After initially deciding not to bother with Rio, we changed our mind and made a 6 hour bus ride to Rio de Janeiro, arriving after sundown, in a foreign city, with huge backpacks, sticking out like the proverbial sore thumbs, with no idea where to stay. Well, we had the name and address of a hostel, but the map of Rio we had seemed to be from circa 1940, so we couldn’t actually find the street the hostel was on. After asking a few strangers, we eventually found the street, and a western tourist assumed (correctly) from our backpacks that we were looking for a hostel, and directed us there.
The next day we got up and visited Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer – the big statue of the big man up on the mountain). We were driven up by a tour guide-type guy, and we stopped at a lookout to get a long-distance view of the statue. We also got a clode-up view of some cappuchin monkeys, with was very exciting for the mammal fanciers among us. Then we drove the rest of the way up the mountain, got out of the car, into an elevator, onto some escalators (they really make it easy to see this statue), then we got a good look at the statue. It was a rainy, foggy day, so the views weren’t terribly good, but worth it all the same. After that we headed down, went to Ipanema Beach, saw The Girl (well, a girl, not necessarily the girl, then went back to the hostel. We left the next day on a 22 hour bus ride to Puerto Iguaçu, Argentina.