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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GARDENS OF RIO
BRAZIL TRAVELOGUE - DAY
12 - RIO DE JANEIRO BRAZIL
At the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Rio de Janeiro.
By now, Bertil
is feeling much like himself again, and Marcelo comes
at 9:00AM to pick us up. Today we'll see the biggest
Botanical Gardens in Rio de Janeiro,
Botanico. These giant 1.41 square kilometer
(over half a square mile) gardens were built in 1808
for Prince Regent Dom Joao. Although botany isn't
Marcelo's specialty, he gives it a good effort, and
tells us some interesting things about the history of
entry, we see dozens of turtles piled on top of each
other, and many very tropical types of trees and
fruits, including the rare Pau-Brasil tree that gave
the country it's name. The Pau-Brasil tree, Marcelo explains to us, was
known for it's red wood that was used to make dye.
The tree is now almost extinct. There are a
couple of nice gazebos, and many, many lovely birds.
We walk the pathways, lined with giant palms, and
cross bridges back and forth over the creek.
We're lucky enough to spot a couple of Toucans,
which is fun - the first we've seen outside of
the Venus Flytraps, Orchids, and other plants, then
stop for coffee at the coffee shop. The gardens
are a lovely place, though at this time, flowers
are few and far between - mostly trees and other
greenery. After the gardens, we plan to visit
the fruit market, but it starts to pour down rain,
so we give it a pass. Instead, Marcelo takes
us down to Barra, in the south part of Rio.
is a largely residential area with a sea of high-rise
apartment buildings lining the seemingly endless
beaches. The road sees a lot of traffic during
commuting hours, but is fairly empty on this rainy
day. Barra is also a major commercial shopping
area, with several large shopping centers including
Barra Shopping which is the largest shopping
center in Latin America with a whopping 574 stores
and 60 kiosks. It is in Barra you'll find
such gringo favorites as Shenanigan's Irish Pub
and Hard Rock Cafe. After touring the area,
Marcelo drops us off at the apartment, where we
take it easy until that evening.
Marcelo practices his bird calls while we look on..
9:00PM that evening, Marcelo picks us up for our Rio
by Night Tour. He takes us into Lapa, where it seems
every building is a night club of some kind. The
club he's chosen for us this evening is
Rio Scenarium. It's a great mix of Caricoas
and Gringos - three stories high with a dance floor
on the main level where there is live music, a disco
on the second level, plus a dining/seating area, with
another on the third floor.
Live music and dancing at Rio Scenarium - a good time.
is very good and everyone is dancing. All the
music in Lapa is Brazilian, which we think is wonderful.
The first act is
Manga de Colete, a local Samba band. The main
act for the evening is
Olho D'agua & Luciana Marinho, who are very good.
We do some dancing, and Bertil leads us in the Samba
rhythm. We all have a wonderful time - we're all
very happy we picked the Rio by Night Tour. However,
we do have to leave a little early, as tomorrow is our
road trip to Buzios.
Continue to Day 13
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