Day 14 – Tue 19th
Caught the Ferry to Niteroi to add one more means of transport – was hoping to catch the Hydrofoil but they didn’t appear to be running it. Then spent the rest of the day walking around Centro in Rio looking at the beautiful, faded grandeur of their architecture; had coffee & the obligatory ice cream in a beautiful coffee house (Confeitura).
Most unexpectedly walked into the Royal Portuguese library to find a room that could have jumped out of any of the Harry Potter’s – beautiful décor, rows of books in a vaulted room…. Just the type of library I see Tom & I sitting in… Leather backed chairs, open fire talking of Lions, Tigers & scary monsters & getting terribly, terribly drunk!
I have to say that Centro was a lot less scary in the week, we had accidentally ended up taking that route on Sunday to see homeless people wandering around and starting fires in the street… am feeling a lot more safe and at home in Rio now, it doesn’t feel any less safe than London, though we are still being wary…
Day 15 – Wed 20th
Sitting at breakfast when a fruit crashed to the floor next to us & then the trees were awash with these cute Sagui minkeys – Tracey obviously reached for the camera & photographed them to death.
Bit more touristy stuff in the day & then, bye bye Rio then as we headed off on our first overnight bus trip to Ouro Preto – a beautiful UNESCO protected town back up in the hills built during their gold rush.
Glad we saw Rio but can’t say that I was blown away by it.
Bit of an exaggeration there, actually made Keir photograph them due to me loading pics at the time , but they are the cutest animals I have ever seen – Kirsten, they are cuter than quokka, though probably naughtier too!
Day 16 – Thu 21th
Thumbs up on the overnight bus trip – nearly full reclining seats & fairly comfortable.
Ouro Preto- was built up hill & down dale; lots of cobbled streets, churches (can’t move for them) & beautiful buildings. Stayed in a converted school & we were about the only people in it.
Highlight for me was a tour around a small, disused gold mine by the campest Trannie you might meet (apart from Kirky of course!).
Stayed in a cool labyrinthine pousada called Vila Rica with a very nice host, due to my poor sense of direction I managed to get lost several times on the way to the room… I am a bit churched out now.
Day 17 – Fri 22nd
Up early & only just caught the Train to Mariana…. Story of our life… it’s obviously Tracey fault… I mean I’m always on time!
Meant to be a cho cho train, but a diesel – slight disappointment, but the trip was suitably rickety with spectacular views.
Mariana was pretty, with one spectacular looking church & a particularly nice square we had lunch around but the train was the real reason to come here.
Overnight bus back to Rio to pick up transport to Ihla Grande – a beautiful island just South of Rio.
The train was a beautiful old one with wooden carriages, though I too was disappointed at the lack of steam. Mariana is a pretty town, though not too much to do other than MORE churches, the journey is definitely worth doing
Day 18 – Sat 24th
Met a lovely lady at the Che Lagarto hostel where we picked up the transport to Ilha Grande who let us have breakfast there & use the free Wi Fi – restores your faith in humanity.
The last sentiment was rather spoilt by the late & lousy transport taking us to Island – an hour and a half late, drove like a maniac, no time for a lunch break & couldn’t pick up any money at the ATM before we got on the ferry… easytransfers.com – I don’t think so!
One good thing was we met some wonderful people in the minibus & now have some good new friend – Tobey, Mike & Cailey, Nadine & Kristoff, Harry & Bleunie.
For all Tracey’s girlfriend’s – Tobey (Welch) lives in London, will be appearing on my Facebook shortly & gets 4 stars…! Enough said, sure you can invite him out to some of the many events you are all organising now that Oberfuhrermeister Cox is on her travels…
Staying at the Overnativa in Ihla Grande, we have a room with a balcony and a fridge – hooray! Unexpectedly we get breakfast too! We had a lovely dinner on the beach after I persuaded Keir to share some Bahian shrimp moqueca with me, yum.