traveling

Rio's Favelas

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Brazil is quite a poor country, and in Rio it's easy to get into trouble if you don't keep aware of your surroundings. We had few problems ourselves and even took a tour of a local Favela. Favela's are basically illegal neighbourhoods with no authorized electricity, plumbing, or phones, yet a majority of the population lives.

While the city was younger with fewer people, the government decided to turn all of the mountain sides into official parks, so that no one could build there. The mountains were to be used for everyone's enjoyment, not just the rich. With little land nestled between the steep mountains I imagine the city quickly ran out of affordable places for middle and lower class people to live. So they started building up the mountain sides into the park land.

Rio de Janeiro Photos

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I took a bit of time off during the last two weeks of my South American trip to visit Rio with Sam. The photos from that trip are now up on flickr.

To be perfectly honest, I don't think either of us will call Rio a highlight of the trip. When we arrived the hostel was a bit dodgy (as you'd probably expect in South America, but it wasn't cheap either.. about $80CAD/night). With no air conditioning in 35+ degree heat and high humidity... it was a bit too much for either of us to handle. We moved to a hotel after a few days and then to an apartment for the final week. Well worth the hassle to get some A/C.

A few more comments on Machu Picchu

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After yesterday's post and my other very brief post on the trip, I thought it might be worthwhile to write something a little more in depth about our trip to Machu Picchu.

As I've mentioned previously, the primary way of getting into Machu Picchu takes you through Cusco and Aguas Calientes. Our flight from Buenos Aires had a short connection in Lima, Peru's capital. From the air Lima looked quite dirty and run down. Though it's a coastal city (bordering the pacific), it's also a desert city as the Sechura desert basically spans the entire coastline of Peru. We talked to a few other people who visited the city and it does sound like it has some nice areas that would be worth spending some time in.

Weekend trip to Machu Picchu

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A few weeks back Scott (MacRitchie) and I took a weekend trip to Machu Picchu in Peru. Scott came down to Buenos Aires for about 3 weeks to visit and do a little bit of traveling at the same time. It was great to spend some time with him.

If you've never heard of Machu Picchu before, or have heard of it but don't know what it is, it's basically these Incan ruins built high on a mountain top (and Wikipedia has a much better description). They weren't discovered until the early 1900's, and apparently the city was covered in gold and jewels when first discovered, however most of these were stolen by the first discoverers of the city. The city is so amazing partly due to it's very well protected location (the fact that it wasn't discovered until hundreds of years after the Spanish conquests of the Inca's).

In Rio (now with fine ass)

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Just thought I'd post a quick update on my trip. Been a pretty eventful couple of weeks, both work and travel-wise, so I've had no time to sift through my photos from Machu Picchu or blog at all.

Sam and I are now in Rio de Janeiro. We arrived Saturday night after 16h of travel (we bussed from Sao Paulo to Rio which was about 6h). It was a little sad checking out of the apartment we'd been living in for the last 2.5 months in Buenos Aires. We'll be here until the end of January before returning to our respective homes on the opposite side of the planet.

The hostel we booked had no air conditioning, and since we got here Rio has been about 35 degrees and up with some insane humidity. We needed to find something with A/C today so we moved from the hostel into a hotel for a few days before booking into an apartment this weekend.