Our lives have been rather hectic since a week before we left for Brazil. That week, not only were we preparing for your holiday, but I was studying Prince2 (Project Management), and intensive course. Thank goodness I have now found out I passed! As soon as that was over, we were on a plane and on holiday.
Brazil was fantastic. As usual I kept a travel journal (as I do on all our big trips), and had the intention to write it up properly and post it onto here, but life has just been too hectic. So I have decided to let it remain in my book …. for now. Who knows – I might have the time to do a retrospective update sometime. All I can say about Brazil is that it could be addictive – it’s the kind of place that could get in under your skin. Here are a few pictures just to wet you appetite:
Per Wikipedia: Christ the Redeemer (Portuguese: O Cristo Redentor), is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue stands 39.6 metres (130 feet tall) weighs 700 tons, and is located at the peak of the 700 m (2,296 ft) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city. The tallest of its kind in the world. Its coordinates are 22°57’5.64″S, 43°12’38.75″W. Rio de Janeiro’s hills blew me away! It is such a beautiful city.
Modern Cathedral in Centro, Rio de Janeiro
Corcovado from Urca suburb (where we had the best Caiparinhas)
Sugarloaf mountain. Per Wikipedia: Sugarloaf Mountain (in Portuguese, Pão de Açúcar), is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 metres (1,299 ft) above sea-level, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. However, it is believed by some that the name actually derives from Pau–nh–acuqua (“high hill”) in the Tupi-Guarani language, as used by the indigenous Tamoios.
Ilha Grande from Asalem (pronounces Asaleng), where we stayed.
We did a 3 hour hike across the mountains to Lopes Mendes beach – apparently one of the 10 best beaches in the world (see below). There were few viewpoints due to the density of the rain forest we were walking through, but the few views we got were worth it. I thought the very find sand, which made it feel like you’re walking on cornflour as it squeaked, was weird. The beach was nice, but not sure I would agree with one of the best in the world. South Africa have many beaches equally pretty ….
More views en route to the beach
Paraty (pronounced Parachi by the locals) is a pretty colonial town, but a bit touristy. Per Wikipedia: Located on the Costa Verde (Green Coast), a lush, green corridor that runs along the coastline of the state of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, Paraty (or Parati) [pronounced Par-a-CHEE] is a preserved Portuguese colonial and Brazilian Imperial (1822-1889) town. Paraty has become a popular tourist area in recent years, renowned for the beauty of the town and the magnificence of the coast and mountains in the region.
The town is located on the Bay of Ilha Grande, which is dotted with many tropical islands. Rising up some 1,000 meters behind the town are the tropical forests, mountains, and waterfalls.
They were busy shooting a Franco-Portugese film there when we were there …
Fishing boats have been changed into tourist boats …. gaudy colours and all!
We arrived back on a Wednesday afternoon … and were expecting my parents at 8.00 am the next morning. I went to fetch them jet-lagged and exhausted, but I was thrilled to see them. I really miss my family so much!
After spending the weekend together, Leon and Lorna (my parents) went off to Belfast for 5 days. I used this week to really look for a job, meeting my agents around town and trawling through the internet job pages. Luckily it paid off – I had a few interviews lined up over the next 2 weeks and started working for the Equality and Human Rights Commission on Tuesday 24th June.
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend quite a bit of time with my parents. We did day trips, wandered around town and chilled out. But as always when you have guests (even easy guests), there is far more to do than you normally would do, and it can be quite tiring. There was always something that needed doing – even from before we went on holiday, so I was constantly busy and on your feet. And of course, paired with that was job-hunting, which I find quite exhausting in itself!
My mum and dad helped in many ways while they were here. (See separate post)
My parents left last Monday. I felt so, so, so sad. I have been miserable this whole week in spite of the fact that I will see them again in 3 months’ time when I go to South Africa.
This weekend was set aside for relaxing only. Minimal chores and lots of fun. Unfortunately the rain prevented us from going out on our bikes (perhaps tomorrow), but at least we had time for other fun things.