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Published: September 29th 2009
Tourist helicopter landing.
Wow what a city Rio is :-))) although we've liked a lot of the other cities we've been to this is the first time since we left Buenos Aires that we're in a place with life, soul, buzz and action. For the first time on this trip we're having to move on before we'd really like to, but if we don't we won't make Patagonia - bummer but that's how it is.
When we arrived from Ouro Preto in the early morning it was grey and drizzly and stayed that way for most of the day, it meant we couldn't do much but we still walked along (a deserted) Ipanema beach. The weather had been like this for the past 3 or 4 days, apparently this almost never happens so it had to get better - and it did. On Friday we walked from Ipanema to Copacabana - I don't know if it happens to everybody but in my head that bloody Barry Manilow song was playing on a loop !!!!! and I don't think it's about that beach or even Rio !!!!! walking along the beach was great, everything I imagined it would be - soft sand, blue sea, huge
View back down the cablecar route.
waves, surfers, girls in small bikinis (oops hope Atsuko doesn't read that), fantastic. Then we took the cable car up Sugar Loaf mountain - it's 'kin expensive, R$44 per person, ~US$25 because of the poxy weak dollar, but great. Saturday the weather was even better, hot, sunny and clear so we headed off early to the statue of Christ The Redeemer. The best way up the mountain is on a train - it's a bit like a Swiss alpine train or the Peak Tram in HK. When we got to the station there was a long queue for tickets which didn't seem to be moving, turns out the ticket printing machine was not working, merde. After about 30 or 40 minutes they'd sorted it and we were on our way. The view from the top, the statue itself and the whole experience was incredible. We spent the afternoon on Ipanema beach, which as it was sunny and the weekend was packed, potato washing as the Japanese call it. There were some “potatoes” that wouldn't have taken much peeling :-)
Sunday we had to head out to Sao Paulo, we are sad to be leaving Rio, it's definitely somewhere we'll come
back to to spend more time. As with so many of the places we've been the dangers were overplayed compared to the reality. We had no problems and nor did anybody we met. It really is the Cidade Maravilhosa.
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