Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Day 1

And then there was light!! The sunshine radiated from the sky over Rio today lifting my spirits along with everyone’s around me and so off to the beach a/k/a Zona Azul in Leblon we went where the beautiful people in Brazilian bikinis meet the voracious ocean tides and where the surf was most definitely up and the caipirinhas most definitely were going down. I can’t decide whether I was more taken by the view of the Rio coastline or more taken (quite literally) by the enormous tides as on two separate occasions the tide came so far up the beach that it swallowed me, all my things and all the other beach goers in one mouthful. Thank goodness for all my waterproof camera equipment (thanks Go Pro) and somewhat waterproof pack (thanks REI and Osprey) as all was salvaged! In addition to watching out for overly aggressive tides caused in part by last night’s Super Moon I’m sure, one must be wary of the aggressive thievery that occurs with great occasion here in Brazil. Just a quick reminder to be cautious and if you must leave your stuff, leave it with a family sitting nearby on the beach to watch over before heading for a swim.

Following the dance of death which I laughingly refer to as my swim in the ocean today, I spent hours attempting to get the sand out of my clothes, my hair and, of course, my girly parts so I could get dressed for my next dance at the highly popular local samba dance club in Lapa appropriately named Rio Scenarium. Lapa is where Rio’s real nightlife is I’m told not in the more affluent areas of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana at least for the locals. Lapa is a well known area for samba dancing, drinking and other hedonistic chicanery; however, while a lovely evening, it was a quiet one because of the Brazilian holiday Proclamaçāo da República which commemorates the day when Brazil’s second emperor, Dom Pedro II, was removed from power on November 15, 1889 and the United States of Brazil was declared by Field Marshall Deodora da Fonseca. Unlike Independence Day in America though, it was more a day of rest from the office for Brazilians rather than a day of celebration as other than the Guns N’ Roses concert here in Rio, it was primarily dead in Lapa tonight and in Copacabana at Mud Bugs where I later met, Martin -the friend I made while traveling in Dubrovnik this summer. We had a few laughs when, among other things, I taught Martin about the amazing Uber app and Martin exclaimed “oh it’s like Tinder but for cabs”.

So beaches and Brazilian bathing suits in Rio (I donned one as well…when in Rome…) on a beautiful day and samba and far away friends on a beautiful night, what more could one ask for? How about hand gliding? Yes! Great idea! That is tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. so off to bed I go my friends. Lots of love and liberty on Republic Day from Rio.

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