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Has anybody seen Jesus?

It rains the whole damn night and in the morning it’s still raining. Rio, why are you doing this to us? Just when we are here? But we’re not intending to back down and make up an ambitious sight seeing plan. We have to see Cristo Redentor, the big Christ, and Sugarloaf Mountain. And ofcourse Ipanema and Copacabana beach. Rain or no rain. Our host Martin says hi while we are having breakfast and looking at the rain, he gives us an extra tip: Instituto Moreiro Salles, hosting some interesting photo collections.

We order a Uber car again and after a minute a little car pulls up in front of the garden gate. The guy drops us of at the Corcovado Station where you board a little train to go all the way up to the Cristo Redentor, the iconic statue of Christ towering high above the city. It’s to Rio what the Statue of Liberty is to New York. Only, when we walk up to the ticketing office one of the staff members informs us that due to fog there’s no view today. “But surely we can see the Cristo?” I ask. The guy nods. “No, everything is covered in fog. You can see on the tv-screen.” Indeed, a webcam shows us a thick fog. Jesus Christ has disappeared. So it’s clear we can forget about Sugarloaf mountain too. We’re in Rio and will miss out on the top iconic spots of the city. Because it’s winter time. And Rio isn’t always a sunny place.

There’s nothing left to do but call another Uber guy and seek refuge in the photography museum. When we arrive there we’re half an hour early before opening time, so we patiently wait in the gardens. It seems nothing is really going as expected today. But we discover some excellent photo exhibitions inside (luckily). We particularly love Sergio Larrain’s work, black-and-white photography mostly in his homecountry Chile in the 50ies. Never thought I’d visit so many museums and exhibitions in Rio.

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We can’t leave the city without setting foot on the beach though. We head out to Ipanema beach, always known to me from the song “The girl from Ipanema”. That girl doesn’t seem to be around today though. You’d expect women in tiny bikinis and well trained men showing off sixpacks, but today we just see some pigeons strolling on the beach while dark threathening clouds hang over the big rock in the distance. It gives a dramatic edge to our stroll over the beach and luckily for a moment the rain stops so we can watch the waves coming in. Finally I experience a ‘waw, I’m in Rio!’ feeling. Ipanema is an excellent place for us to stop for lunch and then we walk to Copacabana beach, perhaps even more famous than Ipanema. It starts to rain again though. We don’t let it hold us back just yet and keep walking along the promenade while people are trying to sell us ‘I love Rio’ umbrellas’. The beach bars are empty and the caipirinha stalls aren’t selling anything. Rain means bad business for the locals here. Around 4 pm we give in and look for a cab.

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Tomorrow we leave Rio and it feels like we have just seen a tiny tiny glimpse. Miraculously there’s a rain break in the evening and we’re able to enjoy a cocktail out on a terrace in Santa Teresa. Our first caipirinha! It’s already later in the evening when we find a simple little restaurant and eat something amidst the locals. “Obrigada” (thank you) is now a standard expression for us, just as “Bom dia!” (goodday). But that’s about all the Portuguese we can manage. And very few Brazilians seem to speak English. That promises to create interesting situations as we continue our journey across this immense country ☺

Posted by Petravs 11:40 Archived in Brazil

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