Hello All! Happy Easter to everyone - hope you all have a lovely long weekend!
So we made it to Ipanema! Monday morning we were very organised - I left what my big bag and just took a few things for the 2 days we were away from here, we worked out how to get from A to B and headed off to catch the bus - no problems! However things wouldn't be right if everything went to plan! We soon discovered that we didn't really know where B was! Woops! After a bit of wondering around in the heat, asking a few people directions and getting no where, we eventually found an internet cafe and looked it up! It was just around the corner Hurrah! We checked in - 3 bunk bunk beds! Luckily we didn't have to go on the top! We then had a wonder around the main roads - lots of shops and resturants. We also found a little street food market and were given the best strawberry either of us has ever had! It was amazing! We then headed down the beach and watched the sun disappear behind the highrise buildings along the edge of the beach. We went out for dinner in the evening to a little street corner cafe - I had the best chicken skin I have ever eaten!! MMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm! Headed back to the hostel and had the stickiest night sleep :(
Tuesday we decided we'd have a beach day! When we left the hostel we walked into a massive food market on the square so we wondered around that first. There was somuch fresh produce (although the fish melting in the sun weren't so appealing!) lots of fruit and veg. We stopped at one stall to buy some stuff then got grabbed by a guy who had a fruit stall, he yanked us over and started feeding us samples of all his fruit! It was all very sweet and juicy except this one thing that we thought was a cherry but was really bitter and had white flesh - both our faces practically turned inside out trying to say " ummm, how lovely!!" We did buy some strawberries though. We then went down the beach - it was pretty busy but we were early so we got close to the sea. Bex was very brave and went in but I'm such a wimp and couldn't do it - the waves were so strong! Unfortunately a bit later we discovered Bex camera had gone missing and after much searching and asking the people who were watching it while we were in the sea had to come to the conclusion we had been robbed - we then discovered the little bugers had taken my shorts too!! We were very brave though and tried not to let it spoil the day but when the family next to us realised they'd had their bag taken too ( and they'd been with their stuff all day!) we decided we wanted to go! We kept looking for someone taking pictures, wearing some nice caramel coloured shorts but alas, they couldn't be found!That night we just chilled, ordered a pizza ( dominos 241 would you believe!) and watched TV.
Wednesday we got up at 6 to watch the sunrise from the beach - it came up over the buildings behind us so it wasn't the most spectacular sunrise but it was lovely to see the beach so empty with just a few joggers running past ( except the girl jogging in her size 8 bikini, not breaking a sweat - we didn't like her at all!) Later that morning we went for a walk around a big Lagoon. We saw a couple of African Macaw parrots in a tree but they were by a bar so I think they were pets. We also were very touristy and hired a sawn boat and went off round the lake for 1/2 hour. Now our boat had a bit of a mind of his own but after a few circles were completed and a stern word we were away! We got back into the town in time for Beer-O-Clock which I fear is becoming a regular occurance - oh darn it! Got back to the hostel and chilled for a bit - I managed to get hold of mum to wissh her happy birthday and we had our 1st video chat! We then went out to a mexican resturant for dinner and cocktails!!! Yummy! There was far too much food - we nearly couldn't fit in our drinks but it was ok because we decided to leave half our meals!
Thursday we had to check out as we were heading back to Santa Teresa Hostel. We put our stuff in storage then got the bus to Leblon which is the end of the section of the beach here in Rio. Its the more expensive end but allthe shops were shut due to the holiday weekend - starts on a thursday here. We walked from Leblon back to Ipanema down the beach front which is absolutely heaving! We've never seen anything like it - you can't move for people, chairs and umberellas! When we got back to Ipanema I had a massive icecream - obviously just doing the survey around the world you understand, strickly business not pleasure! Bex had apple martini on her menu! We went down the beach for a while but were so far back we couldn't even see the sea! Collected our stuff from the hostel and made our way back to the origanal hostel. We settled in then headed out to Botofogo to watch Rio ( the new disney film!) We managed to find an English version with Portugese subtitles so we were very happy! We both really enjoyed it but I think it was because we're here! The music was fab though much better than the noise we had to hear all night of two drunkmen snoring ( mixed dorm for those of you wondering!).
Today we went all adventurous and went to the Tijuca National park. After a couple of set backs on the way we managed to get the metro and bus up there no problem. We donned our walking boots and off we went - up, and then up a bit more! There was a lot of up and swear not the same amount of down! It was so beautiful though - we saw a lovely waterfall then a humming bird, a few lizards and a lot of trees and vines. We were heading up one peak when some people came down and said it wasn't worth it so we kept walking to the next one - that one was covered by a massive spiders web so we couldn't do that one, so we kept walking. The path started to get really un kept and we were literally climbing up tree roots and hawling ourselves over ledges - we started to doubt that we'd gone the right way and eventually made the very sensible decision of turning back - after all this is how people get lost. When we stopped for lunch and had a good look at the map though we realised it was our map reading skills that needed questioning - not the path! We think if we'd carried on another 10 minutes we'd of hit the road we were looking for! Doh! We found ourselves back at the bar at the bottom in time for beer-o-clock and thn headed back to the hostel very weary!! Chilled for the evening and now getting ready to head out into Lapa for some food and dancing!
We've got all our days planned out till Bex leaves :( but I'll fill you in on those another day!
Much love to you all! x x x