This colourful country suits the adventurous spirit of avid traveller Joan Lai to a tee
It was Friday the 13th, and the airplane was almost empty when I was flying to Brazil. It was free seating and I didn’t buckle up with the seat belt. It was raining and the airplane went into the storm.
The plane dropped several metres I presume, as I found my head being rudely and suddenly knocked unto the plane ceiling. Finally and thankfully, I arrived in Brazil to meet my host Iguassu. This journey was special as I got to celebrate my birthday in two different countries with people I had just met for the very first time. Thanks to all the lovely greetings I had received from all over the world. And because of all of you, I am truly blessed.
The next morning, I took the bus crossing over two immigration checkpoints to the Argentina Iguazu Falls which is the marvelous waterfalls situated in South America. It is a place not to be missed! I enjoyed the water boat splash and had fun. On the way back, after crossing both the immigration checkpoints, I was too tired and dozed off on the bus. I missed the stop and landed at the bus terminal.
The view of the Argentina Iguazu Falls from the Brazil vantage point offers a different view. I went there early in the morning and found a credit card lane that is shorter. Unfortunely, my waterproof cap fell into the falls when someone accidentally bumped into me on the walkway bridge.
Rio de Janeiro offers beaches, dramatic mountains, artistic places and samba on the streets. While strolling in this city, I always make sure I have small change with me to give as “tips” such as taking photographs of their artwork like the ones at Copacabana Beach for instance. Copacabana Beach is usually crowded with foreigners while Ipanema Beach is a favourite with the locals.
At sunset, I walked from Ipanema beach to Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. During the Christmas season, it is a must-visit place where the “World’s tallest floating Christmas tree” can be found here.
Touristic places in the city do not need any introduction. When in the city area, I visited “Escadaria Selaron” and found artistic pieces donated from other countries.
Sugarloaf Mountain is a World Heritage Site and known worldwide for its cableway and panoramic views of the city. With the student card, we can get a discount. Harbour of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World”.
A favela – Portuguese for slum, is a low-income historically informal urban area in Brazil but I was advised not to travel there on my own. Despite the advice, I nevertheless went to Favela Santa Marta by myself but only took Tram with two compartments up and down.
The view from the top was simply awesome. It was a walking distance from my first host’s place and later, I shifted to my next host’s place as my first host had to fly off home for the Christmas holidays.
A professor recommended me to visit the Tijuca Forest which is located in the Tijuca National Park. His wife very kindly on her way to work. showed me how to get there. Tijuca Forest was a coca plantation before it was replanted to be the present forest.
The place is awesome, and it was cooling to be in the forest despite the summer heat. It was such a tiring day with us packing in a late lunch only after 4pm but it was worth every effort! This is indeed a marvellous place for nature lovers which is highly recommended.
My next host lives below the mountains where the famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue can be seen. “Christ the Redeemer” is also one of the wonders of the world situated majestically on top of the hill.
I found that going during the late afternoon until evening was good to capture the sunset and got to witness the best of both views. Since the last tram ride down the mountain was at 7.30 pm, I luckily got to catch a glimpse of the wonderful sunset on the way down. This year 2020 is a year of the global pandemic and the prayer for the world “God bless us” resounds loudly from “Christ the Redeemer” Brazil, with love.