Brazil took a little getting used to. It was a little bit of a shock after coming from Argentina, such a European type city, to be right back in the heart of South American again. As soon as we reached the bus stop the differences were obvious.
Brazil is poorer than Argentina, & it is easy to see in the buildings, the graffiti & the amount of beggars & people trying to sell random things on every street corner. It was also very obvious again that we were tourists, no more being mistaken for a local, as we looked so much different to everybody else. This might seem like a bad thing, but it was actually nice, it felt like I was travelling again & that everything I would see would be something new.
We started in Rio, in a suburb called Botofogo. It is a very nice suburb very close to the heart of town & Copacabana beach. When we arrived we meet Cat, Alison's sister, who we had arranged to meet at our hostel. She had just flown in from Australia that day & as we'd been on a 27 hour bus trip, we pretty much wrote the day off as a recovery day.
We were in Rio for only 4 nights & didn't see much, after recovering from the bus / plane trip we headed out just to wander around our area to try & orient our selves. The streets were nice, there were juice bars on every corner & some nice clothes stores - not that we could afford to buy anything, with Brazilian prices being much higher than the ones that we'd become used to.
Over the next few days we wandered around, saw the Municipal Theatre, the Modern Art Museum, which was really great, & headed down to Copacabana beach for some people watching, which seems to be the thing to do there. The funniest person we spotted was a middle aged lady dressed up in her best whites with a blond Bold & the Beautiful style do with her little white pooch that she had dressed in a big red bow & satin slippers. It was hilarious; the poor dog was prancing in a very uncomfortable fashion.
We had planned also to see the Christ the Redeemer statue & the Sugar Loaf Mountain, a lookout with great views of Rio, but due to some very foggy weather we decided to leave that until next time we were in Rio, which would be in a few weeks.
Then we headed down south to Florianopolis & headed out to Barra Da Lagoa a beach town on the Isle of Catrina. When we arrived a lady named Tatiana spotted us & took us off to see an apartment that she had to rent. It was tiny, but cheap & right in the middle of town, so we were set. It is lucky that we did end up getting a place straight away, because pretty much for the whole 4 nights that we were there it rained, so we were stuck inside, reading & playing cards. On our 4th day there, Nik came to join us. It was great to have the gang back together, but it still kind of felt like we were missing someone without Amber about. That night we went out for dinner & then headed to the beach (it had finally stopped raining) where there was a drumming band playing. It was great & it cemented the fact that we were actually in Brazil. This is why we came to South America!
The next day we headed off to another beach side town a few hours away called Bombinas. We were hoping that we would have better weather there, but sadly we were mistaken. It rained all day on the first day that we were there & again the cards had to come out. Not really the beach bum experience we were hoping for. Luckily we had a much swisher apartment this time, so there was room to move & it wasn't too stuffy. We spent two nights there & again on the last night that we were there the weather finally cleared. We went for a walk on the beach which was beautiful & swarming with fisher men with crazy glow stick things on the end of there fishing rods.
The plan was then to head up to Parati, a place where the jungle & the ocean are combined, but our plans were changed when we were unable to get a bus there from where we were & we had to go all the way back to Rio. It was a 16 hour bus ride & then to get back to Parati would have been another 4. Taking this all into consideration, Nik & I decided that we didn't want to get back on a bus for that long & headed for Teresopolis, a short 1 1/2 hour bus ride inland from Rio, & Al & Cat headed to Ilse Grande, which was going to take a lot longer.
Teresoplolis is a mountain town and the old shaped mountain (called ¨Gods Finger¨).