Monday, August 10, 2009

South America 2009 - Day 4 (8/10/2009) - Rio to Iguaçu

After breakfast and another cold shower (the hot water never really worked in our bathroom at the hostel), Greg and I headed out around 10:30 intending to go relax on the beach for a while before heading back to catch a taxi to the airport. Things did not exactly go according to plan. We caught the 435 bus, which one map said went to Copacabana, but after a while we realized that it was not headed anywhere near there. We figured that it would eventually loop around and reach the beach, so we stayed on. This was not the case - we reached the end of the line and had to get off. So we hopped back on the same bus and took it in the other direction. We went close to the stop where we got on (only in the other direction), and eventually made it to Copacabana...at 12:15. We walked along the beach for a while, and then stopped at one of the Bob's Burgers establishments for lunch. I must say that their #1, the Big Bob, is curiously similar to a Big Mac...hmmm...

Next, we high-tailed it back to the hostel by bus (first time quality this time), picked up our big bags, and walked down to the taxi stand at the Botafogo metro station. We somehow managed to ask (our communication skills may be improving) a cabby how much the trip to the airport would cost. He told us R$35, which was about what we expected. It ended up being about R$33, so we tipped him the extra 2. In the airport, we had absolutely no problems getting through security and finding our departure gate...apparently, Terminal 2 of that airport is not very busy on Monday afternoons. We checked our bags, thinking that they were too big to fit in the carry-on test container, but later on realized that we would have been fine had we not.

The flight to Foz do Iguaçu was mostly uneventful. They served a candy before departure and a hot ham and cheese sandwich during the flight. When we arrived, we disembarked by stairs (no jet-bridge), and we were greeted at the terminal by some musician. We picked up our bags and caught a taxi (conveniently, the taxi stand sets up fixed price rides so people don't get screwed) to the Charm Iguassu Suites, our hostel for the next 3 nights. The building seemed unoccupied when we arrived, and I started to freak out a little bit. Fortunately, someone answered the intercom after ringing the bell a few times, and the taxi driver helped explain to them that we were here to check in. We then checked into our charming little room, and settled in for the night.

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