Got to the bus station in Rio and despite the Lonley planets warnings got a local bus to our hostel. The bus driver and the people were helpful nobody tried to mug us. The hostel was however up a big hill quite happy to be just spending the one night. Headed out to Ipanema to meet Mark and Magaret at there hostel, however we did not have the address or their number so surprisingly enough did not find them. Went back to Copacabana and arranged by e-mail to meet them the next evening. Next day was moving day into our flat home for the next twelve nights. It took forever to check in. The flat itself is basically one big room even the bathroom has a huge window so that if you are in the kitchen you can see someone in the shower. The flat is just 25 metres from the beach and this makes Keeley happy, afternoon spent on the beach. That night Mark and Margret came around had a couple of drinks at the flat before heading out to Lapa. Lapa is a part of Rio dominated by a huge aquaduct and at the weekend drinking on the streets. So we wondered around sheltering from the occasional downpore (yes rain) and drinking beer from venders on the street. Thought about a club but the prices put us off so stayed on the streets.
Next with Mark and Margaret after failing to gat a bus to stop got a taxi to Christ the Redemer. The journey up on the cog train was good but the clouds seemed to be coming in. When we got to the top not much of view unless clouds is your thing. We did manage to get a couple of pictures of the big man before he was enveloped in clouds and even one of the view. A little dissapointed we hung around for a bit hoping the clouds would clear they did not. Hopefully tomorrow and Sugarloaf would be a better day.
It was sun shining blue sky I think the other day was the only overcast day. The veiws from sugarloaf made up for the lack from Christ the redemer epecially as we made it for the sunset. The journey up and down in the cable cars was also much more fun than the cog train. We had some dinner with Mark and Margret Keeley had chips, rice and beans I had same but with meat both of us happy. We then bid them farewell as they are off to London two more New Zealanders on London.
Next day headed along the beach to Ipanema the more popular beach could not really see why prefered Copocabana not so many tourists. The next morning decided to stretch our legs by going on a nature walk by Sugarloaf it was a nice walk got to see monkeys. However very short so left Keeley on a beach and went to find Museo du Indio. It was quite tricky to find but interesting once I had located it. All lit by ultraviolet light, water running underneathe and lots of multimedia stuff everywhere. This was a musuem about the Indian population pre portuguese did not expect it to be so high-tech.
Spent another day on the beach not been a cloud since Christ the Redemer day. Then we decided to go to the botanitcal gardens walked there along the Lagoon a very nice part of Rio. It did take us a few hours to reach the gardens so then walking a round was a bit knackering its hot here. We did yet again see monkeys think I will miss the monkeys when back in England. Rested next day with a day on the beach before heading out to some parks on our way to Central. We walked alongside the beach most of the way a very nice walk. The convent I wanted to see in central however was closed as per usual. Next day headed back along the parks and beach to central and along the way witnessed a big ship beach itself on Flamengo beach for what seemed like no reason. Eveyone was just standing around on the beach obviously mystified as this huge ferry rocked from side to side. Left the boat behind and made it into central and went to the Bellas Artes quite nice but have seen better.
Second to last full day in Rio and decided to head up to Saint Teressa. Waited forever for a streetcar before giving up and walking. A very steep walk but up some nice steps they were covered in tiles. Went into a nice little museum art gallery but the veiw points over the city were closed. Saint Teressa itself was cobllestones and colonial buildings but for some reason did not have the implaceable it factor. Had a drink in a little place with a terrace and monkeys about, then headed back down. Went out for a drink in Copacabana got ripped off for the pool table, however did get nearly a bottle of wine in one glass so not to bad. Then we headed over to Ipanema to go to an Irish bar it was very hot and had a poor selection of drinks so decided to return back to our flat. Last day in Rio and yes decided to spend it on the beach temperature over 30 now a bit hot for me. Have to mention the people on and around the beaches expected to see lots of bronzed beauties. Actually mostly middle aged men in speedos and overweight woman wearing very little amid a small scattering of plastic fantastics not what you think of when you think of Brazil and beaches. Next stop London. And no not been mugged yet after guide book told me to expect it feel almost a little disapointed.