on the bus to Sao Paulo, a big industrial city that isn’t that appealing but we have to go to get to the next place! From there we will take a 20 hour + bus to Iguazu Falls, Argentina. It’s supposed to be absolutely amazing. I don’t think the long journey will be too bad as their buses are all air conditioned and pretty spacious, not like the ones we used to get to go skiing with the school!

Hope everyone is doing well, we’ll write again soon!

Lisa xx
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