Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Rio July 2015 Part 1

Walking by the lagoa.

After arriving and greeting the kids - whom we hadn't seen for 9 months!! we went back back to their apartment for a bit to relax before going back out later for a walk.

We walked all around the lagoa that is near Ruth and Zam's - literally 2 streets away. It is a long walk and it took us about a couple of hours and we stopped off on the way for Ruth's new favourite thing -  coconut water fresh from iced coconuts cut in front of you by the seller and a straw put in. These sellers were everywhere, and coconut water seem to be a staple food and drink in Brasil.

View from the lagoa.
From this view you can see the 2 brothers -  Dois lmaos mountain in the background

Impromptu picnic with fresh coconut water - very healthy

As we were walking around the lagoa the terrain changed many times and at one point the side of the lagoa had a small wooded area next to it. In here we saw a herd (is that the right term?) of Capybara. I have only seen these in zoos before so it was a real treat to actually see them living wild. These animals seem very used to people and didn't mind us taking pictures.

There are lots of bars around the lagoa and we stopped off for some obligatory beers and snacks as we took a gentle stroll around. The bars were lively and great fun.

Ruth introduced us to a drink called Caipirinhas which is made from hard liqour and comes in many different flavours, and we had a couple in the bar. I must admit this became a bit of a favourite for me on our trip, they are quite strong as measuring seems to be a bit of a guess work game, but it makes it interesting. For more info look here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caipirinha

We also encountered some interesting birds and trees on the walk, the fruit in the trees were huge and there were also coconut palms everywhere.

More coconut sellers.

More views from the lagoon.

This ones a bit fuzzy but it gives you a idea of the night view.

By the end of this night we were rather tired, not bad considering we only arrived in the country that morning!. After we got back to the kids house, Zam made the most awesome curry, was really yummy. Good end to day 1.

Rio hols 2015, On our way!

Rio!! we finally made it.

View from Sugar Loaf mountain to Botofogo and Copacobana

So we went on a big adventure this month. A visit to our daughter and son in law to be in Rio de Janeiro! Where they are living for 2 years in the run up to and during the Olympics.  This was a nerve racking thing for us as the flights are very long and we had to take one flight to from Paris to New York then another to Rio soon afterwards. As anyone who knows us knows Dave and I are country folk by nature and international jet setters we are not. This was the first long haul flights for both of us and we were kind of nervous.

So after a kind lift from friends to Poitiers (1.30hrs away) then a train journey to Paris we finally made it to Orly Airport.

The flight to America was actually quite good, it was hosted by British Airways and we were lucky enough to have a tablet each to use with preloaded films and tv series to watch - which meant I finally got to watch Second Best ever Marigold Hotel without annoying Dave who opted for Terminator type films. So 9 hours later we touched down in New York to get ready for the next flight which was in 2 hours.

So after going through security to get into the country and waiting for 2 hours for the flight they announced that the flight was going to be cancelled (at the time we were due to leave!) due to problems with getting a pilot for the plane. Not a good start :( so after another hour or so of queueing  to see customer services to be told we weren't being given a hotel and then the airline changing their minds we finally managed to get a bit of shut eye and be ready to start the whole process again the next day.

Luckily day 2 went a fair bit better than day one and we finally managed to make it to Rio. Strangely enough the security at Rio was the tightest out of all the airports and we even had to have our hold baggage x rayed after we had collected it to leave the airport. But after 2 days travelling we had got there.