So our journey to Brazil from Colombia didn’t get off to the greatest start. After spending our last day in Colombia walking round Bogota waiting for our 10pm flight we decided to jump in the cab a couple of hours earlier and have dinner and do some blog catch up at the airport. Sitting in the cab we were getting excited about leaving Colombia for a whole new adventure in Brazil. I ask G to double check if our flight was at 10 or 10.30 as I wasn’t sure. He turns to me and said “Yeah its 10pm….yesterday!” FUCK. I was devastated. We were on our way to the airport for a flight that we weren’t even booked on. PANIC. After a little cry (by me of course) we decided to just carry on and pray for a miracle (or just a really nice flight attendant to take pity on us). We went to the Avianca check out desk and explained our predicament, that I had stupidly rad the arrival date in brazil and missed the take off date completely. The lady explained that there was a flight the same time as yesterdays but we would have to pay. This is where our day got a whole lot better. We thought and had come to accept that it would be no less than £400 to change and get new flights to Rio but somehow we managed to get them for £40 each!!!!! I was jumping up and down because I just couldn’t believe that it had all worked out, that there were seats on the plane, we didn’t have to wait any longer for the flight as it was the same time as planned the day before and we weren’t even out of pocket, Bloody miracle if you ask me.
We arrived in Rio shattered after having not slept a wink on the 6 hour flight. Those airline blockbusters will get ya. Oh that reminds me…go and watch The foxcatcher.
Unfortunately we were greeted by the cloudiest day we had seen so far on our trip which was a real shame as I had had visions of my first sight of Rio being all rainbow colours and hazy sunshine. We jumped on the bus for an hour into a town called Botafogo which is just before Copacabana and Ipanema. The Hostel we had found after about an hour of searching in a cafe at Rio Airport was called Oztel. (Check out our Hostel Reviews)
We had a couple of hours sleep and when I woke up I bent down to get into my locker and accidentally put my face in someones towel hanging over their locker. WELL FUCK MY LIFE…I now knew what that funny smell was. Jesus. This actually really angered me and asked G if it was too rude to put it outside as we didn’t know who it belonged to. I couldn’t in the end as they had locked half of it in their locker. DEVS. I dont know whats wrong with my senses but everything seems to be smelling bad to me lately.. and no I’m not pregant. The supermarkets have a definite whiff of dead kittens. GULP.
To clear out our nasal passages we decided to get out of the hostel and explore. That evening we went out with a girl called Annabel from the UK who’s birthday it was. She was visiting a friend who had been living here for 6 months and her boyfriend who had just arrived. She took us on the metro which seemed pretty safe and easy to use, to a place called Lapa. Lapa is the party town where lots of people hang on the street and on the famous colourful steps. There are stalls selling super strong cocktails for like a quid and then people go onto the bars and clubs in the surrounding areas. We had a few drinks and then heading back to the hostel.
We decided to change hostels the next day and invited Annabel with us as her friend was now staying in a posh hotel with her boyfriend. The new hostel Rio Backpackers wasn’t much better but it was in a great location right near Copacabana and Ipanema. We had heard about a great market on Sundays in Ipanema so decided to check that out. It rained the whole day and by now we were starting to worry whether it would ever get better.
All over the city there are ‘kilo restaurants’ which is a huge buffet with an array of delicious food where you just grab a plate and help yourself. Basically like pick n mix at a cinema.
We walked along Copacabana and Ipanema and loved it. Just people watching and staring in awe at the huge waves. I did not realise Brazil had such good beaches for surfing. Everyone is in a thong bikini or speedos no matter what their shape or size so yup…you guessed it…G and I joined em. Pics to come.
Later that evening we got caught in the biggest thunderstorm known to Brazilians. We had to buy those ugly clear poncho things that make you look like a crisp packet off some guy on the street who was selling them at a knock off price of about a score each. Luckily Annabel and G are pretty good at haggling. I on the other hand am terrible…if they say 40 I say 50!
