Days 1-4 – Our Flight & Rio
Friday 18th March : We picked up some very excited kids from school and headed to the airport for our short hop down to Heathrow. All pretty uneventful except an incident with a straw hat. Child C managed to poke his finger through my new sun hat so we discreetly left it under a chair. Note to self: Need to buy a new hat.
Sat 19th March: After an overnight stay at Heathrow we were up and out for out flight to Rio. Arrived at check-in to be told that our travel agent had forgotten to issue any of our e-tickets for our flights. A few frantic phone calls and 40 mins later we were sorted but our flight home from Orlando was now fully booked so we have to find a new flight. Kids were fantastic on the flight (personal TV and games helped a lot) but were all pretty knackered when we arrived in Rio. Child B virtually sleep-walked through immigration. We arrived at our hotel opposite Copacabana beach around midnight.
Sunday 20th March: Our first day in Brazil!! Temperature 32 degrees Celsius. Blue skies and hot. Such a contrast to home. Kids in rooftop pool by 9am. Annoyed most of other residents by 9.15am (by general loudness and splashing) and have pool to themselves by 9.20am. Then hit Copacabana beach. It’s a Sunday and packed like sardines. Too hot for the kids so we head for lunch and ice cream. The Brazilians are so friendly and love the kids. They even understand my Portuguese (I completed a ‘key phrases’ course on the plane – go me!) After another couple of hours in the pool we head to the bar around the corner from our hotel for burgers and to watch the footy. It’s jam packed but a great atmosphere. Kids love it but need an early night for our full day of Rio sight-seeing tomorrow. Note to self: Need to develop quieter children
Monday 21st March – An action packed day today. Had a private guide for the day (called Daniel Cabral) who was fantastic. We were up early to head up the mountain to see Christ the Redeemer before the crowds. Amazing views but couldn’t repeat the Dynamo trick unfortunately. Then visited a favela which was a real eye opener – hot, crowded but this is where 30% of the population of Rio live. Then to Selaron steps, Maracana Stadium (couldn’t get inside as closed for alterations before Olympics), and the amazing pyramid cathedral. Child C showed his appreciation by chucking up all over the cathedral floor. The joys of travelling with kids. Finally up Sugar Loaf Mountain on the cable car with yet more breath-taking views. Then home for kids to jump in rooftop pool to cool off. A memorable day!!