Monday, April 21, 2008

Rio de Janeiro

The day after we visited the farms outside of Brasilia, the entire team got on a plane and we flew to a place called Rio de Janeiro....or "Rio" as the locals say it. Rio is big city along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. See if you can find it on the map.

Kristin says Rio is famous for its beaches including ones named "Ipanema" and "Copacabana."
I've never heard of these beaches, have you? I'll have to ask Aunt Lynn if she has heard of them.
It was pouring rain when we landed at the airport. It was also really late at night, so I didn't get to see the beaches. But I did get to see the beach the next morning from Kristin's hotel room. This is "Leblon" beach.
Here you can see me and Flat Gabby with Keith. Leblon beach is behind us.

There were people swimming in the ocean and I wanted to swim too. But Kristin said we didn't have time. :(

But we didn't have time because we had to take a cable car to a place called "Sugar Loaf Mountain." How cool is that?! It's like riding a cable car except the cable is ABOVE my head instead of under the street like in San Francisco.

Here you can Sugar Loaf Mountain from the ground.

Kristin says the mountain...which overlooks the Atlantic almost 1300 feet tall. WOW! That's really tall. She says it is named Sugar Loaf because people think it looks like a loaf of sugar. A loaf of sugar? I've heard of a loaf of bread but I've never heard of a loaf of sugar, have you? Kristin says many years ago, sugar used to be packed into the shape of a loaf to be shipped. I had no idea!

Riding the cable car was REALLY fun! Here I am with Keith and Flat Gabby on the the cable car.

When we got off the cable car, this is what we saw. How cool is this photo!?

I could also see this really interesting statue that I had also seen from Kristin's hotel room. She told me it is called "Christ the Redeemer" and it is a very famous statue in Brazil.

The clouds kept moving over and across the statue while we were on Sugar Loaf. Here is another view of Christ the Redeemer.

I also noticed a number of small houses packed along some of the hills across from Sugar Loaf Mountain. Kristin says these are some of the "favelas" of Rio. She says the people who live there are poor just like the people we saw in Sao Paulo. This makes me sad.

Just as we were leaving I saw this lizard on the rocks. It was the first lizard I have seen on the entire trip. And yes...Keith was NOT super happy to see it.

Here's a photo of the radio team during our visit to Sugar Loaf. From left-to-right: Kristin, Simon, David, and Keith.

After our visit to Sugar Loaf, we stopped at a gas station. This was a cool gas station. It was in the MIDDLE the road.

I thought we were there to get gas for the van. But Keith told me we were there to look at the station itself. That's because the station sells "Alcool" or ethanol. Now I understand why we visited the sugar farm and the place where they make machines that make ethanol earlier in the trip.

Keith told me that 90% of the new cars in Brazil run on ethanol. I also learned that the taxi cabs in Rio can also run on natural gas. I had no idea!

Here you can see the gas pump. The ethanol pump is on the right. The gasoline pump is on the left.

While we were waiting for Steve and Simon to finish filming at the gas station, Kristin walked down the sidewalk in the middle of the road so I could see this really cool sand castle. It shows some of the famous places of Rio.

Not very far from the sand castle, I saw these interesting buildings along the beach. Kristin says they are food stands.

But the food stand on the right in the photo above isn't just any food stand. It's a McDonald's! This is the most interesting McDonald's I've seen yet!

I really wanted to go to McDonald's to get some ice cream (it was HOT outside). But Kristin told me we didn't have time. :(

We didn't have time because Kristin and Keith had to get into cab so we could get to the airport for our flight back to Chicago. Bummer...I really wanted to spend more time in Brazil. I definitely want to come back here again.

I want to thank Kristin and Keith for taking me on another great adventure. I also want to thank my friend Simon and my new friends Steve and David for being so nice to me.

That's all from Brazil. Until my next adventure....bye!