What I love about Rio are the extremes and contrasts you see all about you. From the poverty stricken to the wealthy a few steps apart on the beach; from the traffic clogged streets to clear highways at the turn of a corner; from calm seas to crashing waves a hundred metres away.
As we are staying about an hour outside Rio, last night we booked into a hotel for one night to give us more time to explore central Rio. Positioned in between Ipanema and Copacobana beaches, we were perfectly placed. Yesterday included a trip to Sugar Loaf, where we literally had our heads in the clouds.
Today we spent the morning on Copacobana, sweltering on the sand and being tumbled by the waves under clear blue skies. In the afternoon we took the train to Corcovado, where once again we entered the clouds, this time much thicker than yesterday. We waited for two hours, catching occasional glimpses of Christ the Redeemer. Every time the statue came into view the patient crowd would gasp & cheer and cameras clicked. It would only last seconds, then the mist enveloped everything again.
Taking the train back down, I sat in the rear seats looking back through the window. As we neared the bottom, about 20 minutes after leaving the station I could see the statue quite clearly as the clouds had all disappeared!
Those that were merely tourists in our group of friends were bemoaning missing the stunning views but the photographer amongst them had been rubbing his hands with glee.