|(Juice) Drinking my way through poverty and PTSD|
I'm not going to say that Rio was a bust -because it wasn't. We stayed at a stylish BnB (more on that later), hit the beach, and the Christ, and even a few museums. By all accounts we visited and thoroughly enjoyed almost all of the best of what Rioi de Janiero has to offer.
We just spent much of the time between hot, cranky, and hungry, since we didn't have enough money to really live big Carioca style. We could have had our card expedited , with an hour of identity verification via payphone, we could have taken up family offers to wire us money, we could have just paid the fees associated with being stranded. But we didn't, partially because the day after our incident we were on a cash-only island, and because Porter's mom was coming in just 4 days with reinforcements and replacements, and because we techincally had enough cash on hand to pay for life. So we didn't.
There's a way to stick to a budget!
We did very meticulously budget the must-dos for the city. Beaching is cheap, sugarloaf mountain overrated, corcovado worth subsisting off of Rio's street food (basically hot pockets in various forms) for lunch and pasta for dinner. They city's not known for its food anyway! We could eat in Salvador.
So, what did we enjoy?
1. Downtown. Most Brazilian architecture is pretty bland, but the downtown square has an awesome plaza with museums and a crazy elaborate theater. The National History Museum is a bit out of the way but walkable in 10 minutes (and by the water). It's air conditioned and explains a lot of BRazil's complicated history (in English!) [I spent a good portion of the tour bugged that Brazilians don't seem to care much about Native history until I realied America don't really delve much into pre-European history either)
2. Beaches. Copacabana, Ipanema, etc. Everyone told us Copacabana would be crazy busy but it wasn't, at least on the weekday morning we were there. Again, you'd think with as much draw as this beach gets, someone would invest in an interesting skyline. Ipanema's condos are at least varied in color and size. Most of the prime real estate is very square cement blocks. Hard to party when you're in Soviet Blocks. The water, though, is amazing.3. The lake. Or maybe it's a lagoon. We were a little delirious by the time we got to the lake, but who doesn't love a 27 story Christmas tree. The neighborhoods right near the lake are obviously where the house-vain go to live. No snacks on the trail though :(
4. Christ the Redeemer - Corcovado. This was really my only requirement for Rio. I love Jesus and views. I should have gotten up there for sunrise, in retrospect, but that would have kept us from taking the trolley up, which was quite fun, even if they start you out with this terrifying Christ scarecrow.
I had all the intention in the world to take a kick-ass photo of Porter and I at the statue and send it out as our Christmas card. I suppose I could have still, but I'd have had to send it from Kami, Porter, andn a bunch of Brazilians who don't know how to get out of the way of photos.
|Best shot I got. Thanks for nothin, Corcovado grounds. No postcards means a ruined Christmas!|