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Published: March 7th 2011
An early morning rise -5.00-rewarded us with the spectacular entrance into Rio De Janeiro's harbour. Dawn was breaking and the surrounding hills were dusted with low clouds. The well known statue of Christ slowly came into view and made quite an impression. We excitedly looked forward to our trip there later in the morning.
We boarded the coach and started our trip; we travelled past several beaches including the famous Copacabana beach. It was very packed with families enjoying their children’s summer holidays, plenty of beach volley ball. The coach did not stop to let us sample it's delights and we had chosen the wrong side of the bus to sit on, so we did not see much of it either.
We arrived at the base of the statue of Christ and it was very hot!!! And extremely busy, we queued for ages before boarding a lovely old train to get up the hill. New hats and chilled coconut milk were quickly bought!!! During our rickety journey we travelled through Brazilian forest and saw lovely butterflies and some inquisitive monkeys. Once off the train our guide gave us only about 20 mins to spend looking at the amazing site!!!, this was
not enough time to walk leisurely up all the steps to it and through the hundreds of people and down again so we more or less ran up and down the steps !!! The giant statue which had been decorated with tiny tiles, stood majestically over the land for as far as the eye could see, it was impossible not to be impressed by it's splendour. However no sooner than we had climbed up it was time to climb down to queue for 30 mins to get the train back down. We felt
The coach took us back to the boat where we had lunch. After a rest we came out to shore and wondered whether to find a shopping mall or go to the beach, neither of these ideas appealed to either of us and as we stood like lemons on the quay side a taxi man was doing his best to get business from us. Where we had docked was not a great area, a business area and not much else. The taxis were very expensive but Murdo had a great idea and saved the day. He asked the taxi driver to take us back up
to the statue as now most of the tourist bus trips there would be finished. Great stuff!!! Off we went back up and NO train to get as we went up a lovely winding road through the forestry bits to the top and spent as much time as we wanted seeing ALL of the sights and taking in all that it had to offer. The taxi man then took us to Sugar Loaf Mountain, a massive granite cone at the entrance of Guanabara bay. It has cable car rides to the top, which we gave a miss. As we drove around, the taxi driver pointed out and explained all the interesting points.... We had a great time and got back into our cabin having had the experience we had hoped the first time up!! To top off our evening, onboard Showtime delighted us all, well mostly the men !!! With a carnival dance show with elaborate ladies with very perky botties!!!
Sunday 23rd January
Day 2 at Rio De Janeiro.
Not such an early rise!! Slowly slowly today... We were a little shattered after our double dose of stair climbing yesterday!!
Had breakfast then went to explore the
business section of town. It was Sunday and closed. The streets were empty, but we walked a LONG way past interesting old buildings, through areas used for preparing carnival floats for the world famous carnival, along a dual carriage way and ended up at a busy bus station!! Time to head back to the ship for lunch. We bumped into our taxi man friend and again found ourselves in his cab on our way to the botanical gardens. Here we walked around peacefully, enjoying trees, birds, fish and foliage. There were not many flowers to see. We found a shady spot and called home to our kiddies, who sounded just next door!!! We enjoyed our quiet afternoon and the nice taxi man came and picked us up. On our way back to the ship he took us down a quiet road to an amazing church. This church was just minutes away from the ship and none of us knew about it!! Fred Olsen keeps the freebies quiet methinks!
Returned back to the ship ready to join in with the sail away party and say goodbye to Rio, which we have to say was not quite what we expected!
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