Rio de Janeiro, and in fact all of Brazil, was quieter than I had expected. From Iguassu Falls, just over the border from Peru, arriving from the Amazon via Lima, was a quiet town – tourists abounded on the buses to the falls, both in Brazil and Argentina (yes, it is to long it spreads into both countries!
Just so much water there! Long, wide rivers leading over waterfalls and rainbows through the spray, to the Devils Throat (garganta del diablo) with 275 drops, the highest being 270 feet! It is stunning. I am surprised this is not as famous as Niagra, for its size and impressiveness.
It was a long walk over the wooden bridges and walkways to this final destination but well worth it, along the views of waterfalls, boats far down below and just feet above the raging rivers in places.
From Foz de Iguazu I travelled by bus to Curitiba, a financial and business capital of the country, and it was lovely. I enjoyed my stay in this pretty town and apparently it was well planned by the local authorities over several years. The shops, plazas, people, markets and streets were interesting and pleasant. My favourite city in Brazil …
Then on to Sao Paulo, a key city but not impressive for a tourist like me, and again, not too impressed. From here I moved to my real destination of Rio, to see the colourful, noisy city we expect – but it was quiet, normal and even grey in places.
I did enjoy my stay – with a four day trip to Paraty holiday resort in between – and the visit to Cristo Redentor by train, and Sugar Loaf Mountain of course, by cable car. And Copacabana beach …where it rained! And apparently, this is no longer ‘the’ place to be but the next one along, Ipanema where the ‘beautiful people’ now go.
Christ the Redeemer was not as big as I expected and busier than I anticipated, so photos were shared often, and photographers borrowed too as I was on my own! One taken by a young British guy lying down I asked for my pic whilst he was down there – and got it!
Sugar Loaf mountain also had rain but I just missed it and got some great photos from the top luckily, but still none of the condors again!
My ‘holiday’ in Paraty whilst travelling (i.e. not a holiday!) was interesting and lovely, with days on the beach, nice food and exploring the streets, river and shops. I found out it had been built by Freemasons in colonial days, saw the signs and doors, the windows and the slave market and prison amongst many other key points from the local walking tour on the last day!
In Rio city I stayed in Santa Teresa, firstly at the bottom then at the top of the hill in a lovely airbnb with a lovely host and gorgeous rooms overlooking the houses adorning the hillsides, the city towers and even in the distance, the bridge and harbour!
That was a real treat and very reasonably priced, even cheap! Cheaper than the horrid, dirty place I stayed for two nights on the street below!