Take our One Million dollars and go to Rio!

The alarm goes off for our Rio day tour. We have no idea what day it is but we are keen to start exploring and don’t have much time to do so. Our 8:30 am pick up said they could arrive from 8:20 am but we assumed they were on Brazil time and at 8:20 am we got a message to say they were downstairs…

The tour began and our guide Eduardo did the tour in both English and Portuguese. The first stop was meant to be Christ the redeemer however it was foggy so they took us to Sugar Loaf Mountain first.

The Sugar Loaf cable car was a spectacular view, although we were immediately jealous of people climbing the rock face directly behind it. After a brief walkthrough exhibition at the local bees and trees, we reach the top at the second cable car and explore the 360 degree view of Rio and its surroundings.

With 15 minutes left until our group heads back down we decide to put Dory’s newly learnt Portuguese to use and order what our guide assures us is Rio’s most expensive beers… at about AU$8 each. On the way back down the mountain we see the first of many small monkeys in the trees before dropping in on our old mate Mr C.

Arriving at the Christ Redeemer statue is every bit fascinating as it is hilariously anti-climatic as we find ourselves catching two buses, a lift and a donkey only to find a literal (mechanical) stairway to heaven up in the clouds. Between the wind, the fog, the rain and the pickpockets, we manage a quick selfie where at least the shape of our fearless lord and saviour can be seen through the clouds.

After an authentic (Brazilian) BBQ lunch (the highlight being asked if I wanted beef cow or beef pork) we don our Sunday best and head to Rio’s oldest church, The Catedral (c. 972AD). This unassuming pyramid looking stone building actually contains the most beautiful interior and stain glass windows which we couldn’t help but walk around and take in.

The final stop in today’s tour is the Selaron Steps, the famous film clip location for Michale Jackson’s, “They don’t really care about us.” 

Once back in Copacabana, we stroll up and down the beach trying to choose from the many bars right on the sands edge, one which isn’t too touristy or too dead or overpriced. After seeing some locals dancing between the tables ??? where the local cocktail Caipirinha was R$17 each, we settle on one where an acoustic duo is singing the girl from Ipanema (in Portuguese) and the Caipirinhas were only R$15 (~AU$5) … for two of them!

After a well earned sleep, a spritely Dory set out to get breakfast from the local padaria (patisserie) while a slightly (very) hungover Dave stayed in bed. Then into a nice cheap Uber to visit our last stop in Rio, the Jardim Botanico (Botanic Gardens). 

After the craziness and hectic schedule at yesterday's bus tour, its nice to calmly explore the secluded (and secure) gardens which Rio is famous for.

Then it’s back to the airport for our next two flights: Rio to Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo to Manaus, where we hear Dory start singing, “Welcome to the Jungle” … repeatedly.