In some ways Rio hasn't been quite like we expected it to be. I think we probably thought it would be more vibrant and maybe more tropical or exoctic or something. Maybe the fact the weather wasn't all that great until yesterday has something to do with it. It's a huge sprawling city, that's kind of worn around the edges for the most part. But in other ways it's just like the postcards with the beautiful long sandy beaches, including women in skimpy bikinis. (All the women wear thongs to the beach, regardless of age, shape or size.)
We took a very steep and very scary cable car ride up to the top of SugarLoaf mountain, where we really got to see just how big the Rio is. It just went on and on as far as the eye could see. It's really unusual how many little mountains/big hills are dotted here and there, right in the middle of all the highrise development. We got to see how busy Rio is as a port too, there were loads of huge tankers and cargo ships all milling around the bay. There were great views of the beaches up there as well. It's amazing to have such spectacular stretches of sand just beside busy built up areas.
Besides all the sightseeing we've been enjoying Brazil's rodizio cuisine too. Rodizio basically means all you can eat. We've been to a few BBQ type rodizios where theyhave buffets of veg, salad, rice, potatoes etc. and then they come around with meat on skewers, and slice it off onto your plate. Pizza rodizios are fairly popular too. As long as you're there the waiters just keep coming around with different pizzas and you can take slices of whatever ones take your fancy. When they notice you're slowing down, or look like you're going to burst, they roll out the dessert pizzas. The white chocolate and strawberry went down well, but the banana, cinnamon, and cheese wasn't such a hit. They put cheese on everything over here, so we should have expected it.
Today was Fossie's birthday and after having Happy Birthday sung to him and his candles blown out by the nutters in Carrigmore, we hit Copacabana. Chilling out will a beer on the beach in the Brazilian sunshine isn't the worst way to spend your birthday.
This morning we said goodbye to Emily and Andy who had been our travelling companions for
the last 2 weeks, and tomorrow we fly to Campo Grande for a trip to the Pantanal. Hopefully we'll spot some wildlife there.
Jan and Paul