08.03.2011 - 17.03.2011 23 °C
Rio is an amazing city, with several hills, amazing beaches and a buzzing vibe. Unfortunately, due to poor weather and tons of tourists, I don't think we got to fully appreciate it. I was very disappointed with the lack of candy-floss bikinis on show!! We spent a few days with Seb and Benny, a couple of French guys we had met in Salvador. As Benny had previously lived in Rio, it was like having our own guide!
Our personal highlight was watching the sunset from Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain). Rio looks spectacular by night, and it was amazing to watch the city light up as the sun went down. Christo Redento (Christ the Redeemer) is also meant to be amazing, though due to the heavy cloud, we could barely see his face - even though we were only 30 feet below him! On a clear blue day, I could imagine it would be amazing, plus you get brilliant views over the city.
We spent most of our time wandering around the city, exploring local markets and checking out the sights. It rained in the late afternoons/evenings which severely impacted our beach time - at least we have Ilha Grande and Paraty to look forward to.
One of the annoying things about being in Rio (and in Brazil in general) was the language barrier. During Chile and Argentina, we'd got to the level where we could get the gist of a conversation in Spanish, and the locals would often make an attempt to communicate in English. In Rio, not only do they speak another language (Portuguese) which we had to learn, but they refuse to speak any other language (even Spanish) and they speak so quick!! Now I know what you guys put up with when you're listening to me speak!