Joined December 2015 Message
  • Day9

    Shopping and Sugarloaf

    April 28, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Our last full Rio day. Temp has dipped to low 20s but it is grey and very cloudy and we had a little rain. After a wander down the hill we took our first ride on the Rio subway. It was impressive - clean, cheap, efficient, safe and has a women only carriage during rush hour. We did some last minute gift and clothes shopping.

    Next up we decided to take the two-legged cable car ride up to the iconic Sugarloaf mountain. We weren't sure we would actually see anything due to the low cloud but thankfully we could. Brazilians are generally lovely, lively, expressive people. Put sixty Brazilians in a cable car up a steep mountain and it gets very loud and lively! Our ears were ringing.

    Views were still great. Christ came in and out of sight. We went into the museum of the cable car and learned some engineery stuff. There were capuchin monkeys, vultures and parrots in the forest - some of which you could walk through, but it was very steep.

    Later we walked around the bay to Urca for the sunset, which was pants because we couldn't actually see the sun. But hey you have to try these things when in Rio!
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  • Day8

    Santa Teresa

    April 27, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    We're back in Rio and in the funky neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. Steep cobbled streets, lovely local bars & shops, great street art (Stik from Hackney has clearly been here & making his mark - I (Clare) feels quite at home!).

    We took a ride into centro on the Bonde, recently refurbished tram that only recently reopened. At one ppint we crossed a very high aqueduct which was a bit terrifying. After shopping in the huge flea market (think 100s of Brazilian Poundlands plus underwear shops) we headed back up the hill to Santa Teresa. We found ourselves in a local restaurant where a band just started up, musicians arriving and joining in part way through. Most folk in the bar seemed to be local and all know each other, their children were feral and ran around us. It felt like we'd landed in someone's family party but more fun!
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  • Day7

    Last island evening

    April 26, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    We are getting ready to head back soon. Three nights left!!!! Thus our early evening was spent trying to choose our new broadband and TV package for when we get back. We know how to rock!

    After that excitement we headed out for our last Ilha Grande meal and obligatory caipirinhas.Read more

    Like your 2in1 cocktail style Lisa. I'm also intrigued by the upside down plate in front of you & if you chose BT for those Spurs Champions League nights :) U PB x x x

  • Day7

    Boat, beaches, big waves and monkeys

    April 26, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    After a lovely long sleep we went for a day trip to a top ten beach - three of them actually. Thankfully it's a bit cooler today although rain is on its way this week apparently.

    A 45 minute boat ride took us to a pier and beach from which we hiked 25 mins through dense jungle to San Antonio beach. For the final part we had to walk across a muddy bottom river without being able to see where our feet were disappearing - tricky.

    We made it and were rewarded by sweeping golden sand, clear blue/green surf and only about 10 other people. After lunch we hiked back out and onto the star attraction- Lopes Mendes. No muddy river but teeny tiny Capuchin monkeys on the way and big big waves. We got knocked over a few times but it was a lot of fun. Clare's bikini bottoms kept disappearing and Lisa was put on 'decency' watch to avoid any accidental post-wave flashing. A fine way to spend our last full island day.
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    Tim Stevenson

    Tim Stevenson Many thanks for a wonderful blog that has kept us feeling really in touch with your splendid doings! Are you going to have time for a final "tatty bye Rio" post. xdx

  • Day6

    Volta a Ilha

    April 25, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Lovely boat trip all around the island today, stopping off for swimming and snorkling at various bays and beaches along the way, some inaccessible by land. Great snorkling. We saw a turtle pootling along, a huge eel, a puffer fish, a white sea cucumber, two squid, starfish, lots of pretty stripey fish & coral. Happy girls. Watched the moon rise over the bay after dinner and saw this fabulous frog hanging out near our veranda, pretending to be made of stone.Read more

    How beautiful. That frog looks a bit like a bat. Think Spurs will need to settle for 2nd. Love U&I x x x


    Looks heavenly! xx K

  • Day5

    Lazy day

    April 24, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Poor Clare woke up with a headache accompanied by an unusual dose of grumpy. After breakfast it felt too hot to do anything so we lazed around in hammocks and tried to Skype Beth for her birthday.
    Then we retreated to our air conditioning and put on a DVD from their library. Unfortunately it was a pirated one, we could actually see the edge of the cinema screen and the seats in front. It was also in Portuguese and of course had no subtitles so we gave up.

