Concluding their epic trek through the Americas, Brazil is the latest country to be scratched off Marko and Alex’s destination map.
After a series of flights crisscrossing South America, the boys touched ground in the tropical state of Pernambuco. Eager to ditch the backpacks and explore Brazil, Marko and Alex sought to tread as much ground as humanly possible. With only one week to spare, however, destinations had to be carefully selected. With their sights set on the northeastern beaches of Recife and the iconic city of Rio de Janeiro, the familiar flow of their hectic daily travel diary soon returned.
Ignoring the gloomy clouds ahead, the boys spent the first day exploring Olinda – a picturesque colonial town overlooking the port of Old Recife. Stopping off to rest their weary feet, the boys tucked into some traditional cuisine and a couple of caipirinhas at Patua Restaurant.
With the city being renowned for its flamboyant carnival filled with celebrity floats and vibrant puppetry, next up on the Brazilian agenda was a visit to lead puppeteer, Leandro, at Embaixada de Pernambuco. Posing by images of Gene Simmons, Pelé, Michael Jackson and Che Guevara, the boys got a taste of life in the limelight. Turns out they really like being in front of the camera. Who knew?!
Continuing on with their cultural explorations, Marko and Alex ventured to the artistic oasis of Francisco Brennand - a fascinating museum housed within a rustic brick building. After studying local sculptures, ceramics and paintings, the boys worked up quite an appetite (food never strays far from their minds!). Stopping off at Spettus Steak House to sample the local Brazilian delicacy of churrascaria – a rotisserie barbeque served direct to your plate – a relaxing catamaran cruise down the coast was required to recover from their impending food comas.
Next up was Rio de Janiero. With high hopes for the bustling city, the boys headed directly to their hostel – Lagoa Guesthouse. After a good night’s kip, the next day was spent ticking off big bucket list activities – catching the funicular to Christ the Redeemer, riding the cable car up Sugar Loaf Mountain and gazing at Ipanema Beach. Finishing the day in true South American style, Marko and Alex saw out the evening with a fervent football match at Maracaná stadium.
Believing that nothing could top their first day in Rio – oh how wrong they were – Marko and Alex began day two staggering to the top of Pedra Bonita Mountain. Led by Thiago of Jungle Me Tours, the trio trudged through Tijuca National Park – a forest neatly nestled between surrounding city skyscrapers. Reaching the apex of their climb, they relaxed and took in the breathtaking views across Rio’s variegated coastline. Not for long, however, as moments later – following a short safety demonstration and minor panic by Marko – all three had lunged themselves from the mountain, hang-gliding over the cityscape below. Another bucket list item down.
After a smooth beach-side landing, much to the surprise of a few sunbathing stragglers, Marko and Alex were taken back up into the air by helicopter. We certainly know how to treat them. Taking in the city by sunset, they admired sweeping vistas over Ipanema and Copacabana Beach before swooping around to take in the dramatic silhouette of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Heading home for their final Brazilian bucket list activity, Alex and Marko ended the day by learning how to Samba at the dance club Carioca da Gema. No need to expand on this; let’s just say hip-sashaying comes surprisingly naturally to these two Californian surfers! To recuperate the next morning, and before saying their final goodbyes to Rio, the boys enjoyed a gourmet breakfast at Hotel Praia Ipanema’s rooftop restaurant – Espaço 7zero6. Now, that’s the way to top off your trip!
A huge thank you to SETUR, the Tourist Board of Pernambuco, for all their help in welcoming the brothers to Recife.
Want to know what’s next in store for Marko and Alex? Then keep an eye on our blog and tune in to BBBtv…
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Category: Biggest Baddest Bucket List