Even more exciting was when we got to our room. The room had a balcony which had a view of the Christ Redeemer, lit up and prominent on one side and Copacabana beach on the other. The hotel was called Porto Bay Rio Internacional, highly recommend this hotel, staff were lovely, location could not have been better and that view was amazing.
The next morning we explored the hotel and experienced the stunning views mentioned. My partner and I had a quick weight training session in the gym ( which also had 180 views of Copacabana ) and then went for a run along Copacabana Beach. I have ran in so many places, I call them 'my running tours of....' I think it's such a great way to experience anywhere you travel to. The gym equipment in the fitness centre could have been a bit more modern but mixing it up with the runs on Copacabana and the outdoor gym stations on the beach it was fine to get in a decent workout.
And the track starts, all up hill, it's was so tough, we wondered whether we we're going to make it when we were only 20 mins in and could see how far away the 'Monumento' was. But on we hiked whilst trying not to think about South American bird eating spiders that might jump on me. We started passing other travellers on the track (about 10) which made us feel better, that we weren't so crazy to climb it and that we would actually make it to the top. As we were getting towards the top we had a rest speaking to the others travellers about the huge up hill rock we were about to scale that had chains bolted in for us to hold on to we spotted our first wildlife. We saw 3 teeny tiny little monkeys, so cute. As we continued our walk we started to see more, and some big monkeys, it was so pretty incredible. When we finally got to the top there was literally about 1000 tourists that had gone up there by bus or train. It was such an awesome feeling to know we earnt the amazing view from the Christ Redeemer and to take in the sheer size and presence of the Christ Redeemer and that we went off the beaten track to have a real South American natural experience.
You Can trek back down the mountain but trust me you will be exhausted, we caught the train back down the mountain and then got a cab back to our hotel, the taxi's should be waiting for the tourists as you get off.
To finish off our time in Rio we had a lovely local friend who took us to a restaurant called Antigamente which was in 'Centro' ( the city centre) it was in a buzzing laneway called Rua do Ouvidor with gorgeous Portuguese architecture. You could compare it to Melbourne's laneways to explain what it is like with an Australian comparison. It was very cool to experience Rio from a locals perspective though we were advised it can be dangerous you just need to be on your game, which in hindsight we probably weren't after 3 bottles of Malbec, 3 litres of beer and one cocktail between us.
I am looking forward to planning a return trip to experience more of Brazil and the rest of South America.