Rio de Janeiro

Published: June 6th 2014
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My last stop in South America - Rio!

I didn't do an awful lot here as I had no money. I arrived on a Saturday afternoon which meant I couldn't get more money until Monday!

A guy at my hostel asked if I wanted to go to Copacabana beach for sunset so I thought why not. When we arrived, I was a little disappointed. Copacabana- there is a song written about this place so it had to be amazing! Hmmm, I've seen better. Think its appeal is that it is right next door to the shops and the town and people play sport on the beach all day long. Nothing to shout about in my opinion. We went to find a typical Brazilian dish and I was shocked to see how much more money I would be spending in comparison to Bolivia! That was the best thing about Bolivia- it was cheap!

The next day, I went for my first run in a long time! My legs were sore! Going to have to get back into shape! I spent the rest of the day on the beach and then chilled out at the hostel. When I was off to bed, I couldn't find my charger. I asked everyone in my room but no one had seen it. I hadn't taken it out of the room and was pretty sure I had left it connected to the wall. I just had to assume someone had stolen it 😞 Was not happy!

On Monday, I rang up Western Union as my bank said that I could transfer money from my bank with just my sort code and account number. When I spoke to someone on the phone, they explained that I needed a card. I don't have a card!! Great. I then rang my bank asking what to do. They said I would have to go into HSBC in Rio to ask for emergency cash. I asked someone at my hostel to ring the bank to see if anyone spoke English. They told him that they couldn't give me any money but I explained that my baNk said I could. Stress! I got in contact with my family again and Micaela came to my rescue once again. I set off to the nearest Western Union and didn't come out for three and a half hours. It took them 3 and a half hours to give me my money. I was not pleased, especially as it was windy and cold outside by the time I had left the bank! I treated myself to a hot chocolate and went back to the hostel to watch films...not really what I expected to do in Rio!

Tuesday, my last day in Rio, I organised with some people in my hostel to go and see one of the seven wonders of the world, Christ the Redeemer. We were told to get a bus at the end of the street but couldn't work out which one to get. We finally found someone that spoke English and they directed us towards the right bus. The bus drivers are CRAZY in Rio! They drive way too fast and don't seem to slow down at corners. As I had to stand up, this meant I was being flung everywhere on the bus. At one point the bus swerved, I tried to hang on to the rail with all of my might but I just couldn't. I smashed right into another person, again, again and again. I couldn't stop laughing and apologising. A good rollercoaster ride for me, not sure it was for the people I was squashing! We weren't sure what stop we should take so we asked another passenger on the bus. They told us we were on the wrong bus and should get off and get another one...but they couldn't remember the number! Great. We piled off and went in search for an information centre. An elderly guy saw that we were looking at our maps and asked if he could help in his broken English. He was telling us we shouldn't bother going as there were so many other nicer things to see in Rio. I really wanted to see it so he tried to explain how to get there. After talking to him for about 45 minutes, and feeling even more confused than before, we decided to end our adventure and just find somewhere to sit down and eat instead!

We made our way to Copacabana, as it was a bit livlier than where we were in the centre, and found a place to sit by the beach. People kept on appraching us selling all sorts of rubbish. One guy was selling henna tattos and we said no. He then grabbed my hand and started drawing. I said no and said I didn't want it but thought maybe he just wants to draw something small to show what he could do. He was then demanding 20 Real (about 7 pounds) for the most rubbish drawing of a butterfly I have ever seen in my life. We said no and one of the guys that I was with gave in and handed him 2 real! The brazilian guy kept on trying to get more money but we told him to go away. If I was on my own, I would have felt really intimidated. I hate that sort of holiday place where people are trying to force things on you. Totally ready to go home, getting more annoyed with people by the day haha.

I then made my way back to the hostel to book my hostel in Portugal before my taxi arrived to take me to the airport. As soon as I had arrived to the hostel, my taxi arrived! I had no time to book my hostel! Time to do it old fashioned style - walking round the streets to find a spare bed.....


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