Beginnings in Brazil
Hello Friends - Blog entry Numero Uno
So after an emotional farewell at Dublin airport, 4 girls, bags on backs headed off for Rio De Janeiro. 12 hours later we arrived on brazilian soil without a word of portugese, which meant an interestng negotiation to make out way to our first of many hostels - Ipanema Beach House.
We arrived late at night to a nice hostel with crazy triple bunk dorms (invloving a lot of non-graceful climbing!) and chatted to a few other travellers before hitting the hay. Next morning we headed straight for Ipanema Beach causing a quite a scene of staring due to our extremely pasty irish skin and later walked around some interesting local markets taking in the culture and checking the local artists.
Our first night out in Rio entailed a trip to one of the loval "Favelas", which are basically the Rio Slums for a Favela Funk Party. Crazy night in a massive warehouse with around 2,000 people, with plenty of dance-offs and again a few stares being part of the only group of gringos in the place! Quite the experience.
Next on the agenda was to visit some of the famous attractions across Rio which included the Christ Redeemer statue, Corcovado mountain, the Lapa steps, Tijuca Rainforest, Santa Theresa, all the while torrential rain, thunder & Lightning accompanied us on our day trip around Rio(video to follow!). Christ the Redeemer statue was great to see but we were practically blown off the top of the mountain due to the weather, hence our photod are not quite the typical tourist snaps. The Lapa steps was a really unique experience. These steps have been transformed by the chilean atrist Selaron into a unique collage of colorful tiles from around the world, which he still changes on a regular basis. He also paints the famous "Pregnant Lady" pictures. We managed to find 5 Irish tiles on at different points on the steps.
Day 3 - on the suggestion of many other hostellers, we upped sticks, packed rucksacks and headed for an island off the coast of Brazil, south of Rio called Ilha Grande. After arriving to the island on a speedboat, we checked into another hostel and went for walkies on the island. There are no cars or banks on the island but there is an insane amount of dogs everywhere you look. The island is a paradise island with simple living, white beaches, and a really laid back, relaxed atmosphere. We joined the ganag the from the hostel that night for a BBQ with plenty of food, music and Caprihina´s (traditional brazilian drink made with lime & cachassa liquer). Great night all round apart from Eimear suffering an injury at the hands of the Sea Urchins - warning to always look before you leap into water at night!
Our second day in Ilha Grande we decided to finally indulge in some proper exercise and take a 3 hour dike hike across the mountians of the island to a secluded beach, which no boats can go to called Lopas Mendes. Eimear & Maggy decided it would be an excellent opportunity to break in their attractive mammy hiking boots, sheepishly avoiding everyone in the hostel on the way out! The beach itself was breathtaking when we FINALLY arrived after a seriously sweaty hike. Bags were dropped and we dived into the amazing aquamarine water - never seen a beach like it before. needless to say we didn´t see it necessary to hike 3 hours back so we walked 20 mins to get the next beach to avail of a water taxi. That night, sat out under the stars at a bar on the beach with our new Kiwi friends - ending the night with some very funny hammock chats til the wee hours. The Mosquitos went to town that night and we suffered badly the next day.
More to Come......