Arrived in Rio- very disappointed that we couldnt get here for Carnival- this was one of my goals :-(
Rio is a wonderful city- I'd love to go back one day. We unfortunately chose the wrong time to arrive- Easter weekend- accomodation full/expensive and lots of things closed :-(
We managed to get a lovely hostel, run by the lovliest couple, for one night only. We spent hours trying to find somewhere for the rest of our stay- it was so stressful and we were about to succumb to having to all split up and stay in separate hostels as they each had a single bed spare but not room for all three of us. I was dreading this but finally we found an apartment- the old man who lived there was leaving the city for Easter. It was not ideal, crowded, dirty and boiling at night- but we were so glad to have a base! On the plus side it was in a fab area- Flamengo and we had a kitchen for cooking our own food.
There was an incident in the flat - Steve went for a run along the beach and Dad and I went to the shops. 20minutes later, me and dad returned to the flat and Steve was waiting at the front door for us (and had been for about 10minutes) cos we had the key. I opened the door and walked in and got a surprise to see the porter from downstairs walking out our bedroom. We were all taken aback and he started making excuses in portughese about how the door was open (anyone who knows me knows that this is not possible!) and how he was making sure everything was ok. He was definitely up to something dodgy because Steve had knocked and rang the door bell when he first arrived back thinking that me and dad might be inside and also the porter had obviously been in there for at least 10minutes. I was livid and was shouting at him with all my broken spanish but we got nowhere and just had to let it go- RAGING!!!!
Rio- I loved walking along the beachfront, such a beautiful setting for a city with Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer looking over us. The famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches were gorgeous but totally overcrowded. Dad and Steven loved all the fresh coconut juice. We got around mostly by metro and buses but I hate the brazilian buses!!! Total nightmare with rucksacks as they are so overcrowded and there's a tiny turnstile you have to go through which is virtually impossible with a bag, its hot, sweaty and the bus staff were mean.
Our first attempt to go up Sugar Loaf Mountain was a fail! The queue was scarily long but we braved it the next day and waited 2 hours in the blistering heat. Made it to the top- via 2 cable cars. The views of the city were incredible.
Our last day in Rio was amazing- we decided to go to a semi final between Flamengo and Fluminese. Brazilian football game- what an experience! The fans, the atmosphere, the songs, the banners, the party, the quality football- loved it! Though we did think our experience was going to be shortlived when there was a powercut after 15minutes and play was stopped but thankfully they eventually resolved it. The game ended in penalties and our team Flamengo won!!!!
Next stop- Uruguay!!!