January’s River (Part 1)

Such a poetic name, isn’t it? Rio de Janeiro. That place will always have a piece of my heart, on account of this trip and a local I met abroad.

Going to Rio was like a dream. I got to go visit both a beautiful city and my incredible boyfriend. I knew ahead of time that I really wanted to make the most of this trip, so I had bought my plane tickets with the intention of spending two weeks in Brazil. Now, for me and many people I know back home, that’s actually a rather long trip. In fact, aside from my move to South America, I don’t believe I’ve ever had a trip longer than a week and a half. I’m learning though that in many people’s opinions down here, that may just be considered an average or even short vacation. No matter, it was still the trip of dreams for me.

Most of my time in Rio I stayed in a little apartment just across the street from one of Rio’s many beaches. It was in the south side of the city, which tends to be more expensive, but it’s definitely a nice experience and wonderful perspective of Rio. Carlos, my boyfriend, had promised me stifling heat and a temperature that would be hard to bear. Being from Texas, I was ready for this challenge and curious about the possibility of inhabiting a place with a higher intensity of heat. While I admit there were days of uncomfortable sweating and unfortunate sunburns, my first day in the city was quite the opposite. I had left the apartment in only shorts and a tank top, and as we were out long past sunset, I couldn’t stop shivering, rubbing my arms, and thinking Carlos might have been crazy. I assure you, though, that was my only chilly moment out of my 2 week stay.

So, what to do your first day in Rio with the promise of many more days to come? Why not take in as much as you can, heading to the top of Pão de Açúcar, walking along different beaches, drinking water straight from the coconut, and trying a caipirinha? I can’t believe what all we did just in the first day. I was already loving this city!P1020440P1020319P1020318P1020320P1020332P1020328P1020327P1020325P1020326P1020335P1020346P1020338

In the above picture you can see Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), which you can basically see from any place in the city! See if you can count how many times you can find him from all the pictures.

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I love this last picture because 1) the view (you can see Cristo Redentor at the top of that hill!), 2) the time of day, and 3) this was near probably the coolest bar I’ve ever been to. It was called “The Wall”…and that’s literally what it was. You sit on this wall surrounding the harbor, and there’s a little place to order food and drinks right next to it. So beautiful and so fun!

Day 2 in Rio consisted of a lot of lounging, catching up, and trying fruit that I’ve never had before:

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The maracujá, or passion fruit, there in the middle is probably the creepiest looking fruit I’ve ever seen. Sure, I have had passion tea at Starbucks or whatever, but I’d never eaten the fruit before. Sour!

I loved my first weekend in Rio, getting to bike along the edge of a lagoon, watch the sunset from another really cool outdoor bar, and go up Corcovado to see Cristo Redentor.

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Even with the hot sweatiness of this picture, I needed to get a shot of Pão de Açúcar in the background! Ain’t it purty?

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My man gazing over his city:)

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Pão de Açúcar!

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I was just loving it!

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On account of many many things to say about this trip and the amount of time it’s been taking me to prepare a post, I’ve decided to split it up into a couple different posts. Thus far in Rio you’ve seen evidence of me viewing the city from great heights and becoming acquainted with famous landmarks. I did much of the touristy type things in the beginning of my trip and then got to enjoy some other parts of Rio as well.

One point I must make is how indebted I was to Carlos and his bilingual abilities. I would never be able to get myself around Brazil on my own! I wasn’t even close to being able to use and understand the Portuguese language…it was such a relief once I started hearing Spanish again! I was very grateful to have the company of a local and be able to see all the ins and outs of the culture and city. Brazilians are SO nice! Really I can’t believe I found one:)

More updates to come…

Hugs,
Heidi


					
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