January 13th ~ Rio de Janeiro
A morning flight from Foz do Iguacu to Rio de Janeiro was followed by a short drive to check into our hotel. We caught our first glimpse of the “Christ the Redeemer” statue along the way, but our visit would have to wait until the next day.
After time to rest and freshen up, Juani took us on a walking tour so we could get an introduction to Brazil’s most famous beaches, Copacabana and Ipanema.
The Hotel Santa Clara was only about 6-8 blocks from the beach. We could have been in one of several large latin cities along our walk, but once we arrived at Copacabana Beach, WOW, there was no mistaking that we were in Rio.
It was just as you might imagine. Warm, sunny, a beach full of sun bathers, skimpy bathing suits, volleyball games, people hawking anything from drinks to bathing suits to water toys. The powdery white sand felt soft beneath our bare feet as we drank it all in.
It is only a short walk from Copacabana to the more elite Ipanema Beach.
After walking along the boardwalk, we hiked up a low hill at the end of the beach to take in sweeping views.
And you just never know when a musical group will pop up and start to entertain you.
We decided to join the youngsters on an optional Carnival practice session that did not start until late into the evening. Picked up at our hotel by a small bus around 10:00 p.m., we were driven to a large indoor complex since the weather was dreary and more rain was in the forecast.
Before being dropped off, our guide for the evening informed us that the bus would return us back to our hotel around 2:30 a.m. He also mentioned that if we went outside, we would not be allowed back in.
I had hoped to see some of the exquisite dancing and the exotic costumes. Instead we were in a large room, packed with people where it quickly became almost impossible to move, listening to music blaring so loudly that even with my ears covered, it hurt…
Boy-oh-boy our age is showing!
I lasted about 15 minutes.
Locating our guide to inform him that we were leaving early so that he would not be looking for us at the end of the evening, he was kind enough to help us get an Uber ride back to our hotel.
We spoke to the three who had remained when we saw them at breakfast the next morning to find out what we had missed. They too had found it loud, but did enjoy seeing the dancers who eventually had put on a bit of a show. None of us thought that it was worth the optional $60 expense however.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we are more than willing to try something new, even if it does not turn out to be what we had hoped for. Sometimes we land right in the middle of something special, and other times not so much. But without trying, we would never know.
Next stop: Corcovado Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain