2023, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Brazil Day 12: Rio Wednesday September 6, 2023

I slept better than I had in a couple nights, but it’s relative. I was still up way too many times. When I woke up I thought it was just a sore throat now but that soon changed to intense coughing.

I did sleep a bit in the morning so we were late for breakfast and it was very busy.

I had tried so hard to end my constipation that I had taken certain steps to end it – prunes, for one – and, well, today was the day when my traveler’s diarrhea came roaring back.

We took an Uber to Pão de Açúcar (i.e. Sugerloaf) as we would have had to walk through tunnels. (Also: sick.) We must have picked a good day because there was basically nobody in line. It was really expensive for Brazil so I expect it is a tourist attraction only. (Also, it’s one of the rare places in Brazil that people assumed we spoke English.)

Pão de Açúcar is justly famous for its views of the city. It is really, really worth the money for the views. If I had been feeling better, I would have hiked up the first peak, but I felt just a bit better than “like shit” so that wasn’t happening.

Rio is really striking, compared to a lot of cities I’ve been to, and you really get a strong sense of that from the top of the mountain. It’s also just cool to go to a place where iconic film scenes have been shot. Highly recommended.

Oh, and monkeys!

We Ubered back to Copacabana and went to a juice bar. I felt shitty so I just had a remarkably tasty smoothie. (I say “remarkably” because there were peanuts.)

Then we walked along the beach to Forte Copacanba, which is the weirdest military base I’ve ever been to, with a fort but also full of bars and restaurants. It has a great view of the beach.


After wandering around the fort a bit, we went to the place I was actually trying to get us to, Pedra do Arpoador, which is basically on the same point of land, but has a view of Ipanema instead.

Pedra do Arpoador

We walked for a bit in the direction of the hotel but the beach is huge (see above) and I was starting to fade. So we took an Uber. Outside our hotel we bought some ice cream bars and I accidentally grabbed a coconut and chocolate, which I thought was vanilla and chocolate, and it was just disgusting. It tasted like coconut oil, which is a flavour I hate. (It’s worth mentioning that there is very little Kleenex in this country. We had to go to multiple stores to find any and the hotels don’t provide it.)

We rested at the hotel for a while and then we walked (shock! horror!) over to a restaurant called Cervantes on the main street. It is known for its beef and pineapple sandwiches and that’s what we had and they were good. While we were out, I felt as good as I’d felt in days.

We walked from Cervantes to (shock! horror!) the beach and found our way to a gelato place in one of the fancier hotels. There we had excellent gelato and I still felt like a human being.

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