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Friday, June 28, 2013

The long awaited visit to Christ the Redeemer Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro

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We have had a real struggle to get to see the highlight of Rio.
This is our second trip into Rio.
Last time it was too overcast.
And last night our bus had problems coming into Rio.
We ran hours late.
We raced to the square and tried to get a public bus.
the lady collecting fares assured us she would inform us where to get off.
But she was so busy chatting, she forgot!
So we jumped in a taxi to get to the train / 'trem'.
But on arriving we were informed we wouldn't get up before dark.
As my good camera got smashed on the rocks of Sana, 
we are down to a damaged waterproof camera with no flash -
-  hoping insurance will cover the other one.
So we gave up and went and had a nice dinner instead.

But today I am determined not to be beaten.
My son has a sleep in and I pack the room up as we head out this afternoon.
We walk to the bus.
there we are told we should get a van.
Half the price of the train (this is because I have a child discount with this van).

We wait and it seems ages til he decides to take off - not happy as we have limited time.

It is an incredibly windy road - we feel we are driving up the tower of Babel!
We get to the car park and see the rear of the statue.
Serious excitement sets in.

We hit the toilets first, then the elevator up.
Then the escalator - and here we are !

We fight the crowds for our photo to be taken.
Camera swapping with tourists.
People shove and push.
My son gets upset.
I try to teach him to wait and give others a turn first.
Then they will give us a turn - 
- but they don't.
He just about has a melt-down.

We take a break and enjoy the view.
We are blessed with the bluest of skies.
The clouds were thick the day before so this is better.

We then get to meet the Secretary of Tourism.
He is interviewing on the issue of the riots and protests effecting tourism.
He is inviting tourists to return to Rio.
So we enjoy our 5 minutes of fame - though few people in Brazil really know us.

Seeing Christ the Redeemer has been one of our "must sees".
My son blogs on all the big things of the world and he will be adding it for sure.
Hmmm - I need to motivate him to blog again now I think about it -
- so it won't be for a while.
You can read his blog at - http://explorasonourworldtrip.blogspot.com.au

Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 
considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world 
and the 2nd largest statue of Jesus in the world.
Height40 m
AddressParque Nacional da Tijuca, Alto da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro Corcovado


Gorgeous place to stay - Baron Garden, Gloria - Rio de Janeiro

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I have promised the lovely owner, Iaci that I would do a blog on her establishment.
Not only did she give us a very good price, 
she also upgraded us to a fantastic and spacious room.
She speaks English, had promptly answered our emails, and helped us with directions.
Our room was spacious, and restored gracefully.

The hand-made bricks are stamped with "Rio de Janeiro".

Inside it oozes charm.
The wood work is painted.
The bathrooms remain with many original features.
But modern lovely hot showers are also there, and plumbing is modern.
The old world charm remains.

We enjoy a completely quiet and restful sleep.
The rooms are lovely and quiet - and clean.
The morning comes and I leave the quietness of the room and wander the property.
I watch the sun rise from the veranda on our level.
On one side is the bay of Rio.

This is a million dollar view.

To the other side, the modern city skyscrapers are in view.
How tall are these old palm trees?

 They have a couple of friendly dogs 
- but these are in a separate area - unless you want to befriend them.

I enjoy a peaceful and serene walk around the gardens.
I enjoy the detail of the pathways, and feel like I am in Greece or France.


I really enjoy the mix of old and new.
There is a lovely seated area near the pool under cover.
Here would be a great place to have breakfast served or an evening glass of your favourite drink.
Our price included a simple and nice breakfast with lovely coffee.
We met and chatted to the resident French artist who lives there.
Her works are hung around the property.

 I think our biggest surprise was our final minutes where we were invited to see the view from the roof.
As we climbed the spiral stairs, we were in awe.


We were late on our return, but the staff (who spoke no English) were gracious.
This area is a very safe section of streets to walk.
We enjoyed a fabulous dinner the night before and walked back quite safely.
We are told she knows of no crime in this area with walkers.
I think the biggest surprise was arriving and it is such an unassuming building.
There is no sign to say it is a Guest House, or Posada.
So please don't have a heart attack and think you have come to the wrong place.
I think they have done this so the locals do not know of the beauty within the walls.
If you come to Rio, I highly recommend Baron Garden as an affordable stay.

The guest house is situated in a special neighborhood in Rio,
 the Outeiro da Glória, at Rua Barão de Guaratiba 195, 
and is near to Reedemer by mini-van. 
barongarden@barongarden.com
(21) 2245 9929

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cabo Frio & Arraial do Cabo - North East of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. CouchSurfing

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We have arrived at Cabo Frio and are staying with a lovely artist.
She is a fantastic cook. 
A warm and friendly lady.

We have met through Couch-surfing.
We hit it off instantly and have a great laugh.
Her favourite saying is "take it easy".

Cabo Frio is known for white fine and soft sandy beaches,
with amazing aqua blue water.
Today we are taken around by our new friends.
They are pastors of a Baptist church here.
She is Irish, and he is Brazilian, and they have a lovely 3 year old boy.

The bay is filled with wooden fishing boats.
Locals sell fresh fish under the trees.

We then wander around the top of the bay to see where the bay merges.

There was an old fort where the French had tried to invade.
I think the Portuguese only just won - from what I understood.

Coming back from the fort, we walked over the rocks.
It is really pretty - and the other side looks over Cabo Frio.

We then headed around the old part of the town.
Very traditional Portuguese style buildings really make the town.

Apparently - this church is booked up for weddings for the next year.
It has a lovely little square in front of it.

We then went to the convent.
There was a display of ants on the building.
they were made with coconut shells and cactus wood.

We were presented with local ice-creams / Popsicles to try.
I tried sweet - corn - it was incredibly nice.
There are some great flavours and really are a 'must try' if you come to Brazil.

In the afternoon, the weather threatened a storm.
So we headed out to beat it.
Arraial do Cabo is the next town - about 20 minutes away by car.
Here is the entrance - it almost looks middle eastern - or like salt grinders.
There are lovely coloured glass windows.

There are several bays.
The town did have a thriving industry which closed.
It has left the town a little isolated, and with some unemployment.
But now there is an oil discovery, so it may take off again.

We then went to the 2nd bay - there was a mix of favela and modern buildings.

We headed up the hill, and saw the most amazing bluff.
the road wandered right to the edge of the cliff.
It was incredible - with beautiful big houses.

It is a lovely little town, and would be busy in Summer.
It is nestled in between the bays - in the valley.

Coming back to Cabo trio.
I felt this bar describes the situation in Brazil very well.
There has been some disruptions, but we have seen nothing of the problems.

We have made some lovely new friends here.
They have been so hospitable, and have had us to stay, and showed us around.
We have Couch-surfed, and then stayed with new friends - and it has been lovely.
Thank you!