Rio is one of those places where most of what you want to do is outside. Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana, Ipanema, the Escadaria Selaron steps, and general sightseeing in areas like Lapa and Santa Teresa, are all things best done in the sunshine.So we weren't feeling overly enthusiastic about Rio in the rain. Especially as the rain wasn't just normal rain, but torrential downpours that lasted most of the day.
Now I know that there are things that we could have done to amuse ourselves. We could have gone for salsa lessons, or taken a cooking class, or even done a crash course in Portuguese, but I think we had reached the point where we were winding down to the end of our first year away, and didn't really feel like making that much of an effort.
We knew that we had plenty of things to do when we got back to the UK, and that we could cadge a free bed from family as opposed to spending a fair amount on Brazilian accommodation prices, so we decided to look into bringing our flights forward. When we found that we could, we did.
And then we figured that, rather than telling my parents that the lift they had offered us from the airport was now needed a week earlier than expected, it would be much more fun to make our own way there and surprise them on the doorstep.
So we had one last day in the rain in Rio, during which we took a trip to the bus station to get our previously bought tickets refunded, and then took our overnight flight back to Heathrow. We hadn`t seen as much of Rio as we`d expected, but we had at least made it up Corcovado and had a good view of the city and Sugarloaf Mountain. We had also had a quick glimpse of the Sambadrome and the Maracana stadium as we passed them on a bus.
The flight was relatively good, although there was a mini drama about an hour in when a fellow passenger was taken ill and they had to find a doctor on board. Thankfully it obviously wasn't too serious, so we didn't have to make an unscheduled landing, and when we got to London he did manage to walk off the plane under his own steam.
We had a good rest of journey back to Kent, and arrived at my parents house roughly twenty four hours after we left the hostel. My mum's response, "what are you doing here?" She did at least say afterwards that she was pleased to see us though.