Rio de Janeiro
Does Rio really need a description? It's so famous — I hardly think so. Beautiful beaches, beautiful weather, and beautiful people. Surf, sand, and parties every night. Amidst it all, the extreme violence and poverty of the favelas. And looking over the entire city, Christ the Redeemer — now one of the new seven wonders of the world. Rio is my grand finale end to South America, and what better place could there be, to finish up and to relax for a bit?
If you went to Brazil and you didn't have a caipirinha, you must have been living in a cave. It's the national cocktail of Brazil: and like most things in this country, it's sweet, lethally strong, and divine — all at the same time. Made with lime, sugar, and cachaça (fermented sugarcane), the caipirinha tastes a bit like the lime cocktails you can find up in the Caribbean, such as Mexico's margarita, or Cuba's mojito. Only it's better.
Great news: as of this morning, the rain has stopped, and the sun is shining in Rio! And you know what that means: go to the beach, go straight to the beach — do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Fortunately, since my hostel is only a 5-minute walk from Copacabana (Rio's biggest and most famous beach), this was quite an easy task. Armed with little more than my towel, my boardies, and a large supply of sunscreen (although not large enough — never is, eh?), I spent the better part of today swimming at the beach, walking on the beach, and (more than anything else) just lying on the beach, basking in the ferocious Brazilian sun. This is more like it — this is what I came to Brazil for, in the first place.
This morning I woke up in my bed, and looked around in utter confusion. How did I get here? I had no memory — none whatsoever — of retiring to bed last night. All that I remember about last night was: I'd gone up to the bar (without having had dinner — biiig mistake!); I'd had quite a few capirinhas with some friends up there; at some point, I'd changed into my swimmers and jumped into the jacuzzi; and after, I'd gotten out and kept talking to people. Then, my memory stops — completely blacks out. However, after talking to some of my roommates this morning, I think I've got a pretty good explanation of why that is.
Stone of a Beach is yet another one of those places where you go to party, not to sleep. Not that there's anything wrong with that :P. Situated in the heart of Copacabana, it's rivalled only by the infamous Mellow Yellow as "the place to stay" in Rio. And with its sunny rooftop occupied by a well-stocked bar, a comfy TV room, and a sizzling hot jacuzzi, you couldn't ask for much more, as far as having fun at your hostel goes.
Rio de Janeiro. City of surf, sand, and sensuality. The sun always shines in Rio, right? Right?! This evening, when my bus pulled into the city of Rio, I arrived to find that it was pouring with rain. What's going on — how can there be bad weather in Rio?! The world's gone mad, I say. Anyway, everyone's saying it'll clear up soon — and it better. "When my baby, when my baby spits on me it rains in Rio, de Janeiro, and the thunder bellows..." :P.
Especially when you go by bus. I'm talking twenty-four hours straight kinda long, direct (-ish) from Foz do Iguaçu. My first bus experience in Brazil, from yesterday evening to this evening, was not a positive one: very tedious; quite uncomfortable; and outrageously expensive. All in all, a really rude shock, especially after the "sheer bussing pleasure" that is backpacking in Argentina. What's going on, Brazil? Why do your buses suck so bad?