Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Rio Gastronomy and touristy bits

We spent most of the time in Rio Russ and Bobby (Russ is Tishs old housemate from London but now lives in Perth) it was really great to see these guys and catchup and enjoy Rio together. We also had another fellow Aussie Jackie from Melbourne stay with us at the apartment.

Rio really is a spectacular city with much to see....we eventually got around most of the sights after an extra two nights in Rio to fill in the gaps (the last 2 nights were enjoyed in a steamy 9 bed dorm ...eeek wont be doing that again...)

Days have been no less than 34 degrees and evenings around 28 so the sweat machine (Simon) has been in good form. Now on to the sights - Ipanema beach sunset = a beautiful view from the point over a vast and packed beach is a sight to see, street bands keep the energy alive on the beach. Rio Downside = nearly every tourist and local in Rio is there so it is mayhem. we were lucky to have a couple quieter beach days before the manic carnval period started.

Cristo Redendtor (Christ the Redeemer) - amazing views over Rio, under the famous statue with oustretched arms....great vantage point but packed with crazy tourists photographing themselves as statues...choppers flying overhead. Suggest being there at sunset for great photo opportunities.

Sugar Loaf mountain - again must see - a cable car that travels to two massive protruding rocks above Rio where the views are second to none, we were again there at sunset and got some cool night shots. Clouds that day prevented a total view but the odd shot with views back to Cristo made it worth it. Simon realised he is getting old when he got a touch of vertigo on the cable car hahah.

After a few intense and hot days in Rio we needed a break so we headed for the Tijuca national park for some trekking and waterfalls, well worthwhile. We managed to get the subway to the end of the line and then with some englo-portugese and much pointing we embarked on the local bus to Tijuca...funny experience..the bus drivers have magnets around the driving console with loads of coins magnetised to them - you get on and give him some money and he selects from the coins your change and then you head through the turnstile (on the bus!) to the bus seating! So after a while we realised we had missed our stop (no signs of course!) and we got off and took a bus back the other way. free entry to the national park = good and then purchased bad map to do some tracks on badly signed trails :) after we worked it out it was stunning, we rested at a small waterfall, had a swim and chilled out before making the trek back to Rio to meet up with an australian couple Matt and Krystal on their last night in Rio after about 3.5 months on the road.

Hang in there - its worth hearing about the food....remember gastronomy is the key word of our travels! Ok so day 1 in Rio we stumble upon a Galeto (essential a BBQ grill type place but better then Nandos :) it was called Galeto Viva Flor and HIGHLY recommended - it is not in any lonely planet so we felt like food pioneers- Its in Copacabana (Rua Paula Freitas). Now this place is always packed with locals so a good sign, to get a seat you cant book but wait on a series of chairs on the pavement, and bum on the chair = your right to an ice cold beer while waiting for a table. For the record we went to this place 4 nights in about 8 nights...the highlight is the toasted chicken (I had visions of a custom toaster made for chickens) but in essence it was BBQ rotisserie cooked chicken..yum yum yum. Highlight number 2 = SMASHED potato, I think they meant mashed :) but we smashed many a smashed potato. Highlight number 3 = lethal (get the theme here) capairinha. Best part was the price, we had some local beers, dinner with a side dish and some capairinhas for about 30 Brazilian Reais - about 10 pounds sterling or $20 AUD. Best finish this post now but the food here cannot be understated...photos to come..

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a lot of hard work all this eating drinking walking swimming and staying out till dawn i just hope you dont run out of steam to soon
    We are all jeolouse of you and wish we were there with you