Sunday, December 25, 2022

Day 17: Sugarloaf, Christ the Redeemer, & Selaron

Today I landed in Rio de Janeiro from an overnight flight. This was my view on our approach. Goodness, I love flying! 

Today was one of those “go with the flow” types of days. It is Christmas and my plane landed at 5am in Rio. I was planing to simply go to the beach and relax assuming everything would be closed. On my way out of the hostel I met a “digital nomad” from the states and we started talking. She invited me to share an Uber to the beach. The Uber driver suggested I spend the day doing the big sites as the queues were slow and the weather was good (it is the rainy season). So off I went. I started at Sugarloaf Mountain, which at 1,200ft overlooks Rio. It had amazing views of the city. 

From there I went to the beach, my happy place. I have had the song “Copacabana” in my head all day!! The place was packed, assuming with locals. 

From there I went to Christ the Redeemer one of the seven Wonders of the World (we will not mention I missed Machu Picchu…ugh). That thing is flippin’ HUGE!! 

As you can imagine it is high up on a hill and as I exited I was attempting to get an Uber return but no one would pick up my ride. So I started talking with others in the same situation and we pooled together to get a discount on a ride down to where Ubers would pick us up. And…I had not taken out any Brazilian Real (money) so I had zero cash for that negotiation, But my new friends from Uruguay covered it for me. There are so many kind people in this world. It was only $2.68 so I am going to release the guilt. 

From there I joined my Uruguay friends (Indians working in tech and familiar with ServiceNow) and went to the Selaron Staircase. It started as an artists attempt to renovate steps that ran along the front of his house. He would run out of money so would sell art and bring in other artists. Over time 60 countries contributed to the effort. Normally this staircase is filled with people but today it was pretty empty. 

I was invited for an Indian dinner but was exhausted so I returned to the hostel and did my nightly routine of showering, laundry, welcome drink (the caipirinha kicked my ass!), dinner  talking to Henry, and writing of my blog. 

It was a great first day in Rio de Janeiro! Below is a mural in my hostel, Selina, in Rio. I am staying at all Selina’s on this trip, except Santiago, and I could not be happier. I love them!!!! 

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