From Maria Helena’s in Penápolis …
It’s a transfer day. We’re leaving Rio de Janeiro and heading to Penápolis.
We check out of our hotel at 7a and take a taxi to the airport. Our driver has been a Flamengo fan for 74 years and was excited about last night’s victory. They partied in the streets overnight.
First we fly from Rio’s international airport to Campinas on Azul flight 4317. There’s a layover of a couple of hours, enough time for a slice of pizza at the airport.
After lunch we fly from Campinas to Araçatuba on Azul flight 4501. We’re on a turboprop plane for this leg of the journey. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a propeller plane.
Not many flights each day into Araçatuba, so the airport is small. But after five flights we are here!
John meets us at the airport and we drive to his Mom’s house in Penápolis. We spend the afternoon and into the evening settling in and visiting with family while sitting outside next to the pool.
Thanks for reading. More from Penápolis tomorrow.
From the Executive Lounge of the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro …
It’s an early start but we’re catching up after yesterday’s travel delay. We meet Marcio, our tour guide, at the hotel at 7:30a. We drive through the city to the base of Corcovado Mountain. Marcio tells us that Corcovado means the “hunchback.” Next is a scenic tram ride up the side of the mountain to the famous Christ the Redeemer Statue. The view of the city from the base of the statue is spectacular!
Next we drive through the city and board the cable car for the ride up to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. The view from here is even more incredible. We spend about 30 minutes at the top taking pictures and taking in the view.
For lunch Marcio knows a BBQ place downtown. We park and enjoy a walk through the city before lunch at Confeitaria Colombo. In the afternoon we visit the Selaron Steps – a city stairway lined with ￼ceramic tiles donated from all over the world created by a Chilean artist. Then we drive past Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon beaches before driving down the street to see Donna’s old apartment building.
It’s a long day of sightseeing so we end the afternoon with a Brama beer at a cafe on Copacabana Beach. This evening all of Rio is watching Flamengo, the local soccer club, take on Argentina’s River Plate in the South American Championship. So we skip dinner and watch with the crowd gathered in the Executive Lounge of the JW Marriott Hotel. Spoiler Alert – In the last two minutes Flamengo scores two goals to overcome a one goal deficit. Rio is going to go wild tonight!
Tomorrow we head to Penápolis. Thanks for reading. More tomorrow.
From the rooftop bar of the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro …
We’re here, but today didn’t go quite according to plan.
After a 30 minute delay due to difficulties removing the tow bar from the plane, the overnight flight from Newark to São Paulo was uneventful. I even got some halfway decent sleep overnight, a rarity for me on a plane. Despite our careful planning I ended up a few rows alway from Donna, John, and Julianna after United shuffled our seat assignments. Still we made it to Brazil, but more adjustments to the plan were forthcoming.
It turns out the São Paulo Airport (Guarulhos) is much bigger than we though it was. We spent a few hours at the São Paulo airport getting coffee and something to eat, then went to find our gate for the trip from São Paolo to Rio de Janeiro on LATAM flight 3070. And by the time we found the gate we just missed our flight. So we waited an hour and a half to retrieve our bags – they take them off the flight here instead of flying them to your destination. Then an hour and a half bus ride to Congonhas – the other São Paolo airport.
At Congonhas we booked LATAM flight 3950 to Rio and and arrived about 7:30p. We took a taxi through the city to our hotel, the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro – right on Copacabana Beach. We check in and head for the rooftop bar to toast our arrival and celebrate spending the last 30 hours in airports and airplanes. Tomorrow we meet our tour guide, Marcio Boechat, and see the Rio landmarks. Thanks for reading! More tomorrow.