A 25,000 kms drive around South America - Oct/Nov 2001

Starting and finishing on Copacapana Beach, Rio de Janeiro. Driving 25,000 kms through six countries: Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Uruguay. One hundred cars: fifty classics and fifty 4x4's.

Rio de Janeiro

Sightseeing with Nicky and Steve. Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar). 2 cable-cars. Stunning views from top - very clear day - we could see Christ the Redeemer, our hotel, the fort and the beaches.  Had a drink halfway down and the sun came out, getting hot very quickly.

Drove to Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas to Steve and Nicky's flat overlooking lake. Fabulous position, high security.

Walked to a lakeside cafe for lunch then by car to Tijuca Forest and Chinese Vista - more wonderful views over the whole city. Tea at flat. Walked along Copacabana in evening to open-air restaurant - prawn risotto.

Rio de Janeiro

We left Heathrow on the BA flight to Rio that went via Sao Paulo. A long overnight flight that took for ages!

We were met at at Rio airport by Nicky Wheeler which was very welcome after 13 hours on our plane, including the hour on ground at Sao Paulo. Nicky drove us to our hotel on Copacapana Beach, the Hotel Sofitel, The hotel is in wonderful position towards the end of Copacabana Beach, overlooking the beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain. The weather is warm but very overcast. Here is a photo of the hotel on a sunny day.Our room was located in the left hand tower (in the shade).

View of Copacapana Beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain from our hotel window.

We unpacked and then took a walk along Ipanema Beach (more locals there) and saw a surfing competition. We had lunch in an unassuming restaurant - Barril 1800. Fabulous food. Back to hotel via Antiques Fair. Bought jacaranda statue of Virgin and silver-plated 1930s knife rests. Finally went to bed about 7pm.