I spent 4 glorious days (not nearly enough), in what I honestly may be the closest city to paradise (well a CBT kinda paradise). This place is packed with everything, it is not just the beaches, because it is also surrounded by lagoons, tropical forest, beautiful hills, amazing museums and galleries, and uber sexy people. You hear all about the folk of Rio being the most beautiful in the world, but I came to the conclusion that it is not actually physical beauty, they are just so damn’ comfortable in their skin. A real lack of make-up, no-one cares about size, they get it out regardless, hairy pits (not condoned by moi), just a real earthy quality.
Anyway, I would be uploading photos, but I am now in a place, where shall we say technology ain’t the best (more of that later though). I will add them when in Mexico or the States. (you need to read the other posts for updates on sugarloaf and my wondeful last day in Rio)a rough rundown on Rio … now there is no hop on – hop off bus in Rio (crazy and me thinks I should start one, although Hollywood tattoos and Tromso café are still up there), so feeling a little bit ahem unwell from the following day, I decided to take it relatively easy and booked myself on a half day trip to Tijuca forest and also to see Christ the Redeemer. I struck lucky, the tour was booked out … damn those couples … so I got to actually go on a private tour 1:2:1 with a cousin of the dude that I originally booked the tour on, (this has happened quite a few times, most memorably in Morocco).
I think tour guides ring their ‘cousins aka mates’ who have a day off, realising how lucrative it can be for very little outlay and take a cut. They probably also realise that folk like me, so grateful they get a tour, tip at ridiculous levels. Anyway if I thought I was going to take it easy Sergio (guide had other ideas). We did not drive through Tijuca we left the car and hiked for about 3 hours, the humidity was extraordinary, but I got the greatest lesson in native plants and animals on the way, cracked a coconut (green by the way for the best water) and stripped Jaca (kinda pineappley with a citrusy after taste) , then made our way to Christ the Redeemer.
The views have to be seen to be believed. It has only been since circa 2005 that all the lifts and escalators were put in so tourism has increased immensely over the last few years and the crowds were a little much. (Contrary to popular belief you cannot see the Redeemer from the beaches, but you can see the beaches from the Redeemer). The statue is so huge there is actually a chapel built into the base. We stayed at the statue and watched the sunset over Rio, absolutely magical experience (the best I have seen since Oia / Australia).