At 9am Geraldo and Nascimento were at the hotel and all were ready for the tour to Corcovado mountain and Cristo Redentor, a 7th wonder of the world. After arriving at the station, we waited comfortably while Geraldo purchased the tickets but none for me. I would wait, write and people watch until they returned. Geraldo definitely has his connections. His “friend” the ticket taker assured him our group would be on the next tram up through the world’s largest urban rainforest, Tujuca.
After Corcovado we drove past the Botanical Gardens, Flamenco and Botafogo. We also made a pit stop at the largest favela— Rocinha, just so the curious could get a glimpse. Then onto the stretch of south zone beaches of : Sao Conrado, Leblon, Ipanema and then back to our hotel on lovely Copacabana. Our guide makes it a point to show the contrast of the rich, the poor and the middle class.
The favelas get a bad rep but its the beautiful people of the favelas that make Rio go round and round. They are the workers that serve the tourists and every aspect of Carnival — samba dancers, capoeira, costume makers, float builders, musicians, etc. you name it and they make it happen.
Back at the hotel, a few of us went up to the top for appetizers and drinks, sat by the pool and overlooked the beach. It’s been a perfect day and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.