Even though I wasn’t as worried as I had previously been when I walked off the plane, I still felt out of place. It was 10pm and I was in downtown Rio. I found a currency exchange and got some cash and was immediately bombarded by cab drivers who were trying to charge me $50 US for a 15 min cab ride.
I was told by a local that spoke English to find a yellow cab with a meter (good advice), so I did. I found my cab and rode to the address of my Hostel. I saved about $30 US and felt pretty good as I pushed the buzzer into the El Misti Hostel and Pousdada in Copacobana.
I shared a room with 2 girls from Argentina. We chatted for a bit before I passed out for the evening.
My first stop was the Christ Redentor statue. I found the bus number and rode through the city of Rio to the last stop on the route.
Across the road from where I was dropped off was a train station that took you to the statue. I had planned to hike to the top, but the girl at the counter said it was too long to walk. So I paid for the bus and waited for the ride.
(Later during my trip, a girl I met at a hostel said that you could hike it easily and it doesn’t take very long. I was kind of bummed that I didn’t hike it later, but the train ride was alright.)
The train takes you up along the mountain side to the top where the gigantic statue of Christ sits with open arms welcoming people into Brazil with a symbol of peace.
After a few hours I returned by bus to my hostel and got some street food. I then went and spent the rest of the day on the beach soaking up some tropical sun.
That evening, my friend from Salt Lake contacted one of his friends that lives in Rio, Konan. He messaged me and told me I could come stay at his house for free.
I took the metro to a bus stop and rode the bus for about 45 mins to a suburb of Rio called Barra (pronounced Baha). I had a hard time getting a hold of Konan, and had to find my way to his address on my own.
The private neighborhood he lives in questioned me as I entered, and finally I was escorted to his front door where I was welcomed into an amazing house! We spent the night talking about music and listening to metal. And discussing plans to go to a waterfall on the southern border of Brazil.
After a few hours, I was given a bed and after a fairly hectic day of trying to navigate through a huge city with no skills in Portuguese. I was exhausted and passed out.