The Americas Revisted travel blog

Today the weather is worse than yesterday. No chance of getting to see Christ the Redeemer today. The suggested tour has been called off. Rio has so many outdoor activities it is not a city to be in if the weather is bad. Its warm, about 25C but so grey and gloomy, we dont feel like going anywhere. In fact, there is nothing more to see. If the weather had been good we would have spent some time at the beach and definitely gone to see Christ the Redeemer but it is not to be. We are not enjoying Rio at all, and this is partly to do with the weather but also it's a bit grotty, with lots of homeless, areas that can be very dangerous especially at night and quite difficult to get around. Its such a shame, we were so looking forward to Rio but unlike Buenos Aires, I could never live here. We wander to the Havianna shop and get the rest of the Christmas presents. Then we go the the beach and walk back along to the Hotel. Then we do something we have never done before on any of our trips, we spent the afternoon in our Hotel room! Sad!!

At 5pm we were to meet Sarah to go to an early dinner and then a night time tour of the bars in the Lapa District. Unfortuatley she has sinus problems and has pulled out. It's the groups final dinner tonight and we really didn't want to go so this is a convenient excuse. We eat at another Italian restaurant at the square and then get a taxi from the Hotel to the meeting point of the tour. Along the way we get a glimpse of Christ the Redeemer lit up on top of the mountain. There are 20 of us, mostly young people. We are the oldest by far. There are two other Australians, one from Cairns and one that now lives in Canada. Nice to hear the Australian accent again. We start the tour at the Rio de Janeiro Municipality and on another side of the square is the Teatro Minicipal. We go inside one of the renovated old mansions that is now a Hotel to see some wonderful street art which was retained in the resoration. From there we go to a little bar where there a 5 musicans on guitars that are playing 20's and 30's samba music. Great background music. We have a terrible glass of wine here, some others eat and we chat to 3 Germans. The we visit the steps again and have a group photo. Now on to see some noisy bars, people are spilling out into the street and it is decidedly dodgy. We stop again at a little bar that has so many bottles hanging from the roof and everywhere and there are these huge bottles of vodka flavoured with peach or banana. Sweet and potent! Its 10.30 and we have to be up at 4am so we leave the rest to carry on and catch a taxi back to the Hotel.

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