Day 95: Walk Around The Beaches

Fri. 16th November 2012

Copacabana a bit busierIt is our last day close to Copacabana Beach before moving to the centre of Rio and the weather is still not lazing on the beach sunny. Having said that, as this is a bank holiday weekend in Rio the beach is busy – like you would see on Brighton beach – all wrapped up but determined to build sandcastles and enjoy. Instead of sunbathing, we opt for a walk along the beach and around the headland to Ipanema beach. It was definitely more wet suit weather and surfing time than bikini time. There were quite a few heads bobbing in the water waiting for the right wave.

I might have guessed Dave had the Starbucks app on his phone at the ready and it just happened there was a Starbucks nearby. The Christmas songs playing and logo on the cups was too much in mid November! I know I am not sure what Christmas will bring this year with none of the usual weather or decorations at home (I nearly bought a foot high plastic tree for less than a £1 but resisted). It will be our first Christmas without the boys but we do have Skype booked.

Surfs upIpanema beach is separated by a canal from the next beach Leblon but it is very dreary and not worth the walk. At the canal we turned inland to where the canal joined a large lagoon, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, and I was reminded of Christmas yet again as there is an enormous tree being decorated to be floated around the lagoon from December 1st.

Yes, an enormous Christmas TreeNot tempted by the pedaloes or “Boris” bikes, we headed for a cafe for lunch before collecting our luggage to transfer hotels. As we had been walking for the best part of two hours and the Metro stations are not overly convenient for our transfer we opted for a taxi which was much easier but, given the traffic, not necessarily much quicker. This will not help our budget but never mind.

There are a couple of cafes across the road from our hotel so we sit out for a drink just before 6pm, whilst it is still safe to venture out. Quite pleasant until the church bells start and make us jump. We checked at 7pm that the double glazing in our room worked, otherwise the earplugs would be out again.

Pretty little church - shame about the noisy bells!The location of our hotel, Sao Francisco, reminds us of the heart of the city in London where everything is shut outside office hours. As we walked around everyone, was busy getting home after a days work and the only places to eat here are McDonalds and KFC – we couldn’t find any restaurants at all worth the name. Fortunately, the buffet in the hotel is reasonable (in both price and quality) so we opt for that rather than taking a taxi further afield and heed the Trip Advisor reviews which do not recommend walking at night. We have most of tomorrow to explore downtown Rio before our flight to Buenos Aires so content ourselves with an early night watching Harry Potter on TV. (We have watched almost no TV since leaving the UK, so this is a bit of a treat).


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