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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 14
Argentina, Brazil and Peru
Day 12
Rio de Janeiro
Click HERE to see our photos

We both slept incredibly well in our king-sized bed. We are very pleased with our hotel, the Mar Ipanema, located ideally on Ipanema’s main avenue, Rua Visconde de Piraja. Our room on the seventh floor is of adequate size – not huge, not small but very well designed. There are places for all of our belongings, a safe large enough for our valuables, a fantastic air-conditioner (it has been very hot and humid in Rio during our visit) and perhaps the best shower we have ever had – lots of hot water with pressure enough to scrub the paint off a car! Even though we are on a busy avenue, we hardly hear any street noise from high up on the seventh floor. The staff has been fantastic and the hotel restaurant serves delicious food and killer caipirinhas. We highly recommend the Mar Ipanema.

Mar Ipanema Hotel

The day, again, is warm, sunny and humid. After another savory breakfast at the hotel, we took a taxi to Sugarloaf Mountain – one of Rios many must-sees. We boarded the first of two trams and spent an hour or so halfway up the mountain with photogenic monkeys, multi-colored birds, and the breathtaking vistas far below. At the top, it was noticeably cooler and we spent some time wandering the many pathways through the lush green jungle. We are so high up that clouds keep us covered in a cool mist.

View from the cable car as we head up Sugarloaf Mountain
Monkey at Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio
View of Copacabana and the Lagoon from Sugarloaf Mountain

After a couple of hours feeling as if we were at the top of the world, we took the trams back down to sea level, bid ciao to Sugarloaf Mountain and caught another taxi to the west side of town in order to peruse the beautiful botanical gardens. First, however, we enjoyed a delicious “por kilo” lunch of fish, vegetables, potatoes, rice, noodles and sweet deserts aplenty at Couve Flor Restaurant.

Couve Flor
Lunch at Couve Flor

We stuffed ourselves silly at lunch and then waddled a few blocks to the botanical gardens and spent the next couple of hours walking along shady lanes lined with exotic flora and fauna. We enjoyed the peace and quiet in this special sanctuary.

Bird at Rio's Botanical Gardens
Pond at Rio's Botanical Gardens

At 4 pm we caught another taxi back to the hotel to rest and recharge and at 7 pm we went downstairs to the hotel restaurant and sat outside in the cool evening air. There was a light misty rain as we sat and watched Rio winding down on a quiet Monday evening.

Enjoying the Ipanema evening

We ordered a small dinner of calamari, fries and caipirinhas and watched cariocas enjoying each other’s company in a uniquely Brazilian fashion.


By 10 pm we were in bed watching the Simpsons and Spiderman 3 in Portuguese. What a world!!


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