We arrived in Rio de Janeiro after a smooth flight from Santiago- Buenos Aires. Apparently we just missed many days of rain, and are happy to book a city tour for our first full day in Rio.
Our day started at 9 am with a visit to the statue of Christ the Redeemer where we saw monks humming beautiful hymns in Portuguese, right next to the russian secret service who were there to protect the Russian president! Apparently we were in Rio at the same time as all the heads of the G20 countries and the statue had been closed the day before for all the presidents to visit it privately, not sure why they left out the Russian guy though?! Our next stop was the Maracana soccer stadium which will be the location for the final game of the 2014 world cup, we passed through a Favela (which are everywhere and apparently safe!) and then off to the samba stadium which is the 14 blocks where Carnaval is held and then the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral, a modern UFO looking building with amazing architecture.
We finally headed for lunch at a Brazilian buffet at around 2 pm. This couldn't have come at a better time since it had been almost 6 hours since breakfast and I was about to loose my cool. After eating waaaaay too much delicious food, we were off to Sugar Loaf Mountain and upon taking in all the amazing views, we were finally back at the hotel at 6 pm. Phew, so much hard work :)
Knowing that we are coming back to Rio for another 3 days in late July, we decided to take it easy and spent the next couple of days frolicking Copacabana beach and Ipanema beach.
They reported the temperature to be 23 or so degrees but in the shade it felt much cooler. I had to keep reminding myself that this is winter for Brazilians and that we are lucky to not have been stuck with rain!
I had my first real caipirinha(s) on the beach in copacabana and let me tell you, I paid for all throughout the next day. Not sure why, maybe just dehydration.
We also tried and loved sushi here, bought freshly squeezed mango juice and had pizza in a cone! No joke, it was a slice of pizza wrapped up like an ice cream cone.
On the morning we were leaving for Salvador, we woke up at 5 am to see the skies of Rio open once again and we witnessed a torrential downpour unlike any other. Streets were flooded and I was worried we'd miss our flight. But after 3 hours, the skies finally opened just in time for us to go to the airport.
We are now in Salvador, and from what we've seen in the past couple of hours, this is historic city with a lot of character. The temperature is higher and the beaches are supposed to be amazing. We will update you again once we figure this place out :)
Love, Andrew and Yasmin
PS: Happy graduation from grade 6 Nikki!!! We love you