Rio De Janiero really is an incredible city and well worth exploring for a few days!
Why are we here in the incredible city?
We have been staying out of Rio de Janeiro, about three hours out by bus – mainly as the traffic is so slow? Our house sit is secluded and relaxing, though we have had some upsetting news from Australia whilst being here.
Finally, we have arrived at our housesitting after traveling for quite a while. We are so pleased to have flown in from Campe Grande in Brazil, and can’t wait to be in one place for a while.
We were up at around 5:00 am, packed and left on the 7:00 a.m. bus. We pass a favela – where the poor live in.
We pass regions where the buildings are coated in graffiti, and rubbish is all through the streets. It is very unappealing.
Crossing the Bridge
Finally – around 10:00 a.m. we hit the road leading up to the bridge over the river. It is about now that I am contemplating getting off as I desperately need a bathroom stop. It is the biggest regret I think I will ever remember is not getting off that bus! However, since I can see Rio ahead, we stay on.
Stuck in Traffic
I am beside myself when we get stuck in traffic over the bridge. We sit on the bridge and there is no place to go. This takes two hours and you can’t imagine the agony I am in! To make it worse, we are in the middle lane of a bridge and this only means that there is no way I can come off the vehicle to relieve myself. The door is within inches of the next vehicle and we would have to weave through traffic and I’m pretty sure for safety the driver wouldn’t have let me out even if I’d begged!
I sit, I go red, and I contort, and apart from giving birth, I cannot remember an agony like this. Surely I won’t have a public accident but I don’t know what to do. As we finally crawl over the bridge I beg the driver to stop immediately and anywhere he can, and I have my son get ready to get off the bus.
So we queue for the door and jump off the bus. We crazily make our way over 2 lanes of wild traffic and I can barely walk, let alone run.
No one Understands Me
Eventually, my son says “Caca” and then “poo” and they get that. We are directed to a public hospital. We go through the whole shemozzle again trying to get someone to direct us!
Getting Into this Incredible City
So far it costs us $35 to get into Rio but we still are not in the city yet. We now have to pay another $10 as we get into a luxury vs local bus, of which, I have no idea of the difference.
Fortunately, there is a man on the bus who speaks English and he says he will guide us to where we want to go when we get off. The buses have entry turnstiles inside which we also find interesting as larger people and those with bags can’t enter that way.
He points out places of interest in this incredible city too as we go along but by now my whole insides just ache and I find it hard to concentrate.
Sugarloaf Mountain Marina
Since we are going to Sugarloaf Mountain, he walks us to the place where buses are picked. We stop and have lunch at one of the many ‘self-service’ restaurants.
We catch the bus and find our way then hop off where we guess is right. We wander and start to enjoy the marinas with the local fishing boats.
After about half an hour walking (we were told 10 minutes by a local), we find Sugarloaf Mountain. We enjoy the military area and picturesque setting.
I find Sugarloaf Mountain unusual as you head into the area where you buy tickets to go up the mountain.
The souvenir shop is before the mountain at the base entry point. It should be as you walk out, but we do enjoy these lovely old Brazil wooden kids they have on display.
It is quite expensive to go up – in fact – so far, the most expensive Teleferico we have been on, but then it is actually two each way.
On Our Way
We line up and our tickets are scanned. The cars run after every 20 minutes so this is a positive point to remember.
Educating With Worldschooling
At the first landing level, there is an education area. My son lines up and enjoys the English version of the history of Rio tourism. The young guy that works there is fantastic, and we enjoy interacting with him.
We meet some lovely Americans who take our photo, and we chat.
The views of the bays are incredible. No ‘wonder’ it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The first level has lovely restaurants where you can get fresh coconut water too.
The View from Sugarloaf Mountain
We then head to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. The views are just incredible up here. They are mind-blowing and almost impossible to fully describe.
Sharing Memory Making
We meet a few lone travelers and we share cameras. We happily snapshot for each other.
This is a dream come true to be in Rio and is one of the ‘destinations of a lifetime’. We realize that it is getting late in the day and we have no accommodation booked, and we head down to the mid-level.
Catching A Bus
Finally, we head down in the Teleferico and walk a distance to the bus. They have a strange turn style system on entry but no one can get their shopping through.
We have to take two buses, but we get to explore this incredible city which is a bonus.
We were going to go to Christ the Redeemer, but the clouds are rolling in, so we decide to go to Copacabana / Ipanema for a hotel or guesthouse instead.
We love seeing where we will stay first, after a few of the recent challenges we have had booking online. We end up trying about 10 accommodation places in this incredible city. Fortunately, we only have one backpack to lug around with us. The prices are crazy and so we keep on walking, block after block not liking anything much we have seen.
None of the hostels, for example, will accept a child. Finally, I am directed to a gate nearby and inside, there are six tiny guesthouses all in a row.
We find one eventually – yeah! It is called ‘The Girl from Ipanema’. A perfect place to stay in this incredible city.
We do a quick change in our Guesthouse and then leave for a walk to see the Ipanema Beach.
We love this incredible city but my son comments that nothing looks much like the ‘Rio’ movie and he is right.
Girl From Ipanema Song All Started Here
We then go for a drink at ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ or Garota de Ipanema restaurant where Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim, famous songwriters wrote the famous song here called ‘Garota de Ipanema’ or the ‘Girl from Ipanema’.
We end up having dinner at a ‘Self Service Restaurant’. It is nice though. However, our joy is that they have a Sauvignon Blanc wine.
The day was wonderful, but the stresses of travel sometimes get to me. Thank goodness for a nice meal, great wine, and a wonderful son. Not to mention – we are in Rio de Janeiro. It really is an incredible city!
Garota de Ipanema Restaurant – Address: Rua Vinicius de Moraes 49 – Ipanema
- Have you been to Rio?
- How did you find their culture?
- Were the residents hospitable?
- Did you experience any language barriers?
- What precautions do you take to ensure you do not experience language difference challenges?
- Do share your opinions and comments with us below.