OK so what can I say about Rio? I arrived late at night. The hotel was great. And even at 11pm it was about 23C. One day it rained (pi**ed down), one day was overcast, one day was sunny - but every day was very humid. It topped off at 30C. Naturally I have sunburn but for those that know me well that´s a sodding given.
On the first day I mooched about on my own. Walked down Copacabana beach (a bit past its best now apparently to those in the know - looked great to me), and Ipanema beach. Ate in the bar where Girl from Ipanema was written. Bought the tshirt, literally. Had ice cream, caipiriñhas, beers. Not all that cheap here. Bikinis here are known as ´dental floss´and I´ll leave you to figure out why. For men the speedo is de rigeur. Both are regardless of physique so there are some ínteresting´sights to be seen. Everyone goes jogging. Everyone walks or carries with them a tiny dog, most of whom are wearing some tiny item of clothing. Brazil football shirts cost about 3quid so if you want one let me know as I´m going back in May and they´re EVERYWHERE!
On the second day I´d arranged to go on a city tour and found several others who´d arranged to go were about to start a GAP tour and were a great bunch. Made particularly good friends with an Aussie girl, Heather. Sadly it pi**ed down all day but we made the best of it and went up SugarLoaf Mountain by cable car then up Corcovado to see Christ the Redeemer (big famous status you´ll have seen). Apparently you can see great views from both but not when we went! Had a great day just a shame about the weather. Went to the football stadium and saw footprints of all the famous players - obviously totally lost on me. OK so I´ve heard of Pele. And that Ronaldinho chap? Think he´s quite famous isn´t he? Whatever! Got drunk with Heather in the evening discussing travelling, men and copious people watching.
On the third day we went on a favela tour - the slum areas you´re not supposed to go to unescorted.Reminded me a little of India but actually it wasn´t as bad as people made out. Did see one bar stocked with more cachaça than I´ve ever seen in one place before in my entire life! (apparently alcoholism there is a problem...). Mooched about on the beach getting sunburnt in the afternoon with Heather. Spent ages at a really cool market eyeing up various bits of local tat to buy. There might have been some drinking too... Went for a final coconut at the end of the day (they serve them all over the place, just hacking the top off so you can drink the juice) before saying goodbye to Heather as I had to be up at an ungodly hour to get my flight.