Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hello Again from Rio

Tonight is the last night of Carnaval. There are block parties, parades and lots of people in the streets. the day, Shrove Tuesday, was again a national holiday, so people flocked to the beaches. It´s about 32 degrees, with clear blue skies. As for me, the only thing I did today was go to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain in the Urca part of Rio. You take two cable cars to get up, and the viewis truly stupendous. I spent about an hour up there taking photos and relaxing under the trees. Photos to follow later.
After an unfortunate (to say the least) incident with Bill and Oscar last night, I decided to move to a hotel. I´m now in the Catete area of Rio. It´s close to downtown, quite far from Cocacabana and Ipanema beaches, and totally different. This seems much more like the REAL Rio--very family-ish and lively, and I feel quite safe. Reminds me a bit of the popular area of Saigon where I stayed back in October. No one speaks English or Spanish, but I converse in Spanish nevertheless and they seem to understand me.
Tomorrow, I plan to do a walking tour of downtown and visit some museums. Then on Thursday, my last day, I´m going to take a tour of a favela. It should be interesting, but I hope it isn´t too voyeuristic. It´s funny how here rich and poor live in the same vicinity. Such contrasts!
I leave Friday morning for Salvadore de Bahia and then on to the Amazon from there. After that, back to Buenos Aires, then down to Pantagonia, and then back home to Paris on March 21.
Bye for now.


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