We started our morning off right with the amazing breakfast buffet before heading out on our first tour. The seven of us took a jeep tour to the jungle of the Tijuaca Forest. This is a huge hand-planted park right in the middle of the city on the mountains. In the early 1900's, the king had 10 slaves (9 men, 1 women) go about changing the coffee plantation that had been on the mountains into the rainforest we saw. It was a bit chilly in the forest, so us girls were cold because we had dressed for the beach, but it was worth it. We stopped at a number of different sites for pictures including Cascatinha Waterfall and a helopad that had an awesome view of the city and Christ the Redeemer. The memorial is actually in the jungle, but we didn't stop there on this trip. We did a short walk through the trees where the guide actually called the monkeys and so we saw them playing up in the trees.
After the forest, the jeep brought us to the Botanical Gardens. The guide brought us around showing us some of the key items in the park, because there
was way too much for us to see in our timeframe we only hit the key items. This included some beautiful ponds, trees, and fountains. One tree we saw was the Brazlian tree that has sap that they use to use for dying clothing red. There were also a ton of huge Palm trees.
Back at the hotel, Jeeves brought us to a nearby sandwich shop called Cervantes. I ended up getting a turkey sandwich with cheese and pineapple. The cheese and pineapple combination seemed pretty popular since it was the only thing constant on all sandwiches - only the meat type changed. We polished off our sandwiches and a large amount of fries before heading back. Since the weather was nice, we grabbed a juice at a local fresh fruit juice stand. They are all over the city and very popular. Juice in hand, we walked along the Copacabana beach back to our hotel. It was a lot busier now that the weather had cleared up.
We all cleaned up for our afternoon event - a soccer match! We had a shuttle pick us all back up at 5pm to head to the Maracana Stadium for a
game of Botafogo versus Coritiba. Since the local team was Botafogo we all dressed in black and white. They have about two games a week in the stadium for the four main local teams. We picked the perfect game, the score ended up 3 to 1 Botafogo so the crowd was going crazy. We had a couple of locals in front of us that were very entertaining to watch - especially when the Botafogo goalie got a red card and was kicked out of the game. Surprisingly the stadium is dry and they only serve water, soda, and non-alcoholic beer. They aren't near as big on snacks either. Andrew managed to find a pizza type thing but since it had ham I got to finish it. Also, they had these odd cheese-less Cheetos rings that James thought were disgusting but was so hungry finished them anyway.
At the game and on the bus ride back we made friends with some other Americans. Two girls (Nina and Ashley) got off with us at our hotel to go out for the night. A group of three guys (the 3 B's - Brian, Brent, and Brad) gave us a recommendation for dinner
and then said they would meet us out for drinks in Ipanema. We cleaned up at the hotel and headed out to Zaza for dinner. It turned out to be a really tasty Moroccan place that we took our shoes off and sat on cushions on the floor. Our table got a round of Caipirinhas to enjoy since it is the local drink. We even had room to share a dessert with the table. The 3 B's found us there and told us to meet them at a bar around the corner.
The nine of us moved over to the bar Impresa which was a hipster type bar but played rock music. I sat down with my one drink and enjoyed listening to some of the rock classics like System of a Down, Tool, and Deep Purple. Not everyone enjoyed it near as much as me, so when the 3 B's got there we all headed out to find a club. Jumping in taxi's we went over to Lablon to a club called 00. The 3 B's attempted to get us through the VIP line, which when you don't speak the language doesn't work too well. So we went
through like normal and they gave you these interesting little cards. Instead of paying with cash or card at the bar you give them this card as your tab and you pay at the end before you leave. I liked the idea.
The club had a pleasant outdoor area where you could sit and chat or you could go inside and dance. Of course we spent plenty of time dancing. James and I had a good time dancing up a storm. Andrew kept the two girls from the soccer match pretty entertained and had some great DBM (dirty bar makeout) action. Nicole danced it up with the two married B's. Tara and Kevin dealt with the weird awkward aftermath of what happened in Buenos Aires. Jeeves spent his time learning how to dance from Ashley when she wasn't dancing with Andrew. Time slipped on by and before we knew it, it was 5am. I was exhausted by this point so I rounded up the troupes (except Andrew and Jeeves) to head back to the hotel. Us three girls got a cab and watched the sun rise on our ride back. Tara ran to the beach after exiting the cab
so Nicole and I had to drag her back for bed.
Andrew and Jeeves apparently left not long after us but walked the girls back to their hotel after a dip in the ocean and frolicking on the beach. Foolish, tired Andrew even missed all the hints Nina was dropping about going back with her. Instead he returned to the hotel where I would wake him up only a couple hours later to go touring again.
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