I’ve been in Rio for three days now.

I’m living here, and currently blogging from this porch.

This is the view of centro and the zona norte from the hostel.

This is the view up into Santa Teresa from the front of the hostel.

To get to the beaches of Copacabanna, Ipanema, and Leblon, I walk down the hill into Lapa, one of the sketchier parts of town, but also the center of the pre-carnival street parties (and surprisingly similar to the French Quarter in New Orleans), and catch a city bus for R2.20 (about a dollar). A 20-40 minute ride, depending on traffic, through some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world as well as huge tunnels through rainforested mountains, brings you to the Zona Sul.

Everyone in Rio rides the buses and subway. I’ve honestly never seen so many buses. Yesterday I saw a girl in a dress and heels next, a guy in a full suit, and a kid in shorts with no shoes in the same row of seats. The buses are also stick shift, and the drivers like to imagine they are racing, while conversing with the riders and the cobrador (the guy who takes your money and lets you on and off. People often get into hilarious conversations while stopped at a red light in adjacent buses.

While riding the bus through Botafogo yesterday, I saw this.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at the beach in Ipanema, near Post 9.

The food is good and pretty cheap, and since my knowledge of Portuguese is almost non-existent, it’s always somewhat of a surprise what your going to get. Yesterday in Leblon I got a plate with rice, beans, spaghetti, vegetables, and a breaded and fried chicken breast with a mango smoothy for 12 reals, which is less than 6 dollars.

I’ve been enjoying a lot of these as well.

Last night I went with some British guys from the hostel to a street party at an old theater downtown, just outside of Lapa. No pictures though, because unlike cash, you can’t hide a camera in your shoe.

My computer is going to die in 36 minutes, which means I have to find an outlet converter today so I can charge it. I’ve found a small apartment at the Oblesico in Buenos Aires to rent for the month of March, which is actually significantly cheaper than staying in hostels, considering I’ll have guests to split part of the rent for a few weeks. Still don’t know exactly where I’m headed on Saturday when I no longer have a bed in Rio, but obviously it will be southwest. I’m thinking Sao Paulo and Florianopolis before crossing in to Uruguay in catching the ferry from Montevideo to BA, however the British guys have made it very clear that it would be worth skipping Montevideo to see Iguazu Falls, so I guess we’ll see. Overall it’s 40 something hours of land travel to BA from Rio, so broken up over two weeks, I’ll have some time to spread out.

Time for lunch then off to the beach and the electronics store!

This entry was written by brett, posted on February 18, 2009 at 9:52 am, filed under Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.



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