Blogs from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America


South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro February 4th 2019

We only had a last afternoon in Rio before the trip home so toured around the city seeing areas we hadn't been to. First we were down town in the main square which was designed by a Frenchman and has a wide boulevard and lovely opera house, library and other French looking buildings. We called in at Colombo's a famous coffee house which is beautifully decorated like the ones in Vienna but the queue was too long so went across the road for a spot of lunch. Then it was on to the St.Therese area which has some lovely old houses as well as lots of little bars and quirky art shops. We saw the old tram come trundling through the area. It had started raining so we ended our touring around at the St.Benedict Monastery ... read more
Colombo coffee house
Old tram
Inside St.Benedicts

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Búzios January 22nd 2019

Our first stop down the Brazilian coast was at Ihla Grande, a large island covered in Atlantic rain forest. It used to be a quarantine island in the 19th century for ships coming over from Europe. Rio de Janeiro used to be the capital of Brazil and they didn't want to import any diseases there. Later the island became a prison and also had a coffee plantation. It was then decided to let it all grow back to natural rainforest and is now protected as are the surrounding waters. There are many walking trails through the forest with some lovely trees and occasional pool from the rivers which come down from the mountain. We took a leisurely stroll through the forest away from the hectic village then later back for a beer before joining the speed ... read more
Hi Brigitte !
Coastal village
Trek through rain forest

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana January 20th 2019

For a first time visit we decided a guide and driver were essential and we chose BeFree Tours run by Marcelo who was himself the guide and driver for the day. We set off early about 8.15am to get to Christ the Redeemer statue before the crowds. It was already hot and humid. A tram takes you up to the base of the statue. Good to pre buy the tickets to make sure of a place when you want. We had 9am tickets but got onto the 8.40am tram. There is a lift at the top but unless you are disabled you might as well use the steps and avoid a queue as it is only a short distance. It was already very busy but we managed to get the usual photo of the 38 metre ... read more
Christ the Redeemer
View from top
Lizard in Tijuca Park

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana January 13th 2019

It has come to my attention that I don’t apply sunblock right up to my clothes. I have woken this morning with 3 pink rings around my neck and shoulders outlining yesterday’s vest. So this morning I am wearing a t shirt. I feel hideously overdressed is a city where the preferred attire is a bikini which barely covers your nipples. It’s our last day in Rio so we’re going up Sugarloaf Mountain. We’ve left it till last because frankly I hate cable cars. It’s not natural to hang in mid air in a glass box on a bit of wire and Sugarloaf Mountain requires some serious mid air hanging. First you take a cable car up the neighbouring Morro da Urca. Then you take a second cable car to Sugarloaf. Basically you travel a kilometre ... read more
Morro da Urca
Morro da Urca
Sugarloaf Mountain cable car

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Centro January 12th 2019

Today we are going sightseeing in Rio. So, on a sunny summer Saturday, we set of by Metro from Copacabana to the city centre. Not surprisingly, we are travelling in the opposite direction to almost everyone else. We buy Metro tickets, which are quite decorative and thus a good item for my scrapbook. However, at the turnstile, we insert the ticket and it isn’t returned. I look so disappointed that on the following journey, the old man buys 3 tickets so I have one to keep. First stop is the Bonde, the old streetcar which clambers across the Arcos de Lapa viaduct and up the hillside along cobbled lanes decorated with murals. We’re taking the Bonde just for the sake of it, so buy a return ticket, worrying that we’ll look a bit sad when we ... read more
Bonde mural

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Tijuca January 11th 2019

Today we’re going to see Christ the Redeemer. One of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. In the school summer holidays. I suspect we won’t be alone… The ascent is made by funicular railway. You need to purchase tickets in advance for a specified time. Turn up late and you lose your slot. So we leave ample time for the bus journey to the station. We find the bus stop, the bus is on time and we get off at the correct place; the result being we arrive an hour before our train. It’s very busy but very efficiently organised which is kind of good, because I like order and kind of bad because there’s no chance of getting an earlier train. Eventually it’s our turn to board and we set off, or rather up. ... read more
Waiting for Trem do Corcovado
Christ the Redeemer train station
Trem do Corcovado

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana January 10th 2019

We get up and go for breakfast. We deal with yesterday’s dietary deficiencies by consuming a mountain of fruit – mainly mango – the sweetest, juiciest mango I have ever tasted. I also have some sausage and eggs, although there’s a slight delay in proceedings while a women attempts to light her cigarette on the heat source under the breakfast buffet. Then we set forth along Copacabana Beach. It’s 8.30 and the prom is already heaving with walkers, runners and cyclists out for their morning constitutional. It’s like an exotic Bournemouth; we have the Overcliff, they have Sugarloaf mountain. We walk the full 4 km length of the beach, and back again. By the end it is 36 degrees and we’re rather warm and sweaty. After a pit stop at a beach bar, we round off ... read more
Copacabana Beach
Santa’s post Christmas R&R
Copacabana Beach

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Copacabana January 9th 2019

We’re off on our travels again – this time to South America, starting in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a long journey; our first day, having already spent 2 hours on a coach, consists of 13 hours of flying plus 4 hours at various airports, finishing with an hour taxi ride. I have a heavy cold. I can think of better ways to spend the day, like tucked up in bed with a mansize box of tissues watching daytime TV. But at least everything is punctual and I get the chance the read the Tattooist of Auschwitz in one sitting. We fly via Madrid with less than an hour between flights. After landing, I see the old man get my bag out of the overhead locker, then we get separated by a crazy lady who decides to ... read more
First Brazilian beer

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro October 23rd 2018

Left the hotel today at 11:00 on the first uber we have ordered ourselves using the hotels wifi. The driver couldn’t speak English at all but it didn’t matter. Our first destination today was Brazil’s version of The National Museum of Fine Arts. Mainly Brazilian artists but we enjoyed our visit and we both got Seniors 50% discounts this time for just being over 60, so cost was only 4 Real each ($AUS 1.52). Once again, a marvelous grand old building. It was 13:05 by the time we left for the short walk to the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro and it’s quite a spectacular modern building. We spent a short time walking through and taking photos before walking to the Lapa area where we had dinner last night with Pierre. Just around the corner from ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro October 22nd 2018

We are getting use to South American time. Went down to breakfast at 9.30am and back to write blog before meeting with Pierre at 10 45am. We hopped into an uber to go to one of the areas that was redeveloped for the Olympics. Unfortunately most of the museums are closed Mondays (as usual) so we just had a walk around the new Museum of Tomorrow which is next to the Brazilian Naval base. The uber driver was a wealth of local knowledge and told Pierre to take us to the Church and Monastery of Sao Bento (St. Benedict) so we found our way there via an entry through a modern building and up a lift. The church is one of the oldest churches in Rio and looks fairly plain on the outside but what a ... read more

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