After another mammoth breakfast we set off on a mini bus full of tourists to visit the sights of Rio.
Our tourist group was a mixed bunch of lovely people from all around the world. We had Dutch, Argentinians, Canadians, Equadorians, Chileans and Brazilians. Our tour guide was an impressive multi lingual Brazilian who said everything in different languages so everyone could understand.
Our first stop was Corovado (meaning hunch back), which is the mountain on top of which is the statue of Christ The Redeemer. The road up the mountain was steep but amazing with incredible views over Rio and the Favelas.
When we reached the top we used a lift and then escalators to the reach the summit where the statue is. The statue is huge (over 80 metres high) and looks so much more impressive than from sea level.
After a few photos of the statue and the awesome views, a quick mango juice and a sighting of a monkey with big whiskers, we travelled back down the mountain.
We drove through one of the Favelas down towards the down town business district of Rio.
There was enough time to see Ronnie Biggs’ house:
And also to stop and view the impressively huge Maracana national football stadium. The home of Brazilian football and holder of the record for the largest ever attendance at a football match; 199,854!
The stadium was undergoing maintenace in preparation for the 2014 world cup being held in Brazil but it was amazing nonetheless.
A short drive after the stadium was the main route for the Rio Carnival parade. A huge 700m stretch of stadium. You could actually dress uo in Carnival gear and parade around pretending like these guys:
Our final stop on the tour was down town Rio, where we went to see a massive cathedral which stood opposite tall modern office blocks. The cathedral was very impressive with the largest stained glass windows I have ever seen!
In the afternoon we visited Ipanema beach one last time, drinking coconut juice (from an actual coconut of course), sunbathing and swimming in the sea. We then took advantage of the very nice pool at the hotel and caught up with the Argentinian couple we met on the tour. They were really friendly and gave us some good tips on our next visit at Iguazu falls and Buenos Aires.
We are now once again packing up ready for our short flight tomorrow to Iguazu Falls.