Day 33 – Rio de Janeiro – Hot Hot Stuff!
Tuesday (March 13) was another stinking hot humid day in Rio. We awoke to cloud cover, and it started to rain just as Mike and I headed to the beach for a morning walk, although it never amounted to anything. Liana & Luisa headed for their pilates class with Silvie, and we headed off by taxi to Christina’s. They have a lovely apartment on the border between Botafogo and Flamenco. Luis Paulo and his wife are 2 floors up, and Christina certainly lets them take advantage of her cooking.
Christina took us for a tour of the new clinic Clinica Iosa where Luis Paulo and his wife will be practicing. The building has been very impressively renovated and spec’d out with 3 ultrasound rooms, 1 for mammogram and 1 for bone density along with offices and other associated rooms. Upstairs, using the beautiful original staircase, are additional doctor offices available for rent as well as the data centre and and office for L.P. Behind the building is another building with 3 pediatric rooms along with reception area. Above there is MORE space for administration including an office for Miguel. A very large and impressive setup – so wishing them all the very best in attaining new clients. It takes time, especially given the strict regulations regarding new doctors setting up their own practice and for health plans to accept them.
Then back to Christina’s for a wonderful salmon, salad, and potatoes lunch with an amazing passion fruit mousse dessert (maracuja, whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk in a blender and then freeze). All followed by cheese with mangada jam – very nice and soft (from a jar, not block).
Christina pulled out the old photo albums from her year in Canada, along with young photos of L.P., Carol and the rest of the family. We also learned of Miguel’s viral encephalitis in 1999/2000 when he was in a coma for 2 weeks. He made a miraculous recovery which is almost unheard of; it took several months but he fully recovered with no long term effects.
Christina dropped us off at the base of Pao de Azucar where the 4 of us (Derek & Marketa, Mike & Audrey) hiked up the first mountain (220m), but we sadly did not see any monkeys, probably because it was dusk by then. The weather started to clear, but it clouded again as we climbed. It was a good hike up – but not as rustic as 2 years ago when Mike and Derek last climbed it – they have now installed steps on the steepest parts! We joined the ‘normal folks’ and took the funicular to the top (climbing not an option). The views were spectacular from every perspective. The Rio bay with it’s the volcanic mountains rising from the ocean, and sandy beaches on endless coves all around protected by the bay.
When we arrived the cloud cover was quite dense, so the Christo was not visible. For just a couple of instances, the clouds cleared and the Christ appeared hovering in the clouds – awe inspiring.
Then back down all the way via funicular and a taxi home with more food and baccita’s and another shower before packing it in after another fun filled day spent drenched in sweat.