Monday, January 26, 2009

Rio de janeiro, BRAZIL

Day 20, Sat. Jan. 2/09 Partly cloudy 75F


Now, anyone on the cruise with us, and is reading this blog, will wonder....where was that girl? We didn't see her! Well, she was on the poster board, beside the Front Desk.....I cheated!!!

The language here is Portuguese. This pulsating city is synonymous with the "Girl from Ipanama, the dramatic Pao de Acucar Mountain and the wild and outrageous Carnival celebration. But, Rio is also a city of stunning architecture, good museums and marvelous food; it's teeming metropolis, where the very rich and the very poor live in uneasy proximity and where enthusiasm is boundless and contagious. Rio, is on the tropic of Capricorn and it's climate is just that...HOT and HUMID!.

This beautiful statue of Christ, (The Corcovada) is situated high on a mountain and overlooks the entire city of Rio. It's an incredible sight!!

I had decided before we reached Rio de Janeiro, that I'd spend the day here packing and getting ready to go home. Why? Because we had heard so many warnings of crime in Rio, pickpocketing, and assaults both from other people and the staff of our ship. We we're told NOT to wear ANY jewellery, costume, or real, not to look like a tourist if possible, stay with other people from the ship, don't go out alone if your a woman, and so many other stories of what has happened in the past trips, that I was terrified to go out on my own here. So, after breakfast, and before packing, Tom and I went up on the top deck to look over the city and what I saw, made me very happy that I was safe on the ship. I may have erred for the sake of caution, in not going to shore, and in turned missed out on some beautiful scenery, but I still feel okay with my decision. The statue of Christ, is so huge and the first thing we saw. I even caught the helicopter in the sky beside it.

Looks pretty sad eh? What we are looking at is called "Favelas" in other words, the slums or shanty towns. These "buildings" are all over Rio, often crowded into hillsides where sturdy buildings are difficult to build. Accidents from heavy rainfall are frequent and access to sanitation and electricity is inconsistent. The unique aspects of Rio's favelas, is their close proximity to the cities wealthiest district. A large proportion of the city lives in poverty. I read that one of every 4 or Rio's inhabitants live in a Favela. Rio has high crime rate, especially homicide in poor area's dominated by drug lords. In 2007, the homicide rate was 30 victims per week, with the majority falling into muggings. Rio's police it is said, are low paid, and ill-equipped and also violent as well.

Now, I have to also say, we are in a port area, which is never very nice, whatever city you're in, but when you see my pictures tomorrow, as we travel to our next to final destination, you will see more of Rio, and see, that this is not just what it's like in only the port! But to be fair...I have not seen the best of Rio, and I'm sure it's a beautiful city, just one, I didn't care to see.

The nice part of Rio, are how hilly it is, old buildings, and another cruise ship is in and people are coming and going on their excursions. We had to cancel our 8 hour tour around Rio because of the wheelchair situation.

Strange black birds with bat type wings are flying in groups over the ship as well as airplanes, as the airport must be close by.Look at those beautiful mountains in the distance! This bridge Ponte Aerea (Air Bridge), is astonishing long, and I had a hard time finding out more about it. But what a span!!

It does have it's lovely places, and we'll see some of them tomorrow. This is one shot I did a big zoom on and it looks quite nice.

So, I went down then and packed up all our belongings and surprisingly it didn't take as long to pack to leave as it did to come on the trip! So, I joined Tom back upstairs, we sat outside for awhile, enjoyed our latte's, and lunch.

Our last entertainment tonight was spectacular with being treated again to former nights entertainers. The best of the best!! Juan Pablo Subriana, Jacqueline Roche, a very talented violist, and a cutie and nice singer from Scotland, Kaitlyn Carr.

We set our suitcases out in the hallways before bed and magically they disappear through the night, and we have to get up early to have breakfast and disembark. My tale is not over yet, as tomorrow is a big day!!! See you then!

Continued tomorrow!

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West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment! In love with a wonderful husband!! A Capreol Girl from 1959-1975, Belleville 1975-1985


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