So, as you may have read in my last blog, I have just returned from Rio De Janeiro. Holy Maloney that's a place and a half! It's NOT good to be back if I'm honest, what with the crazy storms, the fact my bank account was dried out in Brazil and now my new body complex of my entire skin shredding this 5 day tan off dodgy bit by dodgy bit. Every night I get home from work, I realise I've yet to buy bloody body scrub, so it's coming off inch by inch, flake by flake - I am two tone.
I expected (like a fool) Rio wouldn't be that warm, but it was blitzing. I lay on Copocabana beach with 31 degree heat shining down on me, and after a summer of London sun, it was amazing.
I had tagged along on my boyfriend's work trip, so the holiday wasn't planned. My friend Caroline Feraday kindly allowed us to rent her place, a cute one bed apartment seconds away from the beach. I urge anyone to go AIRBNB when visiting Rio as every tourist I spoke to had spent around $350 a night on a standard hotel room, where as our apartment had more than what we needed, a better location and was miles cheaper.
On the days my boyfriend had off, we did the standard must dos in Rio, which including taking the tram up to Christ the Redeemer. It makes for some hell of sightseeing and for some reason you always come away from days like that feeling like a more cultured person don't you?
The one thing I was surprised with was the quality of food in Rio. I honestly thought food would be top notch, but most nights we struggled to get anything I could even finish, let alone enjoy. (For those of you who follow me on Twitter will know I can eat a lot/ of anything - I am a food person.)
We would walk down the beach and stop for food and expect it would be OK... after day two of this, I got online and decided maybe it was one of those type of places where you just needed to research.
I came across Copacabana Palace Hotel which is owned by the Orient Express. Like most people in the world, I have always wanted to experience the utter luxury of the Express, so knowing they did a hotel, which was 5*, in Rio, by the beach, that had TWO restaurants confirmed that this place must do good food.
We got the best table in the house overlooking the huge outdoor swimming pool and ordered some wine. (To be honest, this was the only thing that was remotely expensive on the menu.)
I ordered the Charbroiled beef tri tip on chimichurri sauce, served with butter roasted potatoes and sautéed zucchini. Oh god, I am hungry again just thinking about it. My boyfriend was made to order the signature dish, one of the "must trys" if you go Rio apparently, this was The Copacabana beef casserole served with rice pilaf and sided with sautéed veggie garnish, manioc stuffing, sunny side-up egg, deep-fried breaded banana, and potato noisette. I knew I liked plantain but this breaded banana was a whole new level. I've promised to come back and try to make it myself. (We'll see...)
Finally, after 2 nights in Rio I had a meal I would have peed my pants over in London. If you go there, you really have to visit.
Anyway, now I am back with peeled skin and only the dusty memory of Rio in the back of my mind... I've been back 5 days and still haven't found the energy to unpack yet.
That's the only downfall about travelling isn't it? Coming home.