Changing my mind

It is funny how life changes and how the experiences we live during our lifetime can change our opinion about something.

As you might imagine by the photos I’ve been posting lately, I’m living quite near Copacabana beach.

I had never liked Copacabana neighborhood very much. When I thought about Copacabana it always came to my mind the busy and noisy streets, the crowded sidewalks of Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana and  all those street vendors seeking tourists to buy their brazilian souvenirs.

Copacabana beach itself has never  been one of my favorite beaches in Rio, maybe because my parents had never taken me there when I was a kid,or just because I always thought that it was just for tourists.

But now, that I’m living around here, I’m having the opportunity to know and experiment the nice and pleasant things about Copacabana. I am discovering that there are different “Copacabanas” in the big Copacabana neighborhood  and that there is just a perfect spot for yourself. Walking on the sand of Copacabana beach  I just found out that Copacabana is probably the most democratic beach in Rio de Janeiro.

You will find lots of tourists,but also lots of cariocas praticing sports like beach volley, beach soccer, stand up paddle surf and body boarding. You will find elderly people doing their morning walk, or couples with kids just playing around in the water.

And also lots of  cyclists riding their bikes and enjoying the beautiful scenery of Copacabana beach. Yesterday afternoon I joined them and did my first ride through Copacabana’s beach cycle lane.

It was a pleasant ride! After two days of heavy rain, the temperature in Rio has finally reached pleasant levels.  In 30 minutes I rode from Posto 6 to Leme and then back to Posto 6. I was a nice workout for myself .

In one month living near Copacabana beach I have to admit that I changed my mind about Copacabana. Of course Copacabana has many problems, like many others neighborhoods in Rio, but I would say that I am even starting to like it!

For those who have already come to Rio, what was your impression about Copacabana beach? I’d love to here your opinion about it!



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Next to the poet, the Singer

Dorival Caymmi, brazilian composer and singer, statue in Copacabana beach, Posto 6

Dorival Caymmi, brazilian composer and singer, statue in Copacabana beach, Posto 6s

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The Poet

IMG_7326Carlos Drummond de Andrade, the brazilian poet, statue on Copacabana sidewalk. I’m little by little coming back to my routine of going out with my camera for pictures.


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10 Tips to enjoy Rio beaches

I might have already mentioned here, how much I prefer my city and the beaches during autumn and winter. Ok, I agree that in summer Rio has  a kind of party  atmosphere that seduces everyone, but this strange feeling of happiness that fills almost every carioca during summer is not enough to make me love summer like most people do. Well, it is not that I hate summer in Rio, but crowded beaches, temperatures reaching easily 40°C and overpriced services by the beach neighborhoods are just some reasons for making summer far from my favourite season of the year in Rio.


Arpoador beach, on a typical sunny autumn sunday

I also have already shared with you how much I prefer Barra da Tijuca beach rather than the Zona Sul beaches, like Leme, Copacabana and Ipanema. During summer, when all the Zona Sul beaches are crowded I really avoid going there. When you have children all you don’t want is spending the day in a packed beach where your little one can easily get lost. So we prefer driving to Barra da Tijuca , to enjoy quieter and more relaxing moments by the beach, as you can see here and here.

But when summer is over, we dare to go to the beach in Zona Sul and enjoy the comfort of living in a city where you can enjoy beach almost all year-long.

So today I’m sharing with you some quick tips to make your experience in Rio beaches more pleasant even if you are planning to stay only in Zona Sul.

1)When going to the beach, pack light and avoid taking any kind of valuable things to the beach. Take with you only your money and a copy of your ID or passport.  Avoid taking backpacks they call attention.

2) Don’t ever leave your things unattended in the sand. If you are in a group, take turns to go to the water. If you are by yourself , look for a family nearby you and ask them to take a quick look in your stuff while you give a jump in the water. But in this case I recommend you keep your expensive camera in your hotel safe, just in case.


Arpoador beach

3) Keep your cellphone and camera inside a bag and only take them when  you need to use them. Plastic bags (those you get in supermarket) are very good to hide your camera.

4)Watch your kids even if they already know how to swim. Tides and currents change quickly and a quiet sea in the beginning of the morning can turn into rough waves in the beginning of the afternoon. This tip is good for adults too.


Barra da Tijuca beach

5) Talking about kids, if they are old enough arrange with them a place to meet in case they get lost. One nice thing to do is look for the nearest lifeguard station and tell your kid to wait for you there in case he or she gets lost. Wearing an identification bracelet is always a good idea too!

6)Don’t underestimate the sun, even if the sky is cloudy you can get a bad sunburn. Always put sunscreen and if staying a long time in the beach rent a beach umbrella. You can easily rent beach chairs and umbrellas in the kiosks on the sand.


Arpoador beach

7) Those beach showers on the sand might look inviting, specially when the sea is too cold or too rough, but stay away from them! Recent tests have shown that water is not treated and can pose health risks.


Barra beach

8) Choose very well what you are buying for a snack in the beach. It is not safe to eat those sticks of shrimps, or natural sandwiches (“sanduíche natural” in portuguese) . So if you don’t want to end in the hospital with an intestinal infection prefer to eat an ice cream from the traditional brands (like Nestlé, Kibon, Sorvete Itália) or biscoito Globo ( a traditional snack made of polvilho, a kind of tapioca flour).


Arpoador beach

9) Pay attention to water conditions. The ocean beaches (Copacabana, Ipanema, and Barra) are usually appropriate, but even so, sometimes after a heavy rain the fecal coli form count rises beyond acceptable levels.  So a good tip is avoid to swim in the sea after those rain storms and look in the newspaper “O Globo “, the daily beach report  listing all beach closings.

10) Cariocas love the combination beach+ sports, but you have to be aware that any ball sport can only be practiced by the water edge after 5 pm. So if you wanna  join cariocas and try “altinha” (check this video in youtube to see it for yourself ) do it after 5pm. If you are more keen on watersports, Arpoador beach is one of the best spots for surfing in Zona Sul and in Copacabana, Posto 6, you can easily rent Stand up paddle boards.


Copacabana beach, Posto 6

Well, I hope my tips are useful for many of you visiting Rio.

If you are interested in more specific tips, just reach me by email – or Facebook.




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Everyday a new beginning

IMG_4801Have a nice week everyone!!

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