Leaving Rio

It’s our last day in Brazil; tomorrow we head to Buenos Aires through the holidays. Aside from waking up one morning to a line of ants crawling directly across my pillow, overall it’s been a great experience. However, I am excited to “settle down” a bit in B.A. and spend a little more time in each place, hopefully being more of a traveller and less of a tourist, as we’ve been in Brazil. With the Brazil air pass we booked, we had to squeeze in as much as possible in each city in the short time we had at each place. That meant lots of tours and trips, and less settling in to take in the culture.

We did your standard Christ the Redeemer visit, which in all honesty, after 50 sweaty minutes waiting in line for a winding train ride up the mountain, was actually maybe a bit anti-climatic. But something you have to do when you’re in Rio anyway. Actually, the views from the top of Corcovado (the mountain Christo is on) are pretty killer, and give you a great overview of the city.
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But in my opinion, the views from Pao De Acucar (Sugar Loaf) were even more enthralling, especially since we went at sundown. The ride up to the crest takes you from one cable car to the next, swaying high above the city.
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We spent Friday night at Lapa, a bustling street party that booms with music, dancing, and drinking throughout the neighborhood. The true culture and talent of Rio can be found right on the streets at Lapa, with street musicians showing off their skills, whether it be a classical-violin-playing-and-beatboxing duo, or a Brazilian-flavored ska band. Unfortunately I have no pictures to provide due to my fear of having one too many caipirinhas and losing the camera.

Today we did a favela tour, one of the famous shanty towns of Rio De Janeiro where a whopping 1 in 6 of the population lives. These favelas started popping up as the Brazilian real estate market got so hot that it outpriced the poorer people from being able to live in the city. But, because of the need to be near the city to work, the suburbs weren’t an option for them, so they began illegally building homes up the side of the mountains:

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As communities formed in the favelas, they found ways to steal electricity,
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pipe a water system,
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and even have a little fun.

Little did I realize we would actually be walking straight through the favela for about an hour on foot, seeing the lifestyle of the people up close and personal. I must say, it felt a little twisted hopping back into the cozy, air-conditioned tour van after spending an hour oogling these people’s lives. but, I’ll leave the social commentary out of it for now.

7 comments to Leaving Rio

  • Susan

    How fabulous! I love seeing all of this through your eyes! You will love Buenos Aires and it’s a great place to spend the Holidays. My best wishes for a wonderful New Year. I’m off to Mexico, not quite as exciting, but warm. Travel safe!

  • Mom

    Hi guys, I’d have to agree, the photo from Sugar Loaf was beautiful, and what a view! At any rate, Ar has asked for everyone to be at her house at 6:30, so I would think 7:30-8 p.m. would be good and everyone would be there. Can’t wait!! Merry Christmas! Love you, Mom and Dad

  • Anthony

    Hey you crazy kids! Wishing you a merry Christmas all the way from exotic Bloomingdale, Illinois!

  • Love this, particularly the last few pics and videos! Enjoying following along on your adventure, keep the stories and pictures coming. Merry Christmas!

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