February 4, 2012

The Girl From Ipanema

Greetings from Rio de Janeiro! We arrived safely on Thursday evening after a 28-hour journey that took us from Los Angeles through Santiago, Chile and into the southern hemisphere’s most famous city.

We’ve been here less than 24 hours and already we’ve picked up at least 15 words or phrases in Portuguese. The language barrier is obvious, but we are trying to make the best of it! Right now small wins – like figuring out which bus stop to get off at, or even showering – feel like big accomplishments. For the next week, we’re based in a hostel about a block from the famous Ipanema Beach.

Since we basically no have room in our backpacks for souvenirs, we purposefully left behind our flip flops and beach towels in San Diego so that we could buy them in Brazil. It didn’t take long to figure out that Havaianas are the flip flop of choice…they are EVERYWHERE! We found the official Havaianas store in the nearby Copacabana neighborhood, and before we knew it, we were proud new Havaianas owners, walking around as the locals do.

 Now that we had our essential gear, we were off to the beach!

Earlier in the day we had spent hours walking the boardwalk and were so surprised to find very few people trying to sell goods. It all made sense as soon as we actually got down on the sand. The beach was basically a highway for hawkers, selling everything from bikinis and jewelry to acai bowls, grilled shrimp, and the Brazilian version of an Arnold Palmer – served from two large silver jugs that the hawkers have slung from their shoulders.

An observation that’s been pretty obvious from the moment we arrived is that Brazilian men take good care of themselves. We see lots of them on jogs in their speedos, and in general, they are fit and handsome. Unfortunately, the eye candy hasn’t been as good for Steve. Aside from four very attractive girls playing a legit game of beach volleyball, the women of Rio haven’t lived up to our expectations yet…but their bathing suits sure have!

The days are hot (90 degrees), the ocean is cold (take your breath away temperatures), and the sun stays up in the sky seemingly forever. It’s summertime in Rio!

1 comment:

  1. Too funny to hear about the women down there. I had heard that they were gorgeous. Also heard that they are big on plastic surgery down there, but don't shave their legs!! I'm glad your trip has started off well.