To comfort a failed attempt at visiting Rio’s famed Botanical Gardens (who doesn’t have card machines anyway these days???????????) condensed milk popcorn was in order, and yes you heard that right; condensed milk is extremely popular throughout Brazil, it being used as a topping for cakes, doughnuts, ice cream, fruits and more. Including popcorn. On the streets of both Rio and Recife are tiny vendors selling popcorn, salty or sweet. The salty variety is usually topped with something called Bottle Butter – which is exactly as it sounds. The contrary is coated in a slightly crunchy caramel and topped with runny condensed milk. When consuming make sure to have some napkins and bottled water to dribble on your fingers when done, the popcorn makes a rather sticky, yet un-regrettably tasty, mess.
In the hopes of being second time lucky with seeing Christ, we abandoned plans to see Ipanema beach and hurried to Corcovado. At night the statue is illuminated and has a supposedly beautiful view of the sunset over Rio. But alas, as if luck were our utmost nemesis, the moment we reached the ticket office they had unforeseeably shut, admittedly randomly. The friendly employee offered her sincerest apologies to us and another frustrated and confused couple as my eye twitched and I forced a smile and sympathetic eyebrow raise. Maybe tomorrow would be the day.
Copacabana was clearly the only way to drown our sorrows, and hurriedly we jumped on a bus of death and headed to the famous coast for moonlit snacks, drinks and music. Many a mojito, various other cocktail, pastel and beer later, our time in Rio came to a magical finish, with the sea breeze in the air and live acoustic local music as the soundtrack for our last night in the famous city.