Morning arrival into Rio de Janiero aka the "Cidade Maravilhosa" (a well-deserved nickname I was to discover...)
Managed to locate a local 'real' bus going from the airport to Copacabana Beach where my home for the next few days was: El Misti hostel near Posto 4 (would recommend it for location, guest friendliness and price!)
Oi! = Hi (I thought people were just being rude at first...!)
Obrigada = Thank You
Everything else, such as numbers / please / you're welcome, were fortunately all very like Spanish which I'd been trying to to teach myself in the car pre-holiday
The bus took us through the favelhas (shanty towns of sorts) which surround the city and I had a first peak of the impressive amounts of graffiti which decorates Rio and, as I was to shortly learn, a lot of big South American cities.
Unsurprisingly the monument itself was incredibly crowded - you could barely climb the steps towards it, but the views were worth it. You are rewarded with fantastic views over Rio, including the world-famous beaches and Sugarloaf mountain.
Of course I had to do the tourist pose!
Somehow I managed to skip the massive queues and headed straight onto the cable cars.
First to Morro da Urca (215m high) where I spotted the helipad I hoped to visit again, and then up again to 396m at the top of the iconic mountain, delivering yet more amazing views.
There were some rock-climbers who'd made it up the side of mountain and more monkeys, plus some comical coconuts...
It was particularly stunning when the sun started to set, covering everything in a golden glow and making the bays sparkle with Christ the Redeemer in the background.
Once back on ground level, I headed out for a little evening walk along the bustling white sands of Copacabana beach.
Then a well-deserved dinner at a Lonely Planet recommended pub (Boteco Belmonte).
I started with the national cocktail "Caipirinha" - a potent combination of cachaça (a sugarcane liquor), lime and sugar - which I would become very familiar with during the rest of my time in Brazil.
Then I opted for the Moqueca - a delicious seafood stew prepared in a clay pot from the North East of Brazil - which was served with a corn grain and rice.