It is now our third day in Rio. We survived our speedy taxi journey from the airport (after deciding it was less scary to look out the window) and checked in to the Cabana copa hostel. We knew it would have 24 hour security but by that we did not think surrounded by metal bars with an intercom! However this seems to be the norm around the city so far...
Day one - went for a wander along Copacabana beach and Ipanema. The beautiful people that the book tells you about seem to be hybernating for winter, as the only ones were me and Mark! What was meant to be a stroll turned into an 8 mile walk but we didnt get mugged so we were chuffed. Got chatting to people in the hostel bar who recommended the favela tour so booked on that for Wednesday.
Day two - Got up early for our free brazilian breakfast (toast and fruit) then were picked up for our Favela tour. No one however warned us that when you arrive at the Favela (which is huge and holds at least 200,000 people) that the only way to the top was by motorbike. So our group all set off on individual motorbikes and whizzed up the hill, through small gaps, buses etc. Mark set off last but hadnt realised he got on the ´sports bike´with fat tyres, so he arrived first. This was however after nearly being squashed by two buses... luckily his driver changed his mind and didnt squeeze through the gap! Favela was HUGE and cleverly put together, filled with little shops, homes and a lot of dog poo. Rolled by trousers up so they didnt drag on the floor too much!
The language they speak here is Portuguese so our holiday spanish isnt doing us too well... however we are getting by. Cannot believe how expensive it is here, with london prices for food and drink and no where cheap to eat. So have to admit our first night we managed to buy some ingredients from a little shop and cook a not so interesting dinner of frankfurters and pasta. Ours was a little improvement on the guy we met who was having supernoodles, bread and ham!
Anyway thats our update for now. The sun hasnt been shining yet but its been warm and hasnt rained. Today is meant to be an improvement so going to head up Sugar loaf mountain if we can work out the metro.
Keep in touch.
Julia and Mark