Saturday, 8 April 2017


I took yet another bus to Rio de Janeiro.The bus station was full of warning signs in multiple languages about the dangers of taking unlicensed taxis or public buses so I booked a taxi from a stand to my hostel in Ipanema. The hostel itself was pretty much as expected except for the roommates who took napping to extremes. When I arrived at 6pm they were going to bed. As I went to bed at 11.30 they got up. They then returned about 5am and presumably slept most of the day, though they weren't there when I got back at 4pm.

With only limited time I booked on to a city tour that covered the main sights. The Christ statue, a historic area called Lapa, the cathedral and Sugar Loaf for sunset.

The second evening I made a point of finding the recommended local food, feijoada. This was on the menu for two people but they assured me there was a one person option. I think they mixed it up though because the meal was huge. A giant pot of bean stew, another of the same with six pork chops and a piece of bacon in, crackling, fried manioc, manioc flower, rice and salad. Then desert was included as well. I doubled in size over the hour or so I was in that restaurant.

My second day I was recommended to see the museum of tomorrow. This is in a great location by the sea and a weirdly shaped building, which they seem to love in Brazil. It started with an imax type film, which was completely in Portuguese so I have no idea what it said but there were lots of exploring stars, space scenes and wildlife footage. From there it was a series of interactive screens covering subjects like medicine, climate change and robots. Very well done but I didn't really think it was distinctive to Rio.

Portion sizes continued to defeat me. A 'snack' of cheese and chips came in a foot long oval bowl with chopped pepperoni. Tasty but I must have had about a quarter.

Overall impressions.

  • Despite the reputation I never felt unsafe anywhere in Rio.
  • The landscape is absolutely stunning but is let down by the buildings, which range from standard commercial box to favella shack.
  • They have a huge mountain rainforest around the Christ - right in the city. This alone makes me want to go back sometime. 
  • I never saw the famous dance clubs, probably because I was in the wrong place. 

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