Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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On Copacabana Beach.

An 8 hour flight on American Airlines (terrible all male crew- gave us breakfast so late we were practically eating it on the runway as we landed) and we were in Rio de Janeiro, the ‘marvellous city”. Traffic is awful and our taxi driver insisted in giving us a commentary using google translate on his i-Phone with Ben which meant he didn’t have any spare hands for the wheel, rather scary! The slow traffic meant that drink sellers line the motorways and seem to be doing a good trade. We drove past the infamous Favela’s (slums) often portrayed as being wracked with violence and constant drug wars. Police are a massive presence here, on most street corners and even outside our apartment near Copacabana Beach. Some even carrying semi-automatic weapons. We have not felt unsafe here at all but maybe that’s because the pacification policy is working, although it’s a controversial one.

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It’s been about 32c here during the day so we’ve been catching up on schoolwork in the mornings and heading to the beach most afternoons.

Jucati Apartments our home for the week.

Jucati Apartments our home for the week.

Catching up on Maths.

Catching up on Maths.

Copacabana and Ipanema beaches are very long and wide and quite lovely for what are essentially city beaches. The surf can be a bit too rough for much of a swim, particularly for Ollie, as the currents are strong, but it’s great for people watching. The bikinis are REALLY tiny and EVERYONE is kicking a football. Plus you don’t need to move much as beach vendors sell food, beer, prawns, blankets and even spare bikini’s should you need them. Ben is pleased that relative to the USA food is cheap and the boys have fallen in love with vendor food from cooked sweetcorn and caramel popcorn to chocolate churros all for under a pound. Cameron bought a bat and ball game, popular here with the locals who play it on courts on the beach, and we’ve been learning to play. And of course we sang the song for you Tony!

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Ipanema Beach

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Not the offal!

Not speaking Portuguese has been limiting but we keep trying and people help you out. We’ve even managed to catch local buses to the beach and markets, but the drivers are speed freaks and you have to hold on tight.  Ordering in restaurants can be amusing though, Ben ended up with a load of offal on a plate while I enjoyed a nice fresh salad tonight! Otherwise the food is very good, the Brazilian’s like their beef so lots of grilled meats, rice and beans are the specialty, delicious to a family of carnivores like us!  Freshly squeezed juice is also popular, in particular Acai berry juice (a superfood apparently) which is served very sweet and has slightly chocolate undertones.  Ollie drinks his body weight in Watermelon juice everyday and Cameron will try anything (except the offal, that was all Ben’s!) Tomorrow we have a tour with a local Cariocan (term for the locals – see the word RIO in this?) to give us a better understanding of Brazilian culture and improve our vocab!

Cameron's favourite!

Cameron’s favourite!

On the local bus. See the turnstile in the aisle?

On the local bus. See the turnstile in the aisle?

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10 Responses to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  1. Sharon says:

    Rio looks amazing – apart from the tiny bikinis !! I’m with you on the churros Cameron they are one of my favourites to ( which is probably why I’m not in the tiny bikini brigade!!). S x

    • Adele says:

      The churros are not even the best deserts here. In the evenings there are carts being wheeled around the streets filled with puddings that you buy slices from to eat while you are strolling. The favourite flavours here are coconut, lemon and passionfruit with a cheesecake consistency.

  2. Stephen McDonnell says:

    Wow, what a fascinating place Rio seems to be. I am so pleased Ben has found somewhere where he can feed his family for a reasonable cost and as a bonus can wear his thong without fear of disparaging comments.
    Are you going to see the fisherman on the mountain….(Honestly that trout was this big!)… Now I have said that I reckon I have ruined that one for you.
    Stay safe yall…

    • Ben Walker says:

      I am past caring what people think of me, so have been wearing my thong with pride at every opportunity since we left the UK! The cost of food is definitely a bonus although we splashed out on a Thai meal the other day so now we’re on rations of bread and water for 2 days until we get the budget back on track! Fortunately, we got to see the fisherman before your post so we got to get the proper experience!! Hope all ok with you guys….

  3. Amelia South says:

    Hi Cameron,
    We’ve heard about Rio in Geography, the teacher said it was really pretty, I’d love to go there some day. It’s great to read all your news!
    Have fun!
    Amelia x

    • Cameron Walker says:

      Bom dia Amelia (good day) in Portuguese

      Rio was incredible and the whether was sunny every day! We did a great tour of the city and saw Christ the Redeemer and a rain forest with some cute monkeys. We also went on the cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. What is your favourite thing you have learnt about Rio in lessons?

      From
      Cameron:-)

  4. Nick D says:

    What a great blog, I feel like I’m with you guys on the beach admiring the bikinis with Ben 🙂 you all look soooo well and having a great time. Missed you all on bonfire night. Great to see Olie studying hard on his maths and Cammo tasting the local specialities. Nick xxxx

    • Ben Walker says:

      Hi mate, good to hear from you, its a shame that you guys aren’t with us, you’d love it in Brazil! We’re now 4 hours south of Rio having some down time in a small resort owned by 2 Dutch guys. By co-incidence, one of them met Martien and spent a few days travelling with him in Australia back in 1996, just before I met him! All is good here, we are definitely relaxed and enjoying our time together. We did a boat trip yesterday and even had Pink Floyd playing on the stereo so all good!!! Hope you guys are ok and the car is behaving itself!! Cheers, Benj

  5. Tony Brown says:

    Sounds like your American Airlines experience was similar to ours coming back from Miami-they make BA staff seem friendly !
    Glad you sung the Copacabana song- what a timeless classic.
    I’m sure Ben has enjoyed the tiny bikinis!
    Cheers
    Tony

    • Ben Walker says:

      Definitely the US’s equivalent of Ryan Air I reckon……to say that the service was shabby would be an understatement…..the stewards spent most of the flight asleep!

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