    We went to lunch and then walked the Abraão circuit which is a shady 2 km trek through beach, river and jungle. After that we needed a swim. The water is a really decent temperature but has lovely refreshing cold currents that appear.

    When we got home Clare sat on the bed - no leaping - and it broke! Quite dramatic but very funny. They are trying to fix it now.

    We've booked a full day circuit of the island boat tour tomorrow. Beaches, snorkelling and factor 50!
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    Sheila Stevenson

    Just caught up with all your recent posts.More fab and amazing pics and loved your commentary too. Perhaps the touch of the grumpies relates to being too hot? Beth loved getting your birthday card today and trying to speak to you on Skype. We kept her birthday with g'parents today. She suddenly looks amazingly grown up trying out new roller skates with all the protective gear - knee, elbow and wrist pads. These all from Jon's family. Choc cake made by me with strawberries, cream and meringue provided by Kay all went down very well! xxxx M/S

    Tim Stevenson

    Is that a frog/toad on the bed in picture #5 (photo not quite clear enough to zoom up and be sure). How did it get there and what did you do with it??

  • Day4

    Island life

    April 23, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Now we are off for our mini-break to Ilha Grande - a tropical island 2.5 hours drive and a 20 min boat from downtown Rio. But first a morning run (for Lisa) on Copacabana beach followed by a lovely breakfast including coconut water still in the coconut! Perfect rehydration.

    The drive to the port was a bit hairy because A) the roads are still being dug up for the Olympics, B) it's a holiday weekend in Brazil and C) Rio drivers are crazy. We arrived in tact and were pointed to a boat. After being able to do fine in Spanish we are really struggling with Portuguese, leading to some hilarious sign language, 'Spanguluese' attempts to communicate.

    We dragged our bags along the beach and up a cobbled hill to Aratinga Inn, our home for four nights. Room is lovely, has AC and a fan - it's still boiling hot. Went for lunch on the beach. Our chairs, tables and feet were in the water each time a wave came in. Fresh seafood at last so Clare v happy.

    Think we may be about to restore any weight we may have lost. They do afternoon tea here (lovely Aussie woman owner who is friends with our Rio boys) with many types of cake and dessert. Very yum.

    Went out for dinner and strolled around while fireworks went off from the pier. We could see the fireworks and a bright moon at the same time which was cool. It's very busy here but many will leave tomorrow as it's Sunday.
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  • Day3

    Bikes, beaches and botanical gardens

    April 22, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    We rented two bikes and set out to ride the entire length of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon beaches, then up around the lagoon to the botanical gardens where we figured there would be shady trees - it's 35C and this is autumn.

    Four hours and 20 km later we have the bikes back and enjoyed sunset on Copacabana. When we got back our hosts invited us to join them in caipirinhas and canapés as they had three friends coming over. We had a lovely evening swapping travel stories, gaining insight into Brazilian culture, politics and trying to explain British customs.
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  • Day3

    Cristo Redentor

    April 22, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Up and out early to go to one of Rio's main tourist attractions - 'Christ' as he's known around here. Hair-rising van ride up seemingly vertical streets. Already blazing hot and full of people by 9 AM. Some folk were lying on the floor to take their photos so you have to step over them.

    Views were fantastic. Rio is huge and buildings spread across almost every undulating surface. We also were extremely lucky to have a relatively clear day. Could only tolerate about half an hour of the people though and headed back to Copacabana for a coffee.
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    wow! xK

  • Day2

    Hello Rio!

    April 21, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ 🌙 27 °C

    Flight was good. Taxi to our AirBnB was a bit stressful but arrival to our hosts who had a freshly made caipirinha in our hands in 10 mins was great! They went to bed but we ventured the three blocks to the beach. We could smell the ocean before we could see it (albeit from the floodlights as it was nearly 11PM).Read more

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