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Reisverslag Rio, the grand island and 20 bus hours to Pantanal
16 april 2014
Rio, the grand island and 20 bus hours to Pantanal
My first days in Rio were a bit combined with the feelings belonging to a culture shock. I booked my first nights in one of the most unsafe, but most lively neighbourhoods of Rio. It made me feel a bit scared to go out on the streets alone, because of all the homeless, prostitutes and other dodgy figures surrounding the hostel, especially by night. The first thing I realized, however, was that meeting new people in hostels is not difficult at all. Lapa, the first neighbourhood I stayed in, brought us in the end some amazing nights of drinking (sharing one big bottle and drinking from little cups, as the Brazilians like their beers extremely cold) beers, live music and homeless people asking you if they can have your food, even when you're not finished yet. After Lapa, I moved to Botafogo, which seemed to be close to all the main attractions but especially to the mosquitos: I moved to my third and last neighbourhood with more than 50 bites on my legs. Ipanema, where I spent my last night in Rio, was definitely the best neighbourhoord. Nice bars, places to eat, suco (juice) bars and, not unimportant, close to thr beach and the lagoa. As a real Gringo, pale legs and tons of red bites, I went for a run along the beautiful lake and I ended up watching the sunset on Ipanema beach. Although it was mentioned as one of the must sees in Rio, I would definitely recommend this sunset, together with the one at sugar loaf.Don't go to Christ if it's cloudy, spend one day reading in the Botanical Gardens and parque lage and go to Lapa on Friday evening. Jolien en me went and drank beer on the streets, we saw many amazing live bands but we unfortunately missed the Samba, but which we for sure are going to see another time.
The next stop: Ilha Grande, one of the most beautiful Islands along the coast between Rio and Sao Paolo. Although the journey by bus didn't went so fluently (waiting at the wrong bus stop, missed busses), the boat to Ilha Grande anr the sunset was stunning. Because of many fully booked hostels, we had to choose for the one that didn't have our first preference. We learned to drink our first caipirinhas that night: without a proper dinner, the first two Caipirinhas made us lying knocked out on bed before 10 pm. The first day we spend the day with our good friend the hangover on one of the beautiful beaches. The second day we knew how to handle the strong Caipirinhas, we managed to party until the bar closed and the bonfire started on the beach, live Brazilian music included. The next day we walked for two hours to Dois Rios, a beautiful, long, white sanded beach. Oh, did I forget to say that it was completely empty? I drank an Acai, a typical Brazilian fruit, mixed with ice, caramel, sugar and nuts. The next days we snorkeled, joined a boat tour, drank more Caipirihas, hiked to the highest point on the Island and waited for almost two hours until all the clouds disappeared and we could fully enjoy the amazing view. We said goodbye to the island by, ai, drinking some more Caipirinhas...
After the lovely, relaxing days, it became time to move on. However, it wouldn't have been difficult to stay for another week or even 4 months.. We took the boat and bus and ended up in Paraty, a small, but stunning, colonial town. It became the place that reminded me of the lovely Gracia neighbourhood in Barcelona, with little shops with hand made dresses and purses. It also became the place where we found a little bar with live music and where I learned how to dance the typical Brazilian Forro dance. I ran my first race in Paraty, but, wow, what a heat (30 degrees) and what a difference compared to running in the flat, cold Netherlands. It took me 40 minutes to complete the race, but I was still surprised that I even made it, since a few hours later I was lying in bed with high fever from a 'fresh' juice. But maybe it was not too bad to be forced to stay in bed for a full day, and getting ready for my first long, 20 hours, bus trip. And I made it. It feels like I skipped one day, but in this huge country, a bus ride of 'only' 20 hours seems nothing.
16 april 2014 07:46 | Door: aenea
Hoi Maaike! Ontzettend leuk om te lezen wat je tot nu toe allemaal hebt meegemaakt! Zo te horen heb je het mega naar je zin! Geniet ervan! :-) Xxx
16 april 2014 07:57 | Door: Laura
Top verhaal =) alcoholiste haha. Geniet er van en ik kan niet wachte op je nieuwe verhaaltje. Be safe and enjoy life. Xxx
16 april 2014 11:15 | Door: Ine
Wat goed om te lezen dat het goed met je gaat. Ik ben trots op je! Je maakt zoveel mooie dingen mee. Geniet er maar lekker van. Ik mis je, maar ik geniet als jij geniet. Ik vind het top wat je allemaal doet. Misschien ben ik gewoon een beetje jaloers. Plaats je ook nog wat foto's? Niet alles hoor, anders hebben we niets meer te zien als je thuiskomt.
16 april 2014 22:07 | Door: Frank
Leuk om te lezen. Heb je in Ipanema nog iets mee gekregen van "the girl from Ipanema", oftewel Astrud Gilberto?
Je maakt een mooie reis zo te lezen. Ik ben ook wel een beetje jaloers, hier in het platte, koude (nachtvorst!) en tot in de details ingeregelde Nederland. Nou ja, wij gaan vrijdag naar .... De Belgische ardennen.
Veel plezier nog.
22 april 2014 22:29 | Door: Riemke
Fijn dat je het naar je zin hebt! Riemke
27 april 2014 22:50 | Door: Yvette
Heel leuk geschreven Maaike! Klinkt goed :D