Jacumá to Rio de Janeiro Day 358 to 365
22.11.2011 - 29.11.2011 29 °C
Number of churches in Ouro Preto = 35
Average age of men strutting their stuff along Copacabana in nothing but speedos = 65
Number of breakfast courses consumed at all you can eat buffet = 4 (bit of a poor show considering what was on offer)
Number of hours feeling sick after too many pancakes for one of the courses = 8
Our days in Jacumá were hectic, sunbathing, swimming, eating ice-cream and drinking caipirinhas. Hard life. We had to leave eventually which was devestating but the knowledge that we would soon be in Rio and homeward bound spurred us on.
En-route to Rio we stopped off for one night in lovely Olinda, a colonial town on the coast......
Then flew to Ouro Preto (sorry environment but it was much cheaper to fly than to bus, plus the bus would have taken 40 something hours and the plane took 2!) Ouro Preto is in Minas Gerais and famed for it's mineral rich land. We tried to find a gigantic emerald to bring home but alas, failed. We spent a couple of nights there just milling around, it has more churches than we have ever seen in one city, apparetly a way to show of the wealth of the people when they became rich from mining gold and all sorts of precious gems. Very impressive but it makes for difficult navigation of the town as they all look very similar and are all perched on hilltops that look much the same as the last. We got lost. Alot.
Our final nightbus (wooooo-hoooooo) took us directly to the Cidade Maravilhosa and we have now been here for 3 days. Sunbathing I hear you ask? Nope, it's been raining since we arrived! It still looks amazing (what you can see of it beneath the immense cloud cover) and we are very much enjoying the finalé to our adventure. Rio is a great place to end up. We met some great people in our hostel for our first two nights and had a lovely view of the sea, but keen to rid ourselves of the hostel lifestyle, we checked into a posh hotel on the main strip in Copacabana. When we arrived with our backpacks, I think they were getting ready to offer us directions not check us in!
It turns out that the gods are still smiling on us as our last day has been bathed in glorious sunshine. We hit the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer in the morning and then the beach in the afternoon, which is where we´ve just come from. Hope we don't miss the plane and this blog title isn't a bad omen!
We are keeping everything crossed for a smooth(ish) return to Heathrow tomorrow. Strike problems may leave us stranded on the tarmac for a few hours upon landing but we have become accustomed to waiting around for transport this year, and nothing can dampen our homecoming. We are too excited. Which leads us to our final blog paragraph although we'll be posting a mini review, more photos and stats.
So the cheesy bit. We have had the time of our lives this year. We could never have imagined everything that a year of travelling would bring and we couldn't have survived if not for the support and encouragement of our friends and family at home. Thank you for being there for us and reading our blog! Thank you for being pleased to hear from us, whatever the hour and at least pretending to be interested in our stories (of which there are loads more to come!) and thanks for doing those boring housekeeping jobs that we couldn't from the otherside of the world. To friends and family who we've met along the way, thank you for feeding, housing and entertaining us at various locations world-wide. It wouldn't have been half the adventure it has been without you. And to new friends acquired, thanks for providing a welcome distraction from speculative conversations and inventing two player card games.
So oscar speech over, we hope you'll all feign an interest for at least a couple of days more when we'll have this all wrapped up.
p.s. We are very much looking forward to taking further advantage of people's hospitality upon our return as we are officially homeless until Febuary. Any offers of homestays can be posted as comments - many thanks!