One word for Rio de Janeiro could be wow! Tree lined streets behind Copacabana and Ipanema, white beaches, and lots of thong wearing bottoms. We embraced the buzzing atmosphere of people working and people with sand in every crack imaginable.
Just like in the James Bond movie Moonraker from 1979; Jesus (Christ the redeemer) is still standing high threatening the city with high levels of anxiety and guilt (notice the photo). After catching the wrong bus to the base of Corcovado Mountain, we then tried to find the right route with dusk approaching rapidly. After finding the route with still 600meters in altitude to climb we hailed a taxi who took us straight to the top. Unfortunately we missed seeing the view of Rio during the day. Still it was a spekky tail end of the sunset looking over Rio and her beautiful beaches.
We caught up with Sally and Bridget at our hostel with plans to go out drinking. Unfortunately Bronnie was quite sick and had a relapse of asthma after 14 years in the clear. We blamed this on the moldy room we stayed in in Sao Paulo and the pollution we had been sucking in. Fortunately Bronnie was well enough to join us all for a famous Brasilian buffet, which of course involves plenty of carbohydrates. We now understand where all the big bottoms come from.
The following day we caught up with Sally and Bridget for an afternoon of basking in the sun at Ipanema beach. We spent many days relaxing on the squelchy white sands of Rio dreaming for more money. We have found Brasil and especially the bigger cities to be very expensive.
We heard from fellow travellers that the island of Ilha Grande was a treat to be seen. In hearing this we backtracked south a few hours. We soon realised that this piece of paradise wasn't for us. It reminded us of any other tropical island with no waves you go to party at with heaps of fellow gringos.
Feeling a bit edgy for more waves; we found ourselves 100km to the east of Rio in a surfing town called Saquarema. Which didn't have very impressive waves to keep us there too long. All the same we were quite relaxed and spent more time soaking up the sun. This is how we enjoyed the next town Arraial do Cabo. We met Andy here a friend that we met in Rio, who introduced us to our new love of caprioskas. At $AUD3.80 for a 1 litre bottle of vodka, cheap limes with a touch of sugar made it hard to resist!
With the feeling of having a hole in our pocket, limited amount of surfs and 1 more goal of reaching the colonial city of Salvador we kept moving. Salvador became our target as our research had shown that the surf further north was quite fickle. After the surf we had already experienced in Brasil; we were keen to visit the west coast of South America.
Our days in Brasil quickly became numbered after booking a flight to Ecuador for the 10/8/11 from Salvador. This only gave us 8 nights to spend between Itacare and Salvador. We spent 6 of the remaining 8 nights in Itacare as the surf there was (ironically) too good to leave. After landing in Salvador and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of this colonial city; we realised we could of spent a bit longer here, especially as we saw some sick waves as we drove to the airport by our final bus in Brasil.
We travelled 5100kms in 48 days. This works out to be roughly 106 kms of travel per day on a bus while in Brasil. One comparison would be, if you drove from Melbourne to Perth and then on to Broome. This would equate to 5550kms