Destination Rio de Janeiro, the third travel to the former capital of Brazil.
A walk of several kilometers from Urca to Lagoa, along the beaches of Leme, Copacabana, Arpoador, and Ipanema.
Day 5, 11.00
When you go to bed at seven in the morning, it is quite logic that you won’t get up at eight. We all slept until eleven. Jader had another crazy brainstorm for that day. He suggested to walk a little. Our first goal was the local padaria (bakery) at the other side of the campus, for our cheap sandwich with butter, and fresh coffee. That day, it was our first day we didn’t take the bus. We would walk all distances.
Our first destination was Leme Beach. It was our intention to stay there for a maximum of thirty minutes. On the way to the beach, I wanted to visit the local tourist information center. I was about to obtain another city plan. The others looked at me sceptically. Strange Dutch! I entered the center, and was joined by Nadia. I asked for a city plan, and Nadia asked a plan too. She requested for another one, but she was kindly refused. The employee asked where we were from. Nadia was from Belo Horizonte. I had a better idea. I told her that I came from Holland. Immediately, this older employee shook awake. Her face showed a big smile, and she answered me in poor Dutch that the had visited the Netherlands, and that she was a local guide for Dutch tourists in Rio various times. She gratefully handed me an extra city map.
Nadia looked at us with her mouth and eyes wide open. She hadn’t understood anything of what we were talking about, Dutch sounded like Chinese to her. She also was surprised that I had managed to obtain another city map. And even Nadia got another one. A huge exception, she was told. Nadia told this story enthusiastically to the others. As a result, the others entered the center too. In order to obtain their own city map. Why, strange Dutch? Strange Brazilians!
Again, it was a warm and sunny day. There were hardly any clouds in the sky. Wonderful! We settled down on the white beach at Leme. The beach was not crowded. The summer holidays hadn’t started yet, and most people prefer the popularity of Copacabana Beach. How will it be during Carnival? I really can imagine that people will have to battle then for their little area on the beach.
Less than an hour later, we left Leme, and we strolled along the shoreline of Copacabana Beach. Nadia, Mariana and I were searching for intact and colorful seashells. Indeed, at certain locations, there were heaps of shells. Many of those shells had a tiny hole: some creature had managed to consume them. Copacabana Beach is about four kilometers long, but we walked slowly. It was already three o’ clock when we reached the Fortress of Copacabana. Jader wanted to continue our walk, he wanted to watch a show at night. A free music show. So we had to walk some more kilometers….
In order to reach the beaches of Arpoador and Ipanema, we had to continue part of our walk in the streets. Along Rua Francisco Otaviano, and then through the small but very famous park `Garota da Ipanema`. We stretched our legs on Arpoador Beach, for about one hour. It was Jader again, who urged us to move on. It was about time for our lunch. The neighborhood of Ipanema was quite familiar for me, thanks to my previous travels to Rio. Jader, however, is more familiar there, and guided us to a cheap restaurant, in the middle of Ipanema. For the price of five reais, we got a full plate with rice, beans, salad, and fried chicken; more than enough for our empty stomachs.
We no longer walked along the beach, we now followed a road that connects the beach with Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. It is some kind of a local lake within Ipanema, which is considered as an upper-class district. The lake itself is not that small; big enough to have the complete historical center of Rio fit in. Its perimeter is little more than ten kilometers. The margin of that lake is also a jogging track, which measures 10.2 km. We noticed many joggers and cyclists. Young people, older people, men, women. As if I were back again in Los Angeles or San Francisco, where large numbers of sporters try to keep themselves in good shape. We only had to walk few hundred meters more to notice another way of keeping your body in good shape.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom © 2007, 2015