This post is originally from February 20, 2019
Here we are in Brazil! It really blows my mind that you can step on a little tin can and in hours you are on the other side of the world! Flying into Rio was pretty spectacular. It is so green and mountainous. Definitely a stark contrast from Edmonton!
We were originally planning to take a bus to Búzios. As we were leaving the airport however, we must have had that ‘dumb and dumber’ look because we were quickly approached by a dude who wanted to set us up with a taxi. Honestly after over 24 hours of traveling it didn’t take much to twist our arms. A taxi meant we’d get to our hotel faster and be able to rip off our clothes just that much sooner. (It was smoking hot and I was wearing compression socks that went up to my knees!) (Don’t laugh because I wear compression socks!)
Driving out of Rio was pretty cool. I was able to see Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer in the distance. As well, you could see several massive patches of Favelas (the slums most famously known in the movie City of God). By the time we reached the city’s edge I was nodding off and at that point my life was truly at the mercy of this strange taxi driver. Obviously all was well because clearly we are both still here.
We eventually made our way to Búzios and found our hotel…ready for the name? Pousadas Unicornio – that’s right the Unicorn Hotel! When we walked into the lobby everyone was wearing those headbands with unicorn horns! Ok ok that’s a lie but man, that would have added to the story! Strangely enough however, all the cashiers were wearing them at a grocery store in town!
The hotel is a really beautiful; situated on the side of a hill with amazing views of the ocean. Unfortunately I think they gave us the dud room as we’ve had our share of ‘issues’. The best one being that we were told to dial 9 if we needed anything, however there was not even a phone in the room. There also wasn’t a second bed, a safe, hot water or a working television but who’s counting? We figure our room hasn’t been used in a while as the guy who brought the safe in literally had to bring a drill to attach it into the wall.
Complaining aside it is a beautiful place and the people are amazing and kind. One thing that surprises me is the lack of English spoken here. We are so bloody lucky that in most places in the world English speakers can pretty much get by and rely on everyone else to conform to our language. I’ve thought of this many times before, how presumptuous it is that I go to a different country and I speak English. Of course I try to learn the greetings and niceties but having most people speak a little English it’s quite easy to get by. Here in Brazil it’s quite different. It is Portuguese through and through. It makes for a more challenging and interesting adventure, right down to ordering a meal. Thank you Google Translate! We have found we are the rare visitor here in Búzios too. Most tourists here are from Argentina or Rio. We definitely stand out (especially the way we dress!… or maybe I should rephrase that… we definitely DON’T stand out!)