Leaving the UK was quite emotional but after months of hard work and saving, we were so excited to finally touch down in Rio and begin our journey around the world!
When we arrived into the city centre and found our first hostel, we looked around and still couldn't believe that we were actually in Brazil! Once we settled in to our bunk beds and locked up our rucksacks in our dorm lockers, we went to find out what £4 per night actually got us! Our included breakfast consisted of the tastiest exotic fruits, ham and cheese toasties, and cakes which was moret than we expected! And so was internet access which was great to let everyone know we had arrived safely. Then it was time to explore...
It has been quite misty in the day so we are waiting for that to clear before we go up to the Sugar Loaf mountain and take a ride in the cable cars, but we´re taking advantage of just exploring the streets and going to the beach for now.
During the day the promenade (which stretches at least 8 miles) is bustling with super healthy brazilian men and women running up and down in their tiny bikinis and even tinier swimming trunks! Funnily enough though, the older they are the more toned and healthy they seem to be! Coconuts are sold everywhere where they just hack a hole in the top for you and stick a straw in it for you to drink! For a nice 50p! They also sell acai smoothies for hardly anything (theyre supposed to be an amazing antioxident and are ridiculously expensive in the UK) so will be getting our fair share of them while we can!
James is loving the tiny tiny bikinis worn by all the women here! On Em's part, its quite refreshing that curvey is best and all the women are so confident no matter what shape they are!
Some of you may know about the Favellas here (shanty towns that not even the police or locals will go into because of the drugs and crime), They are dotted all over the place and are marked on all of the tourist maps. Yesterday when we were walking back from the beach we were strolling down a busy road with lots of hotels, shops etc, then suddenly on our left appeared the entrance to one with lots of quite scary looking people! It was so strange the way a 5* hotel can back onto one of these extremely poor places, and really quite sad. We also saw earlier on in the day the town square had peoples mail scattered everywhere, hundreds of letters just on the floor in a rough order. We realised later it was the people from the Favella´s post, and that because a post man would never go in there, it is left in the square for them to collect. It was also all in generic envelopes because the police check every envelope for drugs. Despite that sounding quite dramatic, it really is a case of if you leave them alone they wont go near you either. So thats what we´re doing!
Last night on a walk we got chatting to a road sweeper who spotted us taking a picture of the hotel Copacabanna Palace. He told us it was the 1st hotel built here in 1923 and its still the most beautiful. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Madonna, Paul McCartney and the King of Monaco have all stayed there.
Today we´re off to find out about seeing a football match at the very famous Maracana stadium and all the other sight seeing things, so will tell you all about those when we´ve done them!