The next day we left for Buzios, a large seaside town about 3 hours by bus from Rio. I mean it helps that by the next morning after we arrived it was scorchio but I really love this place. The beaches are incredible.
Geriba beach is a long wide beach with amazing surf. You also have if you walk a little further a cove beach which is a lot smaller and more chilled. We went here first but actually ended up loving both of them. I like long beaches because you can take long walks and see the sights, one of my favs being an older lady that had huge boob and even bigger bum implants. We actually ran to catch up to her for a better view. Bitches be cray.
We stayed in sunny Buzios for 3 days which gave us a nice little break from the rain in Rio! We had found a good hostel which was exactly what we were after but today was the day Jo & Sinead were arriving so we jumped on a 3 hour bus back to Rio which quickly (or slowly) turned into a 5 hour bus back to Rio… after our extended journey we expected the girls to already be waiting for us at the hostel, beer in hand but their journey was even more of a flop than ours was, their airline had lost both of their bags! they finally turned up at about 11pm with only the clothes on their backs, so we had a couple of jars, some grub and called it a night.
On the Sunday we got up early, headed for a local market and as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky decided to go and see the big man himself, the Christ Redeemer. i was especially excited for this part of our trip as my great grandad actually helped to build it back in 1922, he was a man i never met but without him i wouldn’t be here so to be able to witness something he played part in creating was that little bit more special, and plus – its the Christ Redeemer.
Thinking back now, when we were saying ‘we’ll nip up, be back down by 11 and be on the beach for 12″ I feel a bit of a div, i mean its at the top of a mountain! A very big mountain! it took us 3 separate busses 4 stops and an hour and a half queue, just to get our ticket and by this time the clouds had set in and we couldn’t even see the guys feet. Pissed.
We decided to have a cheese toastie and let it all blow over.
After a taste sensation, we chose not to be defeated and head up to the top and see if the clouds would pass for long enough for us to get a good view of him. After about 5 minutes the clouds started to clear up and the hundred-or-so people up on the observation platform let out a huge cheer and everybody started snapping away, it was pretty weird, people were laying on the floor, jumping around and generally pretending to be jesus, it was like a religious yoga class for the mentally unstable.
Although it wasn’t as clear as we had hoped I think it made it a bit more mystical and we appreciated it that bit more when we could see it, either way it is VERY Impressive.
It managed to clear for just long enough to get one clear shot in all its glory.
After 3 days in Rio with Sinbad & Jo (who by the way still didn’t have suntans – or their bags for that matter) the sun finally came out so we could finally go to the beach and see what Rio is really about, we had heard the weather wasn’t going to improve for the upcoming week and also our proposed next location wasn’t supposed to be any better so we’ve booked a flight to Florianopolis which is a big island with forty-something beaches and lots of things to see and do. On the way to the airport we swung by the hostel to see if their bags had been delivered and they had!! I think they were more excited to finally be able to change their pants than anything else we had planned! Jay’s thoughts on the bag sitch was “Probably don’t buy a camouflage backpack if you don’t want it to disappear”
So after an hour & a half flight we arrived at Florianopolis airport and Jo and Sinead were understandably nervous when waiting for their bags to come through on the carousel, in the end they both did although somebody had ripped one of the straps off of Sin’s backpack.. hows ya’ luck? Later we got to at Che Lagarto Hostel which to be honest, wasn’t the best. We got our heads down (despite a guy snoring like a pig in the next bed) and in the morning got up and walked half an hour to the closest beach Jaoquina, where we had heard you could also do sand boarding, after a couple hours on the beach catching some rays and playing in the waves and once Me and Jo had become world bat and ball champions we decided that it was time to go sand boarding.
Well sand-boardings the tits! £4 aswell…whats not to like?
Recently I’ve been walking so much my calves are the size of a wrestlers so I decided that I would take this opportunity to sit down for a bit, so I opted for a sandboard/sledge type thing. The others got the boards and off we trotted up to the first trial slope. I went first and It was pretty funny as I went slower than G who was walking down beside me.
