Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rio de Janeiro - February 17 & 18


We sleep until around 9 am and wake to another beautiful day in Rio De JaneiroWe contemplate what to do today. We agree we don’t feel like waiting until the shuttle at 11 and decide to walk into Leblon and do as the locals do, visit an espresso shop and get a light breakfast. We find a quaint spot that has spots in the shade on the sidewalk, even at the hour of 10:30 it is quite warm. We order a preset meal that is made for one but is more than enough for the two of us.  It consisted of a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, a coffee, a brioche, a croissant, one scrambled egg, two pieces of ham, two slices of cheese and half a papaya.  I ordered a latte and we munched away on this great meal.

We walked all the way from Leblon to the metro in Impenema about 5km and rode the metro three stops to the end of Copacabana and then walked down the main shopping street looking for this record store called Modern Music but I guess it isn’t there anymore and a gym is in it’s place. 

We continue on to visit the large Havaianas store in Copacabana.  Even though we got flip flops from them yesterday Bernie really wanted to get another pair and he found what he wanted there.

We are tired, we have been walking for about four hours now almost straight.  We flag a taxi and we head back to the hotel, this time the taxi driver knows where our hotel is.

We quickly change into our bathing suits and head down to the pool to relax and enjoy the sun and heat on our last afternoon here. The hotel is now full of people who mainly speak English, from Canada and the United StatesWe sit at the pool restaurant and share a pizza and two guys sit beside us and they are joining our ship tomorrow too.  Low and behold they are from Vancouver, small world.

Tonight we head to Copacabana to a block party, we meet up with others at the Copacabana Palace and from there walk a few blocks to the beginning of the parade. The event consists of a truck with a two level platform with the band playing on the top and dancers on the bottom. The truck starts to move then everyone follows!  We don our masks and we join the parade.  We consist of about 300 people following this truck and it is crowded and HOT.  After about four blocks I look at Bernie and say lets head to the sidewalk, it is just way too crowded for me. 

As soon as we head to the sidewalk we are amazed that Gail and Russell find us in the crowds.  We follow along the parade route for quite a while till it turns back up to the park where it originated at.  We decide time to head out and get something to eat.

We find a nice restaurant right on Atlantica streetWe know from experience that the servings are large so we opt to share an entrée and we thought at first about getting one of the small side dishes to go with it but the waiter told us that would be a lot of food.  We thank him and take up his suggestion.  How nice to see a waiter say something like that, he is very good.And boy is he right!  The entrée comes and it is four chicken breasts done Parmegan style!  Yup four!  Plus rice and mashed potatoes we barely make a dent before we giggle and ask for the bill.  Normally the price of the meal has a 10% gratuity added but we ask him to add 10R more which he has to get approval from his manager for, we said to his manager now this is a great server!

huge meal!

We flag a taxi down to head back to the hotel, but oh no Impenama is having their block party too!  It takes us about 40 minutes to get back to the hotel but thankfully the taxis are based on distance not time, but we give him a good tip because of how long it took.

Can’t believe we are leaving Rio tomorrow. We really really liked it here. The people are wonderful and there are things we would of liked to have seen that we haven’t seen yet so that means we have to plan to come back.  But I think we will come when it is not Carnival, it is just too too busy.

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