Blogs from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America

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1. Stopp: Rio Die letzte Woche in Brasilien, die erste Woche ohne Begleitschutz und 30 Personen im Schlepptau. Es ist toll, wenn man mal einfach machen kann, worauf man Lust hat. So geschehen in Rio, wo wir in 2,5 Tagen einen Streifzug quer feldein wagen. Begonnen haben wir mit Santa Teresa, Künslerviertel: viele Bars, Restaurants und Hipster. Weiter am nächsten Tag: Pão de Açúcar erst einmal am Morgen. Die beiden Seilbahnfahrten von 0 auf 395 m bieten einen gewagten und ungewöhnlichen Blick runter auf beide Strände, Copacabana und Ipanema. Während ersterer eher bei den Touris beliebt ist, gehört der zweite eher den Locals. Macht aber nichts, beide Strände sind toll. Soviel kann schon mal gesagt sein. Der Acucar ist wider Erwarten relativ leer. Mit uns ist nur Gruppe 32 und 39 von irgendeinem grossen Ozeandampfer mit ... read more
Travelroute Brasilien
Hoch geht's zum Zuckerhut
IMG_7430

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Tijuca March 20th 2014

Reflections on Rio I’ve spent my last week in Brazil lunching, beaching and generally pottering around. I’ve been shopping, drunk juices, whiled away long afternoons in pubs eating pastries, lay on the beach doing nothing, drunk juice, negotiated the postal system and generally spent a bit of time observing the cariocas at play. I’ve also drunk a fair bit of juice. I’m now on my way to Argentina and I’m really, really, really excited. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve had a wonderful time in Brazil. It is a beautiful city, full of very patient and generous people but after a month here, I’m ready to move to the next stop. I’ll be staying in an area of Buenos Aires called Palermo. It’s a very safe (yes Dad, safe)area with a lot of restaurants, cafes and shopping. ... read more
Jardim Botanico
A pink dragon fly I spent 20minutes trying to photograph...

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Paraty March 17th 2014

Paraty (“Para-chee”)is a small colonial town around 5 hours by bus from the centre of Rio. Its a place full of cobblestone streets and old buildings from the 1800's and surrounded by tiny coastal islands. Andreia and I went there for the weekend to celebrate her xx birthday (the figure shall remain undisclosed, but lets just say she is looking absolutely fabulous)! Getting to Paraty was, as is becoming custom in Rio, a bit of a drama. Getting to Rodavaria station at 7pm on a Friday night required (a) getting a taxi and (b) it not shafting me. Both quite epic tasks at that day and time. After about 45minutes of hailing taxis at various locations throughout Botafogo, one stopped, agreed to take me to the bus station and we were off, for 2 metres before ... read more
Our boat tour boat


Sunday – Mar. 2/14, Rio de Janeiro – Distance sailed to this point 5,844 nm – Temperature 24°C-75°F – Cloudy and rain – possibility of thunder storms Portuguese explorers led by Amerigo Vesppucci reached Rio de Janeiro –(River of January) in January 1501. The expedition thought that the Bay of Guanabara was actually the mouth of a river, hence the name Rio de Janeiro meaning “January River”. The current city of 6-7 million is best known for its celebration of Carnaval, the white sand beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, Sugarloaf Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer. It is also know for its ever-spreading areas of poverty & crime, within the favelas. The government is trying to cl... read more
Christ the Redeemer in daylight
Bridge across the bay & oil rig
Sugar Loaf

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Búzios March 9th 2014

Wednesday – Mar. 5/14, Armação dos Buzios °C-75°F – Threat of showers This resort town is usually simply referred to as Buzios and is part of the state of Rio de Janeiro. European pirates who had established a lucrative business of smuggling Brazil wood to Europe and slave traders originally settled set up their base of operations in this area. The Portuguese eventually banished the pirates in 1575 and established a permanent town, which is now a popular destination for tourists from Rio, 169 km to the southwest. Brigitte Bardot who visited the area in the 1960’s popularized the peninsula and town. She came to the town to avoi... read more
Winding roads
Cobblestone road surfaces
Typical tourist stop

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After the madness of Rio Angra dos Reis is a different pace. (The buses aren't a different pace don't worry, but more on that later). We arrived in Angra after a very comfortable 2.5 hour bus journey. We went with a company called Costa Verde and it cost R$44 each. The buses are really good, air conditioned and massively cushioned seats. We think this is because there are no trains so loads of people use the buses as a means of transportation. As we left the bus station it became apparent the 5.5km walk to the hostel would have been beyond us, with the threat of rain, reading a map off a screenshot on my iPod and the emergence of what I like to call Alex's backpack face. As soon as the big backpack goes on ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Ilha Grande February 28th 2014

I spent the last week at Ilha Grande, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen (North Queensland coast line aside). Ilha Grande (meaning 'big island' in Portuguese) is actually a littleisland off the coast of Brazil, south of Rio. It has stunning white sandy beaches, crystal clear water and is filled with dense jungle vegetation. It is home to monkeys (which we heard but did not see) and lots of birds and fish I have never seen before. It's largely undeveloped and consists of villages full of knock-up restaurants, small trinket shops and hostels. I did not see any buildings over three stories or cars and most people just get around by foot, bike, boat or paddle board. We stayed in a beautiful little pousada (a little BnB guest house) right on the ... read more
View from our hike to Lopes Mendes beach
Village life, Ilha Grande
The girls on Lopes Mendes beach

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana February 27th 2014

Loaded up on the free breakfast from the hostel and rolls made for lunch. (An excellent habit of Brazilian hostels so far). With beautiful blue skies and high temperatures, even at 8.30am, we set off to Sugarloaf mountain. The bus stop was 2 blocks away and the staff at Che Lagarto really helpful with bus numbers. On our short walk to the bus station we passed through a fresh food market selling amazingly fresh fruit, many of which the market sellers offered us to try - the strawberries were delicious. We later found out that another unusual fruit we were given to try was called Cherymoya, or custard apple. Really nice. There were also live crabs on a string, which we dismissed as dead until they started nipping at each other. I would question their storage ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Tijuca February 27th 2014

My 4 weeks of travel and cultural delights have finally commenced....and equipped with my one Portuguese word "obrigado" i.e. thank you I am on my way to Rio! Flights from Edinburgh via Amsterdam with KLM were pleasant enough, managed to catch up on some much needed sleep. My first thought on arriving is that I have no idea how the Brazilians are going to cope with the football world cup? It took us (aprox 400) in excess of 1.5 hrs to get through immigration and then another 30 mins to get money out of an ATM. But this is Brazil as I am constantly being reminded....funny how a day later and I am already loving this chilled out laid back pace of live.... Oh and the BBC weather got it wrong the temperature is not between ... read more
rubbish and carnival has not yet started
token headdress for my first street party
lots of graffiti

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana February 26th 2014

This is the first blog either of us have ever kept and we'll try to update it when we can. We hope to make it as helpful to people looking to travel South America as possible. After arriving at Heathrow with 2.5hours before the flight left we were left very stressed because the airline refused to allow us to fly without proof we were leaving Brazil within 90 days. We explained our whole trip wouldn't be 90 days and therefore wouldn't require a visa (we checked). We had also booked Machu Pichu in Peru for the end of April again proving we wouldn't be in Brazil, but they wanted confirmed transportation out of Brazil in 90 days. We spent over an hour searching for buses or flights. The flights were really expensive even to the surrounding ... read more




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