Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


From Paraty we set off for Rio de Janeiro on a five hour bus journey.  This was OK except for the fact that we were at the back near to the toilet.  Half way through the trip, we noticed a bad smell.  A very bad smell.  Some time later, we heard repeated flushing of the toilet.  Some time after that some guy emerged, avoiding an eye contact.  I don't know what he'd eaten, but clearly he shouldn't have.  The smell took a long time to go away and was only partly masked by the eating of mints.

We got to Rio, with our noses just about surviving, and the sun was shining brightly as you would expect it to be.  Little did we know then that this was the only real sun we could expect during our six days here.

Our hostel was nice, although I think calling the room a deluxe double would be considered a breach of the trades descriptions act.  The first room we were offered was a good size, but had no windows and had three sets of bunk beds in it.  We changed it for a room that had a window and a double bed, but was so small that you couldn't open the door fully as the bed was in the way.  The communal areas were decent though, which is just as well as we ended up spending rather more time there than we had anticipated.

As well as the normal hostel facilities, there was the added bonus of a dog to help keep us amused.  Charlie, the very large two year old golden retriever, was friendly but could be a little overpowering.  Nic was held captive by him for a while when Charlie got hold of his arm or his trouser leg and wouldn't let him go.

A couple of days into our stay, the owners brought along a friend for Charlie, a two month old golden retriever puppy called Chanel, which made for some amusing interaction between the two of them as well as some very cute mishaps by her.

We went out the first evening, looking for somewhere to eat.  With the reputation that Rio has, I was a bit dubious about wandering around at night until we had got a better feel for the area we were in, but in fact it seems the area directly around us in Botafogo was reasonably OK.  We didn't find anywhere very exciting though, so after a quick bite we went back to the hostel.

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