The city came with several warnings – don’t ride public transport after dark, don’t walk around the city after 6.00pm and be careful of places that don’t have crowds…..and of course be wary when in crowds!
We were fortunate enough to have our own baggage boy from the ship to escort us and our luggage to the hotel – thanks Gil! As Gil only had the day in Rio we just went for some morning tea with him and then carefully strolled around the city. To be honest the city is not particularly pretty although the main streets have a wide, open charm.
By the second day we were keen to explore a little further a field so we took the metro as far as it would take us and then went by bus to one of the satellite suburbs with modern shopping and a variety of restaurants and entertainment. The metro was good and the bus sytem very simple and easy to use.
Having stayed out a little long (and eating way too much at an Applebees Restaurant) we were told to get a taxi by the wait staff as it was now dark and not safe for tourists on buses………..so with the taxi queue going nowhere, we took the bus! And it was busy, and it was dark – but it was good. And safe.
Next day we were top meet with Shelly and Rhenda at Copacabana beach – as you do…….but first we wanted to get up to the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Of course we forgot one thing……it is a popular, international tourist attraction!
Like Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower and the Big Koala, Corcovado as the mountain is known locally, crowned with the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, is very, very popular.
So having got ourselves to the base and having queued and purchased our train tickets, we realised the train was another 90 minutes away due to queues – so we took a refund and vowed to return. We didn’t want to be late to Copacabana where we knew Rhenda and Shelly would be waiting………
So after an hour past the agreed time, sat on Copacabana, dodging rain squalls, drowning our sorrows and watching people run of the beach in the rain and then return 10 minutes later when the sun returned, we spotted Shelly and Rhenda. In their defence, they are from Kansas…..ooops, I mean, they were tied into the plans of the family they were staying with, so transport was out of their control.
Over a drink Shelly and I started to work on a plan for traveling together to the Iguazu Falls on the Argentinian border. Over the next two days that took shape through emails and a road trip was planned!
Meanwhile, back in Rio, we moved to Copacabana, visited the beach again, marveled at the ease with which we could ude public transport but also moaned at how very expensive Rio is.
Overall we enjoyed the main attractions of Rio but to be honest, we couldn’t see what the attraction was as a place to stay longer than a few days……….might just be us but old buildings, claims of great danger from criminal activity and hugely exorbitant pricing (think London, Paris and in some cases add 20%) don’t equal a great destination. But certainly worth a visit!!
The Christ the Redeemer statue and lookout was excellent and is a great way to see the size of Rio. The trip up takes quite a while despite the fact that from the city the statue seems quite close.
Molly has added an update to describe our road trip out to Bonito – we loved every minute of it and found that rural Brazil was very relaxed, interesting and much more rewarding than it’s large cities.