Home > Brazil > 2nd March – Hello Copacabana and Ipanema

2nd March – Hello Copacabana and Ipanema

Our first day in Rio and not entirely sure what to expect. Slept relatively well and not long either but feel refreshed after all those hours travelling from
Sydney to Rio. Our apprehensiveness is not sure of safety and being robbed.

We have four days to explore the former capital of Brazil, Rio de janeiro. Exchange rate is currently £1 = R$ 2.73 (Brazilian reais). Rio is also famous for its favelas (slums) which most if the time resides on the slopes of the mountains.


We are staying in Rio Hostel in Lapa an area within Rio which is relatively quite safe but you still need to sensible. Breakfast is included in the price of the room so we stuffed our faces and sat around chatting to a few people, met a canadian band called The Boom Booms who were doing some stuff in Brazil and also the staff at the hostel were very pleasant.

We asked questions to understand what we can expect from this great city and what it expects from us. It was a very hot day so what better way to spend the day than to hit the beaches of Rio.


Took bus 382 from Arcos de Lapa heading towards Copacabana beach. The buses seem to be very safe and it’s operated by a driver and a conductor who sits in his/her place and collects money. On the bus we saw Christ the Redeemer again from afar and we knew sooner or later, we would have to introduce ourselves to him.

The bus dropped us off at the famous Ipanema beach, Julie and I were excited and realised we were in Rio. We never felt that we were in Sydney, it was bizarre. For maybe half a day from when we saw the Opera House from the bridge then we felt we were in Sydney but it never really registered.


Found a spot on the beach and sat down. On these beaches you can people watch all day as you see women in all shape and sizes and colour wear their tiny bikinis for the beach. It didn’t matter about age, the ladies wore the tiniest of thongs, showing off their body. Bigger women were not conscious of what they wore, they understood they were beautiful people and need to show off their curves. Never seen anything like it.

The men also wore tiny swimming shorts or speedos. It was a balance between great bodies and not soo good. At first we were amazed to see how they wore just speedos in the middle of town. We had a swim in the freezing weather, taking it in turns to swim so at least there will be one person looking after our stuff.


After lunch we went walked to Copacabana beach which is on the other side of Ipanema. Sat around for a bit before heading back to Ipanema to watch the sunset. The sunset is much better from this beach as sleeps just behind the mountain overlooking the beach.

Got a metro back to Lapa and then had dinner at a buffet place where you pay what you eat in kilos. It was delicious. Lapa on a Friday night is buzzing, the main street is closed and has a carnival atmosphere. Julie and I really enjoyed it and after a couple of drinks which is served in little schnapps glasses rather than pints. Afterwards we went back to hostel.

En français:

Kwasi me réveille à 9h pour commencer la journée à une heure raisonnable. On prend notre petit déj et on passe un peu de temps à organiser notre séjour à Rio. Je contacte Helene, une amie de Cécile qui vient de s’installer à Rio et on décide de la rejoindre ce soir pour dîner.


Une fois prêts, on prend un plan et on marche jusqu’au quartier de Lapa pour y prendre un bus direction la plage! On s’arrête à Ipanema et on s’y installe au milieu des parasols et des filles en string! Si, si c’est bien comme on voit à la télé, peu importe la taille, peu importe l’âge, les filles sont en string! L’eau est plutôt froide mais vu la température extérieur ça ne fait pas de mal. On se baigne un par un pour qu’il y ait toujours quelqu’un avec les affaires. On ne rigole pas avec la sécurité à Rio!


Vers 14h, on trouve une sorte de boulangerie et on y achète de quoi déjeuner puis on retourne se présenter sur la plage jusqu'à ce qu'on arrive à Copacabana, l'autre grande plage de Rio. On s'y pose mais on ne s'y baigne pas. L'eau y est bien plus sale.


Plus tard, on retourne à Ipanema pour le coucher du soleil, un peu raté à cause d’un gros nuage mais sympa quand même. On attend le bus longtemps avant d’abandonner l’idee pour le métro. On arrive à Lapa et on grimpe jusqu’à notre auberge à Santa Teresa. Les marchés nous achèvent!
Quand on arrive à l’auberge, on apprend qu’Helene ne sortira pas ce soir, on est crevés aussi donc ça tombe plutôt bien. On redescend à Lapa pour dîner et on y reste même pour boire un verre un peu après. L’ambiance la bas est incroyable. Ils ferment même les rues à la circulation tellement il y a de monde. On dîne dans un resto ou on paye au poids, c’est une bonne idée! Il suffit d’aller se servir au buffet et de peser son assiette. Après le dîner, on se pose dans un bar-restaurant bondé et on regarde comment les brésiliens profitent de leur vendredi soir. C’est vraiment sympa à voir!


On rentre à l’auberge et on est au lit avant minuit.

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