Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A Wedding for a Friend and a Ton of Fun  

Trip Report:  May 1-9, 2005

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Rio de Janeiro as seen from the top of Sugarloaf.

The Trip

The purpose of this trip was two fold. First was to attend the wedding of two folks that had worked with Katheen: Troy Walker and Renata Grendelle. As fate would have it, they met on the job. The second objective was to have fun and see the city. Renata, being from Brazil, had a significant number of family members there and the decision was made to have the wedding there rather than the US. Renata invited a set of her and Troy's closest friends to go with them to Brazil. We accepted and were shown great hospitality by her and her family. She arranged shuttle busses and tours for us every day so we got to see the best places in the city in safety and comfort. And, best of all, we had a native language speaker. I speak OK Spanish, but it got me nowhere in Rio. They speak Portugese, which is closer to French than Spanish.

There are photo albums for each day of the trip. We were there 9 days. I took a ton of digital photos and have selected the best to be in these albums. Each photo has a caption. I have also selected the best-of-the-best from each of the days and put them below.


The Albums

Day 1: 30-04-2005  Getting to Rio

Day 2: 1-05-2005  Sugarloaf

Day 3: 2-05-2005  Christ the Redeemer

Day 4: 3-05-2005  Travel to Buzios

Day 5: 4-05-2005  Praia de Geriba, Buzios

Day 6: 5-05-2005  Boat Trip at Buzios (rated R)

Day 7: 6-05-2005  Travel to Niteroi and the MCA

Day 8: 7-05-2005  Troy and Renata's Wedding

Day 9: 8-05-2005  Return to US and Miss Brazil


The Best of the Best Photos

The photos below are the pick of the litter from the 500 or so that I took. Sadly, it rained several days and was hazy the rest, so some of the clarity is not the best you could hope for. But that is the way it goes.

View of the Andes Mountains, Acongagua Peak on right.

Zoom of Acongagua peak (22,834 feet) in the Andes from plane window.

Tram cars in action en route to second lift station on Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio

Southern Rio from Sugarloaf.

Copacabana Beach as seen from Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio. The tent on the beach is for a concert that night.

Monkey begging for a handout decides to pose. Sugarloaf, Rio

Sugarloaf as seen from Christ the Redeemer.

A view of our hotel. Buzios.

Sunset at Cais. Buzios.

Closeup of Grandfather cactus. Note the "beard". Praia Brava, Buzios.

Museum of Contemporary Art. Niteroi.

Renata and her Father.

Bill and Kathleen.

Kathleen and Miss Brazil. Both beautiful. One is mine, the other is *way* too tall for me.

Conclusion and Traveler's Tips

We had an outstanding trip (just like every other trip I do with Kathleen). Going to Rio is a long trip. Our return trip took 28 hours on the clock to complete. On the trip down, the longest leg was LAX to Lima, Peru which was 8 hours. If you fly coach, your butt will hurt, so plan accordingly.

We were told repeatedly that we should not drink the tap water, but we did. We did not have any ill effects, but your mileage may vary. Bottled water is widely available but beware that in Brazil there are two kinds of water: regular and mineral. Your taste buds will not be happy if they are expecting regular water and you get mineral. "Sim gas" is what you want.

The exchange rate from US dollars to Brazilian Reals went from 2.6 to 2.4 while we were there. That things relatively cheap by US standards. Beer, a necessity on any vacation, was R3, which is about $1.40 or so. No bar in the US (that you would want to go in) sells beer that cheap. Hard goods, like electronics and diamonds will be at roughly US prices. I suggest changing currency to Reals upon arrival, it makes thing easy. Don't change it all, just a couple hundred bucks. Most things can be purchaed with a credit card at very favorable exchange rates. We only changed $300 for the whole 9 days and still brought back a big wad of Reals.

Portugese is the national language. Some folks speak English, but it is not that common. Most of the hotels have some english capability. I suggest a cheat-dictionary. Hand sign, of course, work in any language, but can produce some very unexpected results. Portugese sounded closer to French than to Spanish, my Spanish didn't do jack for me.  

Miscellaneous Information

Although our trip was made in their "winter", it was still pretty hot during the day. We did get rain on a number of the days and when it was not overcast, the sun was merciless. Sunblock is a must in the tropics.  

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