A Travellerspoint blog

Rio de Janeiro AGAIN

Animals Tug at our Heartstrings

sunny 29 °C
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With our plans to fly from Rio to Bogota, Colombia, we had no choice but to return to the scary city famous for it’s da-dada-da-da,da-dada-da (Girl From Ipanema). Let us preface by saying that if it weren’t for the violence this city is notorious for, Rio really does rock. Beautiful hot weather is tempered by the winds coming from its coastal location… many lovely beaches all within spitting distances of lush green mountains… even the poverty adds beauty to this city (the “favelas”, that are homes to many poverty stricken locals, rise up on the steep sides of these mountains/hills).

Once again, the fear of being robbed kept us from going out often. However, we did go to the beach again (lovely), we went out for a night of Tango again (frighteningly awful again), and we did manage to finally go to the top of Corcovado to see the impressive and gigantic statue of Christ the Redeemer. Since we took a local bus to get to the start-off point before bargaining ourselves a deal with a taxi driver, we decided against bringing our cameras. In hind-site (20-20), we definitely could have brought K’s point-and-shoot and we felt pretty stupid being the only tourists without cameras ;). And considering we weren’t followed or robbed, we wish we had brought Jorge’s camera. However, it was one of many times our mental pictures would have to suffice… and they did. We had a perfect day which entailed sun and clouds, but no low-lying clouds covering the mountain. This perfection was no luck. We actually walked to the beach first to look back at Corcovado to see if the clouds were closing in (virtually every day, the clouds eventually roll in to cover the mountain and rob tourists of their view of the city). This is not a cheap tourist attraction either, so when we heard that some backpackers had made the trip to the top only to have views of clouds, we decided we would make our on fate. Hence, when we saw how clear the view was, we all but ran to the bus stop to make our way there.

This time around the high and low points of Rio converged and were named:

Fidel
fidel.jpg

Julia
Julia.jpg

and Garfield who only came out at night when no one was around except K and K’s lap. Garfield seemed to be Julia’s brother. They were, as you can see, extremely adorable and they were the sweetest and most loving animals we had ever laid eyes upon. Fidel was apparently “rescued” by the owner of the hostel from the street, but he was left to be taken care of by K. When Fidel was crying all night after being left alone on the huge patio, who came and scooped him up and gave him a place to sleep in their room? That’s right. K did. When Fidel was crapping liquid puddles (that seemed to be of no major concern to the owner), who was making sure he drank enough water? That’s right. K did. Who spent all their free time petting and loving these animals? Once again, you’re right. K did. Thus after 5 days, you can imagine how upsetting and difficult it was for K to say goodbye to her new-found loves… We seriously would have taken them “home” with us if it had been at all possible and our goodbyes had K in a puddle of tears. They still bring tears to her eyes…

Posted by moveimove 15:48 Archived in Brazil Tagged animal Comments (0)

Ouro Preto

"Black Gold"

sunny 24 °C
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The hellish wait and the hellish bus ride were thankfully worth it once we feasted our eyes on the beauty that is Ouro Preto. Arriving a 6am on virtually no sleep, we were so enthralled by the view of the city (and the perfect sunny day that awaited us) that the cobwebs of sleep were lifted away instantly. Ouro Preto has been (and will be since we won’t be visiting any more cities) the most beautiful and incredible city we have visited on this trip. The name of the city translates into “Black Gold” and it was at one time a gold mining town. These days, it is an awe-inspiring colonial town and one of many Unesco World Heritage Sites. This colonial town (it’s actually a decent sized city and the colonial architecture spans a large distance) is set in the hills of the mountains and even our hostel was a 10 minute workout uphill. There are about a dozen gorgeous churches, many of which are on the peaks of hills/mountains. The colonial buildings are brightly coloured, as colonial buildings are, well maintained, and they never got boring.

All this beauty was topped off with a terrific Chocolate Café that served lunch and hot beverages but specialized in truffles and chocolates. Our favourite truffles were the pineapple and the passion fruit which were both, surprisingly, white chocolate truffles (neither of us tend to like white chocolate – perhaps because white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate!). These were perfectly accompanied by European style hot chocolates. It was a pure chocolate indulgence.

If you ever make it to Brazil, you must visit this city. Experiencing this place makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale…

ouro_preto..morning.jpg

Picture by the magnificent Jorge.

Posted by moveimove 15:24 Archived in Brazil Tagged events Comments (0)

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