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Goodbye Ilha Grande, Hello Copacabana, Arpoador, and Lapa!

The bus ride ticket that was arranged by Lemon Spirit Hostel was a round trip ticket. So we got our receipts and got onto the early morning taxi boat off the island and headed back to Brazilian land. From there, we then took a bus ride back to Rio de Janeiro (with Michael Jackson exploding my eardrums out, free of charge). I really think the round trip transportation ticket of about 60-70 BRL (approximately 30USD) was a good deal! It was really sad boating slowly away from the island and seeing Ilha Grande get smaller and smaller along the horizon… It was such an unexpected amazing getaway from the city. When the tides are low, I want to come back to explore the southern beaches on this island. I’m crossing my fingers it will be around the same time as Carnaval!

Lemon Spirit Hostel was booked for Saturday night, so we had to book one night at Zbra Hostel, a relatively expensive option for hostels but the only other option in Leblon area (approximately 45 USD/night/person in a shared 12 bed room). It’s an eclectic boutique hostel with foncy furnishes and modern colors, but the cleanliness of the hostel was terrible. This hostel was one of those places that look awesomely modern and clean in photos, but when you get there you’re really disappointed… that’s how I felt, but it was only for one night.

After we checked in around mid-afternoon, we decided to go find an ATM (this will take a long time if you do not have a Brazilian credit card. Trust me). Then we decided to try and follow our ‘beach walk’ trail. Before getting to Brazil, I planned for us to take this walk along Leblon to Ipanema to Arpoador to Copacabana beaches but somehow timing and/or weather did not work in our favor. This time we were determined!! We walked down to Leblon Beach (which is only a 5 minute walk from Zbra) and continued onto Arpoador beach. Hanhwa and I would always wear our swimsuits under our clothes so that we were ready to go beach bummin’, but the weather was always so terrible when we were prepared!! Today, the weather was amazing with sunny clear blue skies, but for some reason the only time we actually go to the beach and the weather is nice, we didn’t wear a swimsuits… FAIL. So instead of beach bummin’, we decided to get ourselves Rio hotdogs with ice cold Brahmas.  We are such fatties that it’s almost disgusting.

After enjoying our food, we were hesitant to climb Pedra Arpoador because we were fat and lazy, but I am very happy that we decided to go. Up there, there was an amazing view of Leblon and Ipanema Beach. It was almost about sunset, so the way the sun hit the water and the mountains made the sea a glowing blue and the mountains in the horizon almost ombre blue/purple. It was so beautiful! Definitely recommend going up there for the view! I would wear nice shoes though (not sandals) because the rocks are very slippery and there are no distinct paths you can walk along. Hanhwa and I were literally sliding down the sides of the rocks to get down!

Copacabana Beach is supposedly one of the most famous and well-known beaches in the world, but out of the 2 weeks we spent in Brazil, we still have not gone! It’s supposedly dirty and dangerous at night, but we had to at least go to check off the list! Instead of walking from Arpoador, we decided to take a taxi since we knew we would not make it to the beach in time before dark if we walked (It is a really damn long walk). I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the view of the landscape was from Copacabana. On this beach you can see Sugar Loaf Mountain and other smaller mounds in the background, making it an ideal beach to see the sunset. It really was not as dirty or dangerous as everyone mentioned!

We decided to eat at one of the food stall joints called Skol along the beach to enjoy a delicious meal of Picanha before we left Brazil.  This was not up to Garota standards though, so Hanhwa was really disappointed in the food, but I still ate it… ate it all!

Since it was our last night in Rio, we decided to go see the “real” Lapa night life. Last Friday when we went out, we were supporting Victor, who was DJing at a nightclub in Lapa, but we didn’t really get to actually experience the street parties that Lapa is famous for. So the plan for tonight was to start off the night supporting the same DJ friend who was hosting a party at a hostel and then hopping into a taxi out to Lapa to meet our friend Felipe.

Once we got to Lapa District, we walked pretty far from Lapa’s famous aqueduct bridge to the well-known samba club called Rio Scenarium. I have heard that I could not leave Rio without going here! We met Felipe and had a grand time listening to samba, drinking caipirinha’s, taking ugly face photos, meeting random people, and eating traditional Brazilian food. I have learned that I am terrible at samba and am not even close to having the curves needed to shake what my momma gave me the way Brazilians do. How do their butts move so fast?!

One strange thing I noticed at Rio Scenarium, is the way you purchase anything. Here, it is similar to the system of how you would pay at dim sum. You enter the club with one paper that has a list of all the possible drinks/food you want with check boxes and whenever you order, it is checked off. At the end, you cannot leave until you pay and show your receipt to the bouncer at the exit!

Even though Hanhwa and I were full off our food and drinks at Rio Scenarium, we still decided to go eat MORE at the street stalls in Lapa. We… are… disgusting hahaha. We had to do it, especially since it was our last night in Rio!

Beach Bummin' at Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janiero!

Hiking Adventure to Praia Dois Rios, Ilha Grande!