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Our flight landed bright and early in Rio, and even though it was overcast, I could see that this was a beautifully situated city, lying in and around green hills, with the ocean lapping at one edge. We checked into our outrageously priced hostel, near Ipanema beach and went for a stroll to explore the upper class area and the neighbouring beach of Copacobana.

Last time Adam was in town he had eaten at Porcau, (an all you can eat style restaurant Brazilian style) and had raved about it so much that he had to take me to experience this meat eating extravaganza. Waiters roamed the restaurant floor with huge skewers of succulent cuts of beef, and would cut a piece to your liking. There were a few other types of meat floating around (chorizos, pork ribs, and whole salmon) but the beef was the star. They also had an extensive salad bar, complete with seafood, sushi and a cheese platter. We left with our stomachs achingly full of excellent food.

The next morning the weather had cleared, so we made our way up to the Jesus statue towering over the city. We went via the suburb of Santa Teresa, a lovely hilltop area with small mansions, leafy streets and little cafes. There was also a little walk way that had been covered with tiles from around the world by an eccentric Chilean artist, which was a nice detour in our wanderings.

After having our fill of city gazing at the massive statue we made back down the mountain to grab our bags and continue a few hours down the coast to the departure point to the island of Ilha Grande.


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