The Americas Revisted travel blog


Today at 9.30 we lwave the Hotel to catch the ferry back to the maninland. The ferry is and hour and a half and the sun is shining and the water calm so it is a pleasant ride. The bus waits for us and we then travel along the coast toward Rio de Janiero. Through the thick forest we can somteimes catch glimpses of bays and sandy beaches or harbours with boats moored. It is really a pretty drive. We stop at a roadside restaurant for 30 minutes to grab some empanandas or similar and then back on the road. As we get closer to Rio we of course hit traffic. It doesnt slow us too much and we catch our first glimpse of Christ the Redeemer on the highest point in Rio overlooking the city. We see sugarloaf mountain and the hills of favellas that border the city. 6.5 million live in Rio and about half of those, 3 million live in the favellas. Surpringly the favellas are not far from the posh areas and have million dollar views over the city and coast. We check in and Diego takes us on a walking oreintation tour of Rio. We walk down to Copacabana beach and along the path next to the sand. The beach is 4 kms long and we are starting our walk at section no 5. There are historic forts at both ends of Copacabana beach, Fort Copacabana, built in 1914, is at the south end and Fort Duque de Caxias, built in 1779, at the north end. We then walk past Fort Copacabana to Ipanema Beach. Ipanema's beach culture includes surfers and sun bathers who gather daily at the beach. Every Sunday, the roadway closest to the beach is closed to motor vehicles allowing local residents and tourists to ride bikes, roller skate, skateboard, and walk along the ocean. Ipanema is one of Rio's most expensive districts to live in; private investment has led to the building of world-class restaurants, shops, and cafés. There is always a bit of rivalry over which beach is better. I think Copacabana is! Both are wide and have lovely white sand so it is hard to choose. We stop at the cafe where the girl from Ipanema was written byIpanema's beach culture includes surfers and sun bathers who gather daily at the beach. Every Sunday, the roadway closest to the beach is closed to motor vehicles allowing local residents and tourists to ride bikes, roller skate, skateboard, and walk along the ocean. Ipanema is one of Rio's most expensive districts to live in; private investment has led to the building of world-class restaurants, shops, and cafés. We stop at the cafe Ipanema's beach culture includes surfers and sun bathers who gather daily at the beach. Every Sunday, the roadway closest to the beach is closed to motor vehicles allowing local residents and tourists to ride bikes, roller skate, skateboard, and walk along the ocean. Ipanema is one of Rio's most expensive districts to live in; private investment has led to the building of world-class restaurants, shops, and cafés.

We stop at the cafe where the song, “The Girl from Ipanema” a bossa nova jazz song was written in 1962 by Jobim and Moraes. The inspiration for the song came while the two songwriters were sat in a café-bar called Veloso in Ipanema in the early ’60s. Every day they would see a beautiful young girl walk by while out shopping or on her way to the beach. The first recording came in 1962 by Pery Ribeiro, but it only became a worldwide hit in 1964.

We wander back to the Hotel and later we head out for a drink in a bar and then to dinner. Sarah, Phil and I first and Diego joins us later. I had risotto, Phil, steak with mushrooms and Sarah, crumbed snitzel. Good food and right on the road with Copcabana beach beyond. This is to be the restaurant for the final dinner althoughwe wont be there as we are going on a Lapa tour of the night spots.



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