Everthing has changed since our last post. Were now staying in Ipanema in an amazing hostel with amazing people. It's so much safer here and there's so much more to do! Been sunburning on the beach and seeing the sights.
On Monday, we went on a tour of the city. We saw all of the sights and scenery of Rio, including Christ the Redeemer, the tiled steps in Lapa, some weird cathedral in Centro, and views of the city. In the evening we somehow managed to get free tickets to a boat party, which lasted a little too long, but the boat floated around the bay and there were lots of other backpackers and a few brazilians.
Today, we plucked up the courage to go on a tour of the biggest favela in South America, Rocinha. It was absolutely fascinating and was a real eye opener. We had an amazing guide, who seemed to know everybody and everything to do with life in the favela. It turned out to be nothing like what you hear about, such as awful housing, and being a really dangerous place to visit. The crime levels are lower here than any other part of the city because it's bad for the people living there if the police have to come, and would upset the drugs business, which actually fuels the running of the favelas, even for the people that are not involved. We found out that the business is run by a 23 year old who generates $4 million a month.
We will stay here for 3 more days, then we will head down to the beach town of Florianopolis, which everyone here says is really beautiful.
We have free internet here so it's been easy to update you all, but we're not sure it will be like that in the next hostel so expect the nest messages to be few and far between.