Our first morning in the city didn’t exactly go too well, walking along Copacabana beach when we noticed a guy walking closely behind us. He pointed to Seth’s shoe saying “Look! Shit!.” We looked down and there was a yellow goo plastered all over his brand new trainers. We knew the guy himself had done it or had an accomplice, so we walked away as quickly as possible while he shouted at us in Portuguese. He had a cleaning kit with him so we think he wanted to clean the shoes and ask for money for his services.
Not the nicest introduction to Rio.
After a quick stop in a café to grab some tissues to clean off the mustard, we continued along Copacabana to the pick up point for the shuttle to the Christ the Redeemer Statue, now slightly paranoid and seeing everyone as a potential scammer.
The Painieras-Corcovado shuttle departs from Praça do Lido in Copacabana and takes you direct to the top of the statue with no stops – great if you want to avoid the long queues for the train.
On our second day we took the metro to Lapa in hunt of a restaurant we had heard about. Nova Capella is a traditional Brazilian restaurant, beautifully tiled, where all the waiters wear white coats and black ties.
We had been recommended to try the Bolinho de bacalhau (salted cod fish balls) and ordered five. They came deep fried with potato, cheese and salted fish and some fresh chillies in oil on the side. Five was probably too many as they are quite filling and we still had the main to come.
We had ordered a portion between two and when it came on a platter it was huge! Crispy lamb, with broccoli rice and roasted potatoes, washed down with a cold Patagonia beer.
All in all, an intense 3 days in Rio! We usually avoid taxis at all costs as they are so stressful in Asia, but actually this and the metro was the best way to get around Rio, especially at night when it wouldn’t be safe to walk.
Our next stop would be the beautiful island of Ilha Grande.