The Road to Iguacu
Iguassu Falls Nat'l Park
Macuco Boat Safari
Iguazu Falls Rest.
Foz Tropicana Aviary
6 - Rafain Churrascaria
7 - The Road to Noronha
Fernando de Noronha
9 - Sueste Bay Snorkeling
10 - Farewell to Fernando
11 - The Road to Rio
12 - The Hippie Market
13 - Sugar Loaf Mountain
14 - Copacabana Palace
15 - Too Much Gluten
16 - Botanical Gardens
17 - Buzios
18 - Copacabana
19 - Ipanema Beach
20 - Plataforma Show
21 - Corcovado Mountain
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BRAZIL TRAVELOGUE - DAY
16 - RIO DE JANEIRO BRAZIL
Atop Corcovado Mountain with Christ the Redeemer.
Marcelo picks us up from the apartment, and we head
up to see the symbol of Rio de Janeiro - Corcovado Mountain,
where the statue of Christ stands tall, arms spread
wide, watching over the city. The weather is bright,
warm sunshine - perfect for this tour. The road up is
a winding one through the jungles of the Tijuca Forest,
providing us with wonderful views of the city below.
As we reach the gate, there is a small entrance fee
per person to drive up, or you can park the car and
walk up for free. We opt for the driving option
as it looks pretty steep.
As we continue
driving up the road, we see a group of school children
walking - after another 10 minutes of solid uphill driving,
we're very happy we chose to drive. Once at the
top, we ride the glass elevators up to the statue itself.
The ride in the elevators is great in itself, with views
sweeping all over the city. However, this is nothing
compared to the views at the top, standing at the foot
of Christ the Redeemer. We are rewarded
with near-360° views of Rio de Janeiro, stretching for
dozens of miles in every direction, panoramic vistas
of the jungle-draped mountains and the azure blue sea.
It is absolutely breathtaking.
pose for photos with the statue, looming high over
us, as the crowds start to get thicker. Naturally,
Kicki and Bertil have their eyes on the Corcovado
Cafe, where we sample some excellent, but sweet,
Brazilian juices, and of course, espresso as we
gaze out over the city below. After our break,
we check out the gift shops - very expensive, of
course - then we descend the glass elevators back
to the car for the next part of our tour - Tijuca
Forest. The forest is the largest urban forest
in the world, the remnants of the massive Atlantic
rain forest that once surrounded Rio de Janeiro.
The road winds around the mountains, offering tremendous
vistas of the city and ocean beyond. We see
waterfalls, people rock climbing, many people jogging,
and some beautiful tropical foliage.
Corcovado Cafe, built
into the mountain...
Marcelo takes us down the Southern Beaches of Barra
and beyond. We've seen Barra already, so it's
mostly to drive. Down past Barra, we drive
past Sao Conrado Beach, then Barra de Tijuca beach,
where there are dozens of Surfers filling the water.
It is strikingly beautiful, and staggeringly hard
to park. After a couple minutes, Marcelo takes
us even further - up to a restaurant called
Restaurante Point de Grumari, overlooking the
Military Reservation, which is a vast area of unspoiled
wetlands, mountains, and perhaps the most beautiful
beaches in all of Rio de Janeiro - those along Baia
de Sepetiba - off limits to all civilians.
Traditional Brazilian - Empanadas and Capirinhas!
It's a lovely
setting with outdoor seating, and views sweeping over
the wilds south of Rio and live jazz playing throughout
our meal. We sample several items on the menu
- one fish dish was too bony without much taste, but
another was excellent. We also try some shrimp
filled shells which are excellent. After lunch,
I had planned to go hang gliding, but when Marcelo called
the hang gliding people, they said the winds were too
strong that day - that it wasn't safe. Oh well,
another time. We head back to Ipanema to pack up our
things, as this is to be our last day in Rio de Janeiro.
up and a tearful farewell, we're taken to the airport
by Rio Apartments for the 11:15PM flight, where we board
the American Airlines jet to Miami. After Miami
we'll fly to Seattle and then back to Portland - all
told 13 airports on our trip. Brazil - what a
wonderful place. We can't wait to go back and
End of our
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