Rio De Janeiro

Arriving into Rio we were feeling a little green around the gills - Brazilian drivers are not the smoothest rides around. I think the government tried to make everyone drive slower by putting random speed bumps everywhere, but that didn’t really work - people just slam on the brakes to go over them and then speed off again on the other side.

The first day we arrived we did a tour of the city, seeing lots of famous sights. One of these, the Selaron steps, is a big staircase done by one guy over his whole life as a tribute to Brazil, which I reckon is pretty impressive. They are mostly yellow green and blue for the Brazil flag, but he put some red in too because he likes Ferrari. There was lots of live music playing up and down the steps and it was quite busy, so we had to walk a long way up until we could actually see some of the steps properly, but they were very cool, with so many details all over the place.

We went up to see Christ The Redeemer, which was cool, although he was a bit smaller than we expected. The views from up there were awesome though, and it made us realise how gigantic the city is. We got really good views of all the favellas too, looking like colourful boxes that were being pushed up into the forest areas.

We finished with the Sugar Loaf, which is a big hill-rock thing that you need to take 2 cablecars up to. That was fun, and we managed to get there right as the sun was setting, which was very pretty. We got to wait and see the city light up as it got dark, which was also pretty.

That was the end of our tour, so after a goodbye dinner we left all our new friends (some of whom we’ll catch up with later - one’s even supposed to be in Iceland on the same weekend as us!).

The next day was a bit of a recovery day, because the tour has been pretty intense so we were pretty tired.

We wandered by the beach and lazed by the hotel pool, which, being on the roof, had a pretty good view of the city and a couple of nearby favellas.

The favellas are basically like slums, where the people who are too poor to buy a house/section instead just build their house onto the back of a friend/families house, making a huge jumble of houses going up into the forest.

We also went into one of the biggest hotels on the beachfront and snuck up to their pool area to get a good view of the beach, and the next day (our last), we went swimming (as much as you’re allowed, which is as long as your feet can touch the bottom). We had good fun playing in the surf.

The Selaron steps. The Big Dude. Sunset from the Sugarloaf. The beach from on high

And now we’re off to Orlando!