South America Day 2 - Copacabana

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January 10th 2019
Published: January 10th 2019
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We get up and go for breakfast. We deal with yesterday’s dietary deficiencies by consuming a mountain of fruit – mainly mango – the sweetest, juiciest mango I have ever tasted. I also have some sausage and eggs, although there’s a slight delay in proceedings while a women attempts to light her cigarette on the heat source under the breakfast buffet.

Then we set forth along Copacabana Beach. It’s 8.30 and the prom is already heaving with walkers, runners and cyclists out for their morning constitutional. It’s like an exotic Bournemouth; we have the Overcliff, they have Sugarloaf mountain.

We walk the full 4 km length of the beach, and back again. By the end it is 36 degrees and we’re rather warm and sweaty.

After a pit stop at a beach bar, we round off our morning with a visit to Copacabana Fort, perched on a peninsula with a stunning view across Copacabana Beach to Sugarloaf Mountain. The fort also houses an Army Museum, which is enjoyable. It’s probably quite interesting (I’m not sure, it’s all in Portuguese) but it definitely has great air conditioning.

We stop at a supermarket to purchase copious amounts of liquids, then head back to the hotel to cool down and embrace the siesta.

In the evening, once the temperature has dropped to an almost manageable 32 degrees, we set off for to Ipanema. It’s super mega busy. It looks like photos I’ve seen of Benidorm in the 70s when the British discovered the package holiday.

We walk along the prom for a while then can’t resist heading for the the tourist trap of Garota de Ipanema, the bar where the song ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ was written. We have a beer (or two) then go and get dinner somewhere considerably cheaper and less touristy. We return to the pizza bar opposite our hotel where we bought beer last night and order a pizza and some chips to share. The amount of food that is produced is akin to an episode of Man v Food. The portions are enormous and the layer of cheese is as thick as the pizza base.

Once we have been defeated by dinner, it’s back to the hotel for cheese sweats and an early night. After today’s gentle introduction to Rio, tomorrow we go hardcore tourist and head for Christ the Redeemer.

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