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Prices in Brazil Part Three

Roinha Favela, Rio de Janeiro

Roinha Favela, Rio de Janeiro

Here’s the final installment of Brazilian prices. In this section we were hugely disappointed with Rio de Janeiro and slightly disappointed with the world famous Pantanal. We stayed next to Copacabana beach in Rio. The hostel was toss. Che largo charged the most of all the hostels we stayed in in South America. Granted it was in a swanky area (with homeless people sleeping on cardboard on the street just outside) but for a simple dorm bunk bed it was still overpriced at a whopping $24 per person. It must have been standard for the area because Israelis were staying there. What made it objectionable was that the place was infested with bedbugs. We were bitten to buggery. And what did they do in reaction to our complaints? They moved us to another smaller dorm which also had bedbugs.

The city itself was interesting. An amazing beach for a city. Lots of colonial architecture and some good shopping.

I did my research about Pantanal tours in Rio and so when we arrived we booked up straight away at the youth hostel next to the bus terminal. It was a bargain price with a night in the hostel thrown in. The genius thing about the whole transaction was that the agent also hooked us with a lump of gear to enjoy on the tour. The Pantanal itself was wilderness – dense in mosquitos and birds – but also one huge farm. That I wasn’t expecting. The farmers are slowly clearing the forest and destroying the habitats of the wild animals. We saw lots of caiman and capybara. We saw a tucan and other colourful birds and caught a fleeting glimpse of a howler monkey. We went fishing and caught piranha and catfish. But we didn’t see any tapirs, anteaters, coatis, boas, jaguars or peccaries. I know you shouldn’t expect to see everything, but I couldn’t help feeling that human encroachment had been taking its toil on the wildlife numbers.

On the second day we went for a walk. The guide failed to mention it would take an hour. Nobody in our group brought any water for the walk. A Dutch couple were left behind. They were flaking out in the heat. Our guide didn’t seem to care. Another traveller had a go at him and he reacted very poorly. They called themselves ‘Ecological Expeditions’. I wasn’t happy when he started handling baby caiman to get a reaction from the mother. Not so eco.

Anyway, as always our budget is $60 a day between two people. If you have been following this blog then you will know that we had been managing fine with this budget until we encountered Brazil. Until Brazil we were under budget for the entire trip. Brazil put us in the red. Running totals are included at the end.

24/10/09, On bus to Rio de Janeiro

Bus from Trancoso to Arraial d`Ajuda (6.50 per person) = 13
Donuts = 1
Water = 2
Free ferry across river
Bus from Arraial d`Ajuda to Porto Seguro (2.90 per person) = 5.80
After getting off the ferry we had no idea where to go, so we just followed some people with bags. After several twists and turns we found ourselves at a side street with a bus stand. The others waiting there reassured us that it was the right stand to catch a bus to Porto Seguro bus terminal. And indeed it was.
Toilet visits = 2.2
Snacks and drinks at bus stand = 14
Dinner = 25
Bus from Porto Seguro to Rio de Janeiro (176 per person) = 352

Total = 409.2 (315.2 over budget)

Copacabana beach

Copacabana beach

25/10/09, Rio de Janeiro

Taxi from bus terminal to Copacabana = 30
Shopping = 25
Che Largo Backpackers Copacabana (38 per person) = 76
This was a really expensive hostel that was shit. We got bitten badly by bedbugs and instead of a refund they moved us to another dorm where we continued to get bitten. Copacabana beach was mugging central after nightfall. All in all very disappointing.

Total = 131 (37 over budget)

26/10/09, Rio de Janeiro

Changed $500 @ 1.60 per $1
Metro (2.80 per person) = 5.60
Lunch = 15.60
Camera film = 6.50
Metro = 5.60
Flip flops (presents) = 38
Mosquito repellent = 7.50
Toothbrush = 2
Che Largo Hostel (33 per person) = 66

Total = 146.8 (50.8 over budget)

Cristo Redentor in Rio

Cristo Redentor in Rio

27/10/09, On bus to Campo Grande

Bus from Copacabana to bus terminal (2.70 per person) = 5.40
Bus from Rio de Janeiro to Campo Grande (250 per person) = 500
Dinner = 7

Total = 512.4 (416.4 over budget)

28/10/09, Campo Grande

4 packs of fags = 12
4 day tour of the Pantanal plus free night in hostel (315 per person) = 630
Shopping = 22
Gear = 35
The dude that sold us the tour hooked us up.
3 packs of fags = 9

Total = 708 (612 over budget)

caiman in the Pantanal

caiman in the Pantanal

29/10/09, Pantanal

Sausage rolls = 4
Drink = 6
Limes, mosquito coils, washing soap & drink = 15.30

Total = 25.30 (70.7 under budget)

30/10/09, Pantanal

2 drinks = 6
Beer = 3

Total = 9 (87 under budget)

capybara

capybara

31/10/09, Pantanal

Nothing

Total = 0 (96 under budget)

01/11/09, On bus to Foz Iguazu

Tip to guides = 20
Drinks = 18
Bus from Campo Grande to Foz Iguazu (145 per person) = 290
Dinner = 16
Fags and lighter = 9
Tampax = 5

Total = 358 (262 over budget)

Running Totals

Argentina $1,079, Bolivia $1,016, Peru $1,904, Equador $594.15, Colombia $1,000, Venezuela $1,039 and Brazil $4,415

Total Spent = $11,047 US Dollars

Total Budget = $9,300

Total Difference = $1,747 (in the red)

So pushing on 2 grand over budget by the time we left Brazil. Still, an incredible country. For more information about Brazil check out Brazil-istics Part One

Fishing in the Pantanal

Fishing in the Pantanal