Saturday 5 December 2009
Highlights: Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana beach, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, meeting the tour group members
Our overnight flight from Miami got in at 11 am without any significant problems. I had allocated us exit row seats which helped Andrew with his knees not bumping into the front seat but hurt me as we had a bulk head (I couldn’t extend me feet).
While listening to some USA citizen complaints about the border control delays I couldn’t help but think they should try LA arrivals as a foreigner! We got though immigration and custom in about an hour which is reasonable (obviously faster would be better).
Our pick up took us to Hotel Bandeirantes near Copacabana beach during the drive we could see the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. Unfortunately getting here a day later than I originally planned meant this was as close as we’d get.
Andrew slept for most of the afternoon while I went down to the beach area to explore a little. At around 7.30 pm we met most of our tour group and the tour leader for the first part of the trip David. There are 8 in the group for the first leg; Andrew, me, Karen Logan, Kelly Brooks, Shrina Arya, Gareth Williams, Emma Soden and Martin Mathis. It appears that aside from Martin the rest of the group are going all the way to Lima. We will pick up others for the other legs.
We cut short the introductions and went to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (a big lake) to watch the lighting of the Christmas Tree with fireworks. Unfortunately there was a bit of rain but I didn’t mind. From here we all had dinner together.
I passed on joining the group for a night out on the town as I hadn’t slept much and Andrew also decided to pass on this optional night. I’m sure there will be more chances for nights out with the group over the next 44 tour days.