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21 April 2024
Alan Morris in the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden.

Today was our second day staying at Copacabana Beach & Gail & I visited the Botanical Gardens in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden.

Today I woke up early at around 6 am. I had a shower got dressed & went downstairs for breakfast in the buffet. Once again I wasn't impressed by the buffet but I ate what I wanted, had some fruit juice to take my tablets with & then sat reading my Kindle until Gail joined me. We sat talking about what we wanted to do today & decided to get a taxi to take us to see the   Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens.

While Gail was having her breakfast I walked to a small shop around the corner & bought myself a couple of new t-shirts before going back to my room to change into my new Brazil shirt. After Gail had finished her breakfast we asked the doorman at the foyer how much a taxi would be & if he could get us one. He told us he thought it would be about R$40 & took us to the corner of the road where he spoke to a taxi driver & got us a taxi to the Botanical Gardens in Rio de Janeiro. We jumped in the taxi for the 7.5 km trip & were soon at the Botanical Garden & the driver only charged us R$35 so we were very pleased. In Spain, this would have cost around €15 to €20 for the journey & R$40 worked out at around €7.50.

We walked to the shop where we thought we had to get a ticket to enter the park, only to find the tickets for the park were sold in a hut we had walked past on the way to the shop. We walked back to the shop & Gail walked up & asked for two OAP tickets which she was given straight away. I was happy to get a heavily discounted ticket but not so happy that they didn't ask me to prove I was an OAP, I think it was because they saw my walking stick & felt sorry for me as I hobbled towards the ticket office.

After we had purchased our tickets for the Botanical Gardens we entered them & spent around half the day exploring the different areas, looking at the different plants & animals & time just sitting in the cool & beautiful gardens. I particularly liked the cactus garden & the orchid house but also really enjoyed watching the monkeys playing around in the gardens. I was glad I saw a huge ant before I sat on it, I think it would have given me a nasty bite.

I did manage to get some lovely photos whilst we were a the Botanical Gardens & it was lovely to see the Christ the Redeemer statue on top of Corcovado Mountain through the leaves of the trees that lined some of the walkways through the gardens. The monkeys running across the paths & climbing the trees seemed very disinterested in the people standing below them trying to take their photos. My favourite area was the orchid house, there were so many beautiful orchids growing, some of which I had never seen before. As we walked towards the entrance to the gardens a man walked passed us wearing a matching t-shirt & pair of shorts in a Leopard print. I don't know what effect he thought walking through the Botanical Gardens in a leopard ensemble would have but he only made me chuckle & Gail laughed out loud. Please Sir, let your girlfriend dress you next time you go out together, you didn't fade into the foilage & your bright red man bag didn't help.

When we left the gardens we were trying to see where to cross the road to get a taxi when a lady at the entrance to the gardens said she could get a taxi for us. We climbed in & set off back to the hotel. The driver went a different way around & took a longer way back than the way we had arrived. It didn't help that the route we went was all along the beach areas. We drove past Impanena Beach & along Copacabana Beach, it was around 11.5 km on the way back but because of the heavy traffic, it took us around 45 minutes to get back. As we had been travelling I had been looking at the beaches we passed, Gail had been watching the meter & steam was coming out of her ears when the fare came to R$120. I quickly paid the driver & pointed out that although it looked like a lot of money it was only around €22 for a 11.5 km trip in heavy traffic. I thought it was quite a good fare under the circumstances & enjoyed seeing Impanena Beach, it also meant I didn't have to go out again to see it another day.

When we got out of the taxi we went across the road & sat in a beach bar to have a coconut each. The bar owners just chop the top of a coconut & you drink the coconut water out of it. It was very refreshing but I was so hot I drank mine very quickly & had to sit & watch the wildlife on the beach whilst Gail finished hers.

When we had finished our coconuts we went to have something to eat at a restaurant on a road that ran away from the beach. We ordered our dinner. I had ordered special rice with Brazillian potatoes, black beans & steak described as Portuguese. The beans were fine, the rice was good, the Brazillian potatoes were a stale pack of crisps & the steak was again very disappointing. It was a thin steak covered in ham & melted cheese. I will have some great memories of Brazil but in general, the food won't be in them.

When we finished our meal we walked back towards the hotel & stopped for a drink at the bar near the hotel before going back to the hotel & booking a trip to see Christ the Redeemer & Sugarloaf Mountain tomorrow. 

  Photos from Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens.