Rio Days 1 and 2:Before going any further.. Barry Manilow.. We hate him! Never in the history of music has a song been stuck in the mind so much:Her name was lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from 8 til 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?
At the copa (co!) copacabana (copacabana)
The hottest spot north of havana (here)
At the copa (co!) CopacabanaAnyway..!Day 1Surprisingly we woke to a dry day in as our first in Brazil, although the clouds in the sky did seem to be sitting particularly low over the city. Not to worry. Jesus was waiting for us! At this point we thought he was the only one waiting for us.. At 8.50 on the morning of our 9 o'clock tour we were to find out he was not alone! 'Ekskuzi mea. Is you froma da room 1009a?' came the shout from the friendly Brazilian waiter. 'Yep' we replied.. 'It a your guidea - she wait over dare!' he said, pointing to the entrance to the restaurant where a cross between Margarita Prakatan and Indiana Jones stood. 'Woah!' came the response from us in tandem! Silvia aka Steve was dressed in safari gear and wearing around one and a half inches thick eye liner. Quite a sight to behold. The rest of the breakfasters also enjoyed this sight as she made a bee-line for us shouting as she went.. 'Where your jacket? It cold outside.' Trust us love.. 20 degrees is not cold where we come from!Anyway, pleasantries over, we headed to our open top jeep where we met up with our colleagues for the next 4 hours. They were all Italian. Introductions were quick! Aside the word pizza we literally had nothing to say to them.. Our first stop on the journey was a viewpoint half way up the Corcovado mountain upon which sits the Christ the Redeemer statue (one of the modern wonders of the World). This place seemed OK when we arrived to be greeting by a family of monkeys and the view over the city was spectacular (see photos!). Sadly a close encounter with a spider big enough to join the police made things slightly more scary, and made me stop dangling my arms out the jeep for the remainder of the rainforest tour! After this, we made our way to the statue on top of the mountain where the sight of Jesus with arms outstretched (27m wide) was breathtaking! Given the low cloud, we did not always get a great view, but the number of people at the top was vastly reduced for the same reason. Good all in..!
Following our visit here, we made our way back to the hotel via the Tijuana rainforest; the largest urban forest in the world. More great sights, and amazing to see something as untouched in the middle of such a sprawling city.
The afternoon of day one was spent at the beach getting the tans started before a tiny spot of shopping and a return to the hotel. Beaches of the highest quality, and the cheapest you can imagine. 3 burgers, a beer and a sprite for lunch for £4! Awesome!
Second day of sunshine.. This is starting to get enjoyable! This morning we went to Sugarloaf mountain. SHOE - GAR - LOAF MOU-IN-TAINE... Our guide this morning did not look like Indiana Jones or a Brazilian drag queen, but did like to repeat everything she said twice. EVERYTHING SHE SAID TWICE-A.. My goodness. Drove us mad!!
The twin cable car to the peak was good and afforded spectacular views over the city. No low clouds today! Sadly there were no James Bond moments either..! After out cable car back to the red beach we made our way through the city centre to see the sight of the Carnaval every March and the modern Cathedral built in the 1950s and resembling a giant 'round pyramid' if you can imagine that!
Another afternoon at the beach and a good dinner completed day 2 in this cosmopolitan city. One more to go and guess the weather forecast? Rain!! We'll see what transpires and let you know for the final time tomorrow!
L & A