ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Day 11 to 20

DAY 20 (3 OF 3) – PAO DE ACUCAR, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

We spent almost 2 hours queuing for the two-stage cable car to go up to the peak of Pao de Acucar (about 395m above Rio) for the view of the city. It was a busy Sunday with many local visitors and tour groups. The first cable car took us to Morro da Urca where we could see Baia de Guanabara and a closer view of the Pao de Acurcar. The second cable car went up to the summit of Pao de Acucar, where we could see Corcovado Mountain and the iconic Cristo Redentor off to the west. Unfortunately, it became really cloudy and grey by the time we reached the peak. We were both unprepared for the strong wind and dropping temperature at the peak. It was not the perfect day for photography but it was no doubt to us that Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world from above because of its unique mountainous setting.
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Read other posts on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Day 20.1 – Ipanema
Day 20.2 – Urca
Day 20.3 – Pao de Acucar
Day 21.1 – Ipanema Beach
Day 21.2 – Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura (Portuguese Reading Room)
Day 21.3 – Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil
Day 21.4 – Lapa and Santa Teresa
Day 21.5 – Botafogo and Leblon
Day 22.1 – Museu de Arte do Rio
Day 22.2 – Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 20 (2 OF 3) – URCA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

We took a bus to Urca, the small residential neighbourhood in the shadow of Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain).  Comparing to the tour groups and long queue at the cable car station for Pao de Acucar, the streets and beaches at Urca were extremely peaceful.  The beaches were not the cleanest, but we could get a good view of Baia de Guanabara, Cristo Redentor and Pao de Acucar in a distance. There was a short period of sun break while we were at Urca.  We were hoping that the sun would stay when we reached the peak of Pao de Acucar in the afternoon.  We stopped by Garota Urca, a local restaurant for sandwiches before we joined the Sunday tourist crowd for the famous Pao de Acucar.
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Read other posts on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Day 20.1 – Ipanema
Day 20.2 – Urca
Day 20.3 – Pao de Acucar
Day 21.1 – Ipanema Beach
Day 21.2 – Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura (Portuguese Reading Room)
Day 21.3 – Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil
Day 21.4 – Lapa and Santa Teresa
Day 21.5 – Botafogo and Leblon
Day 22.1 – Museu de Arte do Rio
Day 22.2 – Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 20 (1 OF 3) – IPANEMA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Today was a cloudy and humid Sunday.  Rain seemed coming anytime.  It only took us 5 minutes to walk from our hostel to the famous Ipanema Beach.  On our way to the beach, we dropped by Polis Suco for a quick drink of acai smoothie, a tasty and healthy morning treat. The entire beach was packed with all kinds of beach goers, from surfers, sunbathers, to beach tennis players.  The automobile traffic on Ave. Vieira Souto was replaced with bikers, runners, and joggers, etc.  In the distant west, the Dois Irmaos mountains provided a dramatic backdrop to the beach scenery.
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Previous Destination: Minas Gerais, Brazil, reading from post Day 15.2

Read other posts on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Day 20.1 – Ipanema
Day 20.2 – Urca
Day 20.3 – Pao de Acucar
Day 21.1 – Ipanema Beach
Day 21.2 – Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura (Portuguese Reading Room)
Day 21.3 – Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil
Day 21.4 – Lapa and Santa Teresa
Day 21.5 – Botafogo and Leblon
Day 22.1 – Museu de Arte do Rio
Day 22.2 – Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 19 (1 OF 1) – OURO PRETO TO RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Today we left Ouro Preto for Rio de Janeiro.  In mid-day, we went out for a hearty buffet lunch of regional Minas Gerais food and dropped by a chocolatier for a drink near Praca Tiradentes before the long-distance bus journey to our next destination.  The bus for Rio left the station at 2:00pm.  There were only 6 passengers including us on the bus.  The 7-hour bus ride was pleasant.  By around 8pm, we were approaching the northern suburb of Rio: colourful graffiti at underpasses and building walls, shuttered retails stores, wandering pedestrians, local vendors, busy eateries, large billboards, myriad of lights from favelas along hillsides.  We arrived at Novo Rio Bus Terminal at 9:10pm, almost an hour ahead of schedule.   At the terminal, we hopped onto a radio taxi for our hostel at Ipanema.  A 20-minute taxi ride took us through a series of highways and tunnels to Ipanema where vibrant nightlife at pubs and pizzerias filled up the streets.  It was a totally different scene than the suburban areas we saw when entering the city.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

Next Destination: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Continuing on our journey from post Day 20.1

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 18 (3 OF 3) – SUNSET, OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

After lunch, we visited the Museu da Inconfidencia, the main city museum of Ouro Preto. We learnt a great deal more about the history of gold mining in Ouro Preto, the work of artist Aleijadinho, and the incident of Inconfidencia Mineira (a failed Brazilian separatist movement in 1789). At dusk, we wandered in the area near Igreja de Sao Francisco de Assis for its beautiful views towards Santa Efigenia Parish.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 18 (2 OF 3) – A WALK TO IGREJA DE SANTA EFIGENIA DOS PRETOS, OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

Before lunch, we ventured out of main square area to Santa Efigenia Parish. After an exhausting downhill and uphill walk, we reached Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, the mother church of the parish. Unfortunately the church was under renovation and public access was not allowed. With the magnificent cityscape and scenery along the way, we didn’t regret the long walk.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought


DAY 18 (1 OF 3) – TOWNSCAPE, OURO PRETO, BRAZIL

Recommended by guidebook, a 5-minute morning walk along Rua Conselheiro Quintiliano northest of Praca Tiradentes brought us to a panoramic view of the churches and rooftops.  Without the cars, street lamps, and electrical poles, Ouro Preto would look exactly like a Baroque city back in the 18th century.
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More posts on Minas Gerais, Brazil
Day 15.2 – Museu des Minas do Metal, Belo Horizonte
Day 15.3 – Brazilian Churrascarla, Belo Horizonte
Day 16 – Inhotim, Brumadinho
Day 17.1 – Ouro Preto
Day 17.2 – Cafe Geraes, Ouro Preto
Day 17.3 – Afternoon Stroll, Ouro Preto
Day 17.4 – Rua do Pilar, Ouro Preto
Day 18.1 – Townscape, Ouro Preto
Day 18.2 – A Walk to Igreja de Santa Efigenia dos Pretos, Ouro Preto
Day 18.3 – Sunset, Ouro Preto
Day 19 – Ouro Preto to Rio de Janeiro

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought