In case you didn’t know, I spent the past couple weeks in Brazil for (maybe) the last time. Ian finished up his season strong winning the final race and officially becoming the Brazilian National Enduro Champion!
I couldn’t be more proud of him 😀
With the season ending along with all obligations, we decided to play tourist a little. Our original plan was to check out a few place and get some much needed beach time. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and money so we decided we would go to Rio where you can pretty much experience it all.
Our decision to go was pretty last minute and we figured driving there was much better economically than flying would have been. So we loaded up Ute-gene and headed on our way. The drive was 5 hours of beautiful Brazilian country side. We drove past Ouro Preto and Mariana, through the mountains until we saw the jagged tell-tale cliffs found in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Driving into the city we passed the first and most famous flavella. AKA shanty town. The women who runs the B&B/hostel we stayed at told us the story: Back when Rio was just a tiny beach town there had been a civil war further north. The residents were promised homes and land if they helped fight and won. True to most government ‘promises’, they won but there were no houses or land waiting for them. In protest the soldiers set up camp and have sadly been there since. The name flavella comes from it’s resemblance to a type of flower called a flavella.
Our B&B was off one of the main streets in old downtown. The place was awesome. We were right next to Lapa, the famous art district. Our host was a friendly women named Ana. She spoke very good english and gave us a great map with all the sites we wanted to see clearly marked out. Each morning, over our incredible breakfast, she would show us the bus line that went to our destination for that day along with a mini history lesson. The lady really knew her stuff. So after our first dinner we headed straight to bed to get a head start on the next day’s adventures.
Our first stop was the Christ the Redeemer statue. There are two ways you can get to the top: bus or train. We took the latter and found ourselves crammed into a passenger car full of tourists headed up an impossibly steep track. Once we made it to the statue, it was a mad dash to the top to get a picture before the crowd got too thick.
Flora and Fauna.
In Brazil anywhere is nap accessible.
We got up early again and headed to Sugar Loaf Mountain. Here we got into the iconic (and terrifying) cable cars that give you an aerial view of the bay, airport, beaches, and the Christo. It was a little foggier so our views were limited, which was okay with me because I was slightly distracted by the way the wind was rocking our car. We got an awesome view of the ocean and found a small beach next to a hiking trail.
After the beach, we hiked along the path towards some rocky outcrops. Ian was bummed when he found a trail headed up to the top of the first mountain. We could have hiked that instead of taking the first cable car. oops! Lucky for him the trail ended and turned into a small, sketchy fisherman’s path on the edge of the rocks.
For anyone thinking of going to Brazil I would recommend Rio. It gives you the perfect balance of culture and nature. You just have to know how to be safe and map out where you’re going before leaving your hotel. The only other tip I have, besides learning some Portuguese, is to bring cash. We struggled to pay for the parking ramp because they didn’t take cards. I highly recommend staying with Ana at the Lapa Checa guest house, it was the nicest and friendliest place we had stayed over the past year. Thanks to all these things, overall, our attempt at being tourists was a success.
I hope you all enjoyed reading about my Brazilian Adventures as much as enjoyed having them.
Hugs & Kittens,