Destination Rio de Janeiro, the third travel to the former capital of Brazil.
Little Praia Vermelha, the red beach in Urca.
Day 2, 3 pm.
We were in the campus of UniRio in Urca. We had spread our travel mattresses, set up our tents. Quite strange to have tents inside a classroom. But very effective. The modern tents are easy to assemble, you don’t need to anchor the tents with tent pegs in the linoleum floor. The air conditioning was not that powerful to blow away the tents. Some tents were even to be locked with padlocks, very safe! I took this advantage to have my belongings locked inside one tent. Six of us (nine in total) decided to have a long nap and to test the relatively comfortable mattresses. I didn’t need a nap. It was sunny outside, and I had to stay inside then. I would sleep later that day, during the night. And I was not the only one with this thought. Juliana and Mariana shared my thoughts; we decided to leave the campus and walk around.
The two ladies went to the bathroom to change their clothes. The bathroom was, besides a closed tent, the only space for some privacy. Fortunately, they didn’t need much time. We filled our plastic bottles with fresh, cold water from drinking fountains, which were located in front of the bathrooms. Such fountains are very common in Brazil. It can be warm, even hot, in Brazil all year long, and Brazilians are used to drink a lot. The fountains with built-in coolers are everywhere. You don’t need coins to operate them, water is for free. Unfortunately, you won’t find the fountains where water is sold in bottles. In order to avoid unfair competition…
We left the campus and turned right. It was impossible to get lost, because a little beach was at about five hundred meters in front of the campus. This beach was only two hundred meters wide, with colored sand. That’s why it’s called Praia Vermelha, the Red Beach. The beach was quite crowded, with many locals, and already with some students, who could be easily identified by the bright yellow wristbands. We were not the only students who preferred the beach to the dormitory. We found some space on the beach. The two ladies – a blond student and a brunette, who works as an employee at the university, dived into the sea. I already was aware that the water was not that warm; I found that out during my previous travels to Rio. The cold gulf stream is responsible for the relatively low sea temperature. However, the temperature is still a bit higher than the water of the North Sea along the Dutch shoreline during summer. But I really prefer the warm waters in the Northeast of Brazil, like in Porto de Galinhas. Just about 25 degrees. Delicious!
Juliana and Mariana were real die hards, they endured the cold water. Especially Juliana loved the water. I stayed on the beach, kept an eye on their belongings. I lied down and observed the tiny clouds in the clear blue sky. I freed my thoughts, allowed them to float with the clouds… The two girls returned, their bodies completely covered with numerous water drops that were sparkling in the bright sunlight. The shivered a bit, because of the sudden transition from comfortable seawater to chilly air. They sat down at either side of me. We chatted, we learned to know each other more. Juliana had her camera with her. She made pictures of us, and I made pictures of her and Mariana with her camera.
As if it was agreed together, we lied down at the same time. ‘Que vida chata!’, would a Brazilian say. How terrible is life! A lot of heavy rain showers in Belo Horizonte, and here… I closed my eyes. I opened my eyes again. Juliana and Mariana appeared to be sleeping yet. I looked at my cell phone. And I had to look again. It was already five-thirty. I couldn’t believe that. We were already on the beach for more than two hours! And all three of us enjoying a peaceful nap. Me, in the middle of two beautiful ladies, not a bad deal….
Again, as if it was agreed together, the two girls awoke shortly after me. They also were very surprised, when they noticed the time. We refreshed ourselves in the water, after we had hidden our belongings under the canga. Now my body had been exposed to the sun for more than two hours, the water felt very comfortable. Despite the fact that my skin was exposed to the sun for two hours, I hadn’t burnt my skin. The sunburn cream worked very well. I only had some tiny red spots on my shoulder, from the time when we waited to register ourselves. The two girls checked the contours that the bikinis left on their bronzed skins. They indeed were more tanned, from light bronze to almost morena. My skin was slightly reddened. It would gradually turn into light bronze. My Dutch skin is gradually become adapted to the Brazilian tropical climate.
Six pm. It was about time to leave the beach, take a shower, and get dressed for our first cultural night of that week. It was a cultural event that we were participating, we had to taste at least some bites of the cultural dish. And that night, it was the first cultural meal, to be tasted.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (53). The UNIRIO Dormitory in Urca (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- PANORAMIC BRAZIL: Palácio Tiradentes, Rio de Janeiro (RJ) (adrianoantoine.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (50). Start of the Third Travel to Rio de Janeiro (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (52). Enrollment for UNE Cultural Biennial in Rio (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: RIO DE JANEIRO (51). Third Bus Travel to Rio de Janeiro (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)