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Location: Rio, Brazil

Initially we really didn´t get into Rio (probably because we were a little intimitaded by all the reports and bad press) but in just a few short days the city has really grown on us. Yeah its streets are dirty and crowded, but It is an amazing city, fully of life and experience.

26 May 2006, 10:59AM

Another view from Sugarloaf but this time of Copacabana beach to the left.

26 May 2006, 10:11AM

Our first day in Rio and we headed to 400m Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) for some amazing views - this one is looking back to our hostel district (Botafogo near the beach strip in the photo) and the highest point you can see is Corcovado where Cristo Redentor resides.

26 May 2006, 2:06PM

Surf´s up (enough anyway) at Ipanema beach. After Sugarloaf we bused it to Leblon beach and walked back through Ipanema and Copacabana beaches to do a bit of people watching.

26 May 2006, 11:07AM

Closer view of Copacabana but still from Sugarloaf

28 May 2006, 8:48AM

Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) sits atop of Corcovada (all 30m of him) and watches over Rio...but I´m not sure he would be that happy with what he sees going on down there!

28 May 2006, 8:27AM

This views from 700m Corcovado looking back over the city towards Sugarloaf.

29 May 2006, 9:24AM

Favella (shanty town) tour in Rocinha - although the govt has put in electricity, everybody just taps into the mains without paying for it!

28 May 2006, 5:26PM

Maracana stadium where even though Flamengo got beat 1-0, their fans kept up drumming, singing and chanting for the whole game to create great atmosphere - we got to sit with them near the main drummers and it was a buzzzz. No riots afterwards...fortunately/unfortun- ately ?! Maracana holds about 100,000 people, but has a record of something like 220,000 before they put seats in and started to get (some) concept of safety!

29 May 2006, 9:44AM

Racinha up close - its jam packed down there.

29 May 2006, 11:01AM

Racinha is the largest Favella in Rio and has approx 200,000 inhabitants! Apparently up to 2m of Rio´s 10m population live in favellas. As you can see from this the favellas are right next to the city and tend to occupy the hilly ground, but the the proximity to the city is what contributes to the city´s crime with the people heading into town ´to do a few jobs´.

29 May 2006, 10:43AM

After taking a motor bike up the hill and then walking back through the favella and meeting the locals to get a full appreciation of it, you can finish up at oa kids child care (which are supported by the better tour groups and donations) to get uplifting pictures like these.

29 May 2006, 10:19AM

The standard of accomodation obviously isn´t that great, although they do have water and electricity (some even have aircon), but apparently this is a ´more developed / better´favella.