Goodbye Rio

The last post takes the most time, with us being back home and at work, never getting around to write it.

After a couple of relaxing days on Ilha Grande, we are now back in Rio. Our last stop before flying back home. We decide to give the Pão de Açúcar another chance to see it during daylight. And what happens? No queue at all! We quickly move up to the ticket booth and board the next available gondola. We are not sure if we should be happy for it to be so quick this time or angry that we spent so much time waiting the first day… Sipping a maracujá caipiroska on top, enjoying the breathtaking view, we go with happy. Dinner is a big platter of sushi, thanks to Kathrin recommending this as the best (and likely only) non-fried food option in Rio.

The next morning, we go on a Favela tour. We discussed this ahead, not really sure if we should do it or not, as slum tourism has a touch of voyeurism. We decided to go with a small tour operator founded by a former Favela inhabitant. The tour is very interesting and highly informative. Our guide tells us a lot about how Favelas are organized, the improvements in the last couple of years but also about the issues with drugs, violence and crime that are still part of everyday life. We get to meet some small business owners and walk through the labyrinth of narrow allies between the buildings.

In the afternoon we visit Christ the Redeemer. While as pointed out by the security guard the cog railway to the statue was built by Swiss, it is unfortunately not maintained by Swiss and we get stuck on top for two hours with the, let’s call it slightly overhyped, statue. Still thanks to the F1 worthy driving style of Rio’s taxi drivers, we arrive with enough time at the airport to complete the check-in and board our plane.