We headed to the next one which was a lot steeper and longer. G was pretty good and got down without falling. I think Sinead had misunderstood the sport and skidded down on her bum and Jo just threw herself down the mountain in a position that made me think she was actually peeing in her pants.
The real fun came when two people sat on mine and bombed it down over two steep dunes. Where me and Sinead were so petrified we were leaning right back which G kindly told us on the way home (after about 10 more goes) that makes you go much faster. When we finally came to a halt, we were both thrown off in different directions but landed exactly the same. Face down in the sand with our buts in the air. Two days later and I am still picking sand out of my nose…and arse!
One of the dunes was so high when G got down to the bottom he actually looked like an ant and because he was so far away from anybody he decided to take off his pants and run around naked like a lunatic, giving new meaning to ‘sand worm’
Today we moved to Barra De Lagoa, another beach town further up the island, from here you can do boat tours, treks and theres a really nice river that flows through from the sea, we found a really nice, brand new hostel called Aquarium hostel where we are now staying for 4 nights. This place feels like the J.W Marriott compared to some of the places we’ve stayed at lately so we thought it would be a good placed to set up camp!
The beaches here are crazy and the sea is a lovely green blue colour and the waves aren’t too dangerous so hopefully no near-death experiences like Colombia 🙂 Tomorrow were going on a day trip to Campache Island which is supposed to be one of the nicest beaches in Brazil.
So as i was saying, Campache. it’s a hour and a half boat ride from Barra De Lagoa which cost us 80 Real Per Person. ($25) which pays for your boat there and back and some fruit and water on the boat. we booked it through Islander Hostel where we have been staying, It also has a shop you can book activities and day trips from.
The boat takes you past some of the bigger beaches on the way to the island, Jaoquina, Praia Mole and a nudist beach, jay noticed i had put my sunglasses on at this point…i told her it was to protect my eyes from the harmful UV rays 😉
The boat ride was pretty painless and before we knew it we started to see the how green and beautiful the island was, as we approached the bay we realised this wasn’t your average beach, the sea was crystal clear and the sand was white, the blue sky and green jungle backdrop set it off perfectly.
The sea is lined with small fishing boats surrounderd by small fish and each side of the beach is protected by huge rocks, you can go snorkelling and there are also some trails you can hike, we opted to do what we do best and lay on the beach, its a tough life..
The sand on the beach is so fine that when you walk on it it squeaks under your feet. Because the island has some ancient carvings in the rocks the beach is protected and to keep it preserved they only let 150 people or so onto the beach every day.
We heard the snorkelling was excellent on the island, so later in the day i took my Gopro out to try and get some pictures of some fish, i saw some beautiful specimen..this one was the pick of the bunch..
Today was our last day in Brazil, last night we took a 17 hour bus from Florianopolis to Iguazu Falls, We spent just under a week there and we couldn’t have asked for more, The weather was great, we stayed in a brand new hostel and everyday we cooked up a feast or two.
In a way it was quite sad to leave but we were headed to our second great wonder of the world and what we saw today makes it completely clear why its been named one of the 7 natural wonders.
We jumped on a bus from our Hostel to the national park which was around 20 minutes away, then another bus to the start of the falls, you have the option to do a 9km trek up to the falls but seeing as we all had around 8 minutes sleep last night on our bus journey we thought we would give it a miss.
While you walk along the trail to the multiple viewing points your greeted by a bunch of Coaties which are similar to racoons, we’ve been told not to feed them as they have a tendency to bite fingers.
The whole walk takes around an hour including the time we stopped to take photos, we have been told that the Argentinian side is a lot more impressive but even this side was jaw-droppingly beautiful. you can feel the cold droplets of the mist from almost a kilometre away, it’s the kind of place that makes you feel small, and makes you realise how powerful and impressive the world is.
Tomorrow we go to Argentina and check Iguazu Falls out from the other side, we are hoping to get on a boat and get right underneath the water..good thing we brought out waterproofs!
Check our Argentina Page from here on out!