25 February 2010

Rio Time

As soon as we got to Rio, our internal clocks adjusted to the, well, lack of clock. We didn't have a plan or a schedule and yet things worked out for the week. We hung out at the beach quite a lot. We partied at Carnaval and then again at a post-carnaval party. We hiked through Tijuca forest, "climbed" Sugarloaf, rode the train to Santa Teresa, and saw the many diverse churches of Rio. Despite having done so much, it all seemed very relaxed and easy. And then when we tried to leave, Rio's clocks didn't align with ours but we couldn't figure out why.

It turns out that Saturday night was the end of day-light savings time and nobody told us. Luckily we arrived at the bus station in time to catch our ride to our next destination - Ilha Grande. More about that later.

We were sad to say goodbye to Rio as we really enjoyed our time here, particularly when staying with my friend Gabe in Ipanema. Rio is a huge city and really is quite different depending on the barrio (neighborhood) that you are in. Ipa, as the locals call it, is relaxed. The streets are full of trees, a 8km lagoon lies behind it, the botanical gardens are within biking distance, and their are smoothie stands everywhere. It truly is a beach culture full of young, healthy, active people.

Staying with Gabe gave us a good inside into the local culture. Moreover, it was good to see this dear friend again. The last time we hung out was his surprise visit to Davis in March of 2008. During our time in Rio, we were also joined by another Davisite, our friend Nihan. This was quite a reunion, which seems to be an often reoccurring theme of our travels: friends, mountains and food. Thank you Gabe, Philipe and Mickael for hosting us and being so wonderful!

Getting swamped by the waves at Copacabana beach.

Friends united from all over the world.

From Rio de Janeiro
Wherever we travel, we try to find the local farmers markets. One morning, after a run, we came upon this on in Ipanema. We splurged on some exotic fruits from the Amazon. They were strange but delicious and fun to eat!

A unusually bright interior to one of the many, many churches in Rio.

An even more unusual (read: bizarre) church in Rio's center. This open-aired concrete behemoth was unique in every aspect. The stained-glass windows are 70meters tall.

A splurge on our last day in Rio - taking the tram up Sugarloaf Mountain.

View from Sugarloaf as sun sets behind the clouds, yet Christ the Redeemer stands tall over the city.

1 comment:

  1. my gosh, with niihannn and gabriel.nice happy faces,great pics