Day 3 - RioApril 6, 2017 in Brazil ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C
Having fully mastered the metro in Rio we decided to give the bus a go to visit Jardim Botanico. Fortunately for us, we had the nicest bus driver ever who shouted down the bus when we tried to get off the bus a stop early and then when we did get off, kept beeping his horn and pointing us in the right direction towards the botanical gardens!
Within the first five minutes we spotted a hummingbird and 2 toucans! We didn't spot anymore for the rest of the time we were there so we felt very lucky to see them!
The gardens were absolutely beautiful!
This afternoon we did a walking tour of the Rocinha favela. Our guide was a chap called Wellington who used to live in the favela. The locals travel up and down the favela on mototaxi's so in order for us to get a true taste of favela life we jumped on the back of a bike and were driven up to the top of the mountain, weaving in and out of traffic and pedestrians. Literally everyone in the favela travels this way, including little old ladies with their groceries! Crazy!
From the top you had an amazing view over the city and could see the contrast between the favela and the city. From the top, we walked back down through narrow streets between the houses which are all built on top of each other. We learnt a lot about the history of the favela and the way of life there. The government provides the favelas with water and electricity but in order to connect a home to the grid the locals connect themselves to the main power lines. The result is a messy spider web of wires travelling in all directions. Whilst we were there we saw a man on a step ladder with a pair of pliers playing around with the wires - terrifying!
Tomorrow we leave Rio and head to Ilha Grande. Our parting thoughts on Rio are that it is a much friendlier city than the horror stories portray. We haven't felt unsafe at all and have really enjoyed our time here.Read more