Big trip from Brisbane to Brazil. They said 21 hours but it was a bit more than that. Brisbane-Sydney-Santiago-Rio de Janeiro. Flight delayed from Sydney so missed our connection to Rio. All good, Qantas gave is equiv $15 each for lunch and onto another flight 3 hours later. But as these knock-on effects happen we lost our taxi ride to the hotel in Rio. We tried sending an email from Santiago but to no avail, no taxi waiting for us in Rio. A man started talking to us to see if we needed a taxi and told us where the ATM was. How to get yourself in the shit in Rio – watch this space. The man helped by trying to call the hotel for us – we had already tried and no answer. He said that sometimes, the taxis, they don’t come. The plane was an hour late landing and though we came through almost first, no taxi driver for us. So Chris goes to get cash. The man offered $R130 to take us to our hotel. We know it should not be more than $R100. So negotiate $R90. Right, off we go. We go into the car park – taxis usually have their own rank right?. We stop for him to pay parking, hhmmmm. We get on the road, no meter in the taxi, he knows we have just been to ATM, hmmmm. We watch the sign posts – Copacabana one way we drive the opposite, hmmmm , end up on some smaller roads then a huge tunnel. So I am thinking ok that’s my watch gone, and I wonder how much money Chris drew out? Chris is thinking oh crap, don’t know if I have the energy to take this guy out when he stops the car. OMG what a trip. All works out well, he finds our hotel and walks us to the door. We gave him $R100! So relieved to get here in one piece.
How easy is it to get into Brazil!. Passport control, 2 words, stamp and friendly smile. Collect bags and line up thinking there is another official post to go through. No, we start walking in a line toward a couple of coppers who are looking and that’s it. I think there was a facial recognition camera watching too, but, how easy was that! Though we do think that Chris looks like a bomb manufacturer as he was stopped in Sydney and Santiago and swabbed down for bombs! I of course sailed through LOL!!
The Aquarela do Leme is up a steep windy hill right on the edge of a Favela. The hotel insists It is a safe neighbourhood. It is fascinating to have the poverty right beside us. The Favelas are up the hills and have the best views, typically Brazilians like to be on the beach, so the slum areas have been relegated to up the hills which have the most amazing views.