Hello Friends, Family, & Fellow Adventurers,
We made it to Rio! Now many of you might be saying "didn't they leave weeks ago?"
Yes, but there has been a lot to get acquainted with in Copacabana, Brazil:
- miles of gorgeous beach filled with nearly naked gorgeous people
- totally new and magical tropical fruits
- live music wafting from alleys and bodegas
- tropical weather (see previous nearly naked people comment)
- not to mention it is CARNIVAL aka Halloween meets the most epic 24/7 weeklong, citywide block party
Needless to say, we are top notch!
Now, before we dive into photos galore, we want to send a sincere thanks to our team of worriers. Yes, we heard about the Zika virus. No, neither of us have microcephaly. Yes, we are being cautious. In fact, bug spray has become our official daily perfume!
(Yes Mom, the OFF! I'm holding contains DEET.)
We did a day trip to Urca, which is the most traditional and wealthy residential neighborhood in Rio. Although most of the neighborhood dates from the 1920s, parts of it look colonial. It is also considered one of the safest areas of the city as it is home to the Forte São João military base at the foot of the Pão de Açúcar or Sugarloaf Mountain. There is beautiful walking path that wraps around the bay with jungle to one side and gorgeous views of many small offshore islands and the ocean beyond.
Here we caught our first glimpse of Marmosets, known here as Micas, and boy are they cute! We could not figure out why the locals stared at us taking photos, until we later realized they are basically the squirrels of Rio, and if you look around you can catch them running on phone lines and jumping from tree to tree.
We ended our day watching a tropical sunset from the most delicious restaurant: Julius Brasserie. This view accompanied by ceviche, grilled ostrich, and local goat cheese bruschetta was priceless. We found our happy place
After a few short days in Copacabana, we moved north to the neighborhood of Santa Teresa, where we were generously hosted by our friend, Henrique, and his family for 10 days. Santa Teresa is located on top of a hill, closer to the heart of Rio, and is famous for its winding, narrow streets. It is also chalked full of magnificent ruins of mansions from the 1920s, and the neighborhood has been revived as a bohemian mecca. It is home to renowned street artists, art studios, and galleries, and has vibe similar to Haight Ashbury in San Francisco.
Perhaps one of the more famous public works is Escadaria Selarón. Straddling both the Lapa and Santa Teresa neighborhoods, Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón (pictured in the sexy red shorts below) began renovating the dilapidated steps that ran along the front of his house in 1990. There are now 250 steps which are covered in roughly 2000 tiles collected from over 60 countries around the world.
We moved back to Copacabana a few days ago, and we will be more diligent about bringing the camera around our own neighborhood in the coming weeks. Carnival technically ends this weekend, so we will also be sorting through the thousands of photos from that and sharing them in installment 2, so come on back next Sunday, ya hear?
Happy Valentine's Day from Rio!