7 Nov 2012
Sugar loaf (Pão de Açúcar) mountain was named because it looed like the shape of their loaf. I actually had that kind of bread for breakfast every single morning no matter where I was.
The area is called Urca, only 20 mins walk away from the east side of Copacabana. The area of Urca is very nice and quiet with posh looking historic buildings. The small beach at Urca was surprisingly beautiful. It has a small bay surrounded by mountains.
Here goes my jump picture that I do everywhere I go.
It’s not the best day for the beach but I just couldn’t wait any longer to see the famous Copacabana and Ipanema.
Quick lunch at a corner juice shop. They are in every corner of a block and they are the best thing ever. They sell not only fresh made juice but also bakery, some of them sell proper meals as well. People can either take away or just eat at the counter.
The Famous Copacabana beach is beautiful, white sand, wide and long and wave patterned pavement. The only disappointment was the dark brown sea water ( in stead of the blue water in pictures).
6 Nov 2012
I am always fascinated about the favelas in Rio, mostly because they look really nice and cool in movies. The very concentrated colourful little houses located in the hills in Rio form a great picture. Even after watching the City of God and reading about it. I still didn’t have much fear about the favelas, I mean thousands of ordinary people live in there.
There were only 8 of us in the tour, our tour guide spoke very good English. We went to the largest Favela in Rio (also the largest in Brazil), Favela Rocinha! where many movies including fast five was shot. It’s built on a very steep hillside and overlooking some very expensive development and nice beaches. The contrast was interesting.
03 Nov 2012
Sitting in the taxi to the airport at 4am, I kept reaching to my pocket to check my phone and only remembered that I decided not to take it with me, nor my beloved iPad. I have to say I did feel a bit insecure without any means of connection to the world. I also realised I didn’t even have a watch, so picked up the cheapest Swatch watch at Amsterdam airport. This watch became one of my best friends on my trip.
The flight to Rio has been smooth despite its 13 hours long. My excitement has kept me going.
Even at the international airport people don’t seem to speak English. It took me a while to find the HSBC ATM, however that’s actually the easier part. Get money out of the stupid ATM was much harder and everything is in Portugese. The two European looking guys in front of me gave up trying after 5 mins and left helplessly. Somehow magically I managed to get some cash. So I proudly called them back and tried to save the day, well luck didn’t favor me the second time and I had no clue what I was doing. But at least I have cash now.
It was a raining night, I was busy checking out the city from the taxi window. I recognised some favelas as we pass by, they look nice and peacefully at night. I tried very hard trying to hear if there were any gun shots (having images from ‘city of god’ playing in my head) 🙂
I had my first meal standing at the counter of a corner shop on the side street at Copacabana. It was an interesting experience.
4 Nov 2012
I have no clue how I managed to sleep in the hostel. 10 young university grads from Sao Paolo came back from parties at 4, the air con and traffic from outside were so loud. But somehow I woke up refreshed.
Sunday morning at Copacabana was nice and relaxed. The beach was still empty, the road was closed to cars and became all pedestrian, so full of people walking, jogging, skating and cycling etc. it’s a very active city.
The nation is already excited about the World Cup and the Olympics