Published: June 27th 2012June 27th 2012
Biiiig delay since last blog - apologies but been pre occupied with partying hard since we arrived in Rio 8 days ago.
In summary: Uraguay is not the best.... Visited Montevideo which is pretty unremarkable. It was bitterly cold and felt pretty soulless. The best thing we did whilst there was go to a salsa club and see snow white at the cinema! We wrapped up our time in Uraguay by getting another overnight bus to Salto. Salto is a bizarre place, it is a town full of people wandering around in bath robes as everyone goes there to visit the hot springs and thermal baths. We did the baths - again really strange.
Onto Brazil! Got a horrendous overnight bus to Iguassu. The journey was well worth it when we visited the falls - one of the natural wonders of the world. On day 2 we got a speed boat which actually took us through the falls which were freezing! Spent all day at the national park took loads of pictures.
Experienced my first caprihana which will be the death of me. Also eating a lot of meat at the all you can eat buffets which are everywhere in Brazil. Think I have put on about a stone. After Iguassu we moved onto my favourite places in Brazil - Paraty and Ilha Grande. The coastal drive to Paraty has been voted one of the best in the world, it was beautiful. Paraty is an unspoilt fishing town with cobbled streets and a small population. Unfortunately we only had 2 nights and one day here but we made the most of the time. Ate some lovely fish and went on a fantastic boat party which involved jumping in the sea from the top deck and cliff jumping. Drinking too many caprihanas. Weather has been really good. Got my first taste if Brazilian dancing on the boat party from the crew which was crazy. Brazilian hip hop is really cool.
Caught a catamaran to the island of Ilha Grande. Reminded me loads of Koh Tao in Thailand. Really pretty, beautiful beaches and hiking. No ATM's and only 2 unmade roads on the whole island. Did an amazing trek to one of the best beaches I have ever seen called Lopez Mendes. The sand was like flour and the sea was so clear. Really lucky to have a great group of people on this tour so having lots of fun. Took a speedboat snorkelling to the blue and green lagoons around the island.
Arrived into Rio which was hectic as Rio + 20 is going on which is a conference about sustainability so loads of police everywhere as world leaders are in town. It has been hot so far even though it's winter here. Did a city tour visiting Christ the redeemer, got a cable car up to sugar loaf mountain. Visited Saint Teresa and the famous steps.
Onto the nightlife - oh my god so much going on. Been to a crazy street party at Lapa where everyone is playing music, dancing and drinking caprihanas in the street. Went to a Favela party which was awesome, a massive warehouse, loud Brazilian hip hop and the locals dancing was out of this world. Been to few clubs which have all been great. Starting to feel the effects of all the late nights/ early mornings and lack of sleep.
Did a motorbike tour of the favela which was really interesting. People build their houses literally on top of each other and steal water and electricity. They don't even pay for their cable tv! Gunshot marks in the brick work which is a reminder that we are in a ghetto where the drug dealers make their own laws. Girls in the favela have children as young as 12 and it's normal to have up to 9 children!
Visited the famous copacabana and ipanema beaches. Spent a day looking around the botanical gardens.
Went on my first date ever with a lovely guy fromTexas! Only 2 days until we leave. Can't believe how quickly the time has gone!