....Rather overcome by the bronzed and beautiful
Wow the men here are hot! Sorry to be so blunt about it but they just are, so there. Can catergorically state that of all the countries visited on the travels the Brazilians have heroically steped up to the most beautiful people in the world stage and walked off with the crown laughing (and wearing nothing but incredibly tight speedo type swimming pants).
Now back in Saquarema the beautiful were not so en mass, given it was so quiet there; the beaches were practically empty the whole time. But Jen and I still commented on how goodlooking all the blokes were - and the bodies, well!
But then came Rio and the famous Ipanema Beach crowd (that's where the really cool scene is - forget Copacabana, Ipanema is well smart, really posh, really safe and the best beach in the city). Anyway, cue the most well honed selection of the male species ever produced, all crowded along one strip of sand - running along it, playing football and volleyball on it, drinking freshly made cocktails from the little stands on the beachfront on it... It's hilarious! Jen and I couldn't get over it!
Right, think I might have stressed how beautiful the people are (there are also a handful of reasonably good looking ladies) so really should mention that the city itself is really beautiful too. And the weather has also continued to be beautiful (think Snoop Dog and Pharrel could have been onto something when they filmed the video for Beautiful in Rio....)! I'm so glad I pencilled this into the itinery after not planning to hit Brazil at all at the start.
We found a really nice hostel with lovely leafy courtyard and hammocks etc and based ourselves in Ipanema for four days - me, and two days Jen. Sadly I have now lost my travel buddy, she's back in London paying my taxes. (Btw, thanks Jen! Not just for paying my taxes but for coming to see me!) But as I've said in previous blogs, it's amazing what a bit of sun can do for the spirits so I'm soldiering on OK without her.
While she was here we went to see Christ Redentor up close and personal and take a peek at his vantage point out over the city and it was just super. White sand beaches all laid out, lots of little islands out at sea, lush green hillsides and the city squished in between, it's just like in the movies! We also checked out the Copacabana and could not stop singing the song no matter how hard we tried. But am afraid to admit that we, and now I, have spent most of the time pottering round the local area stoping at the fab juice bars and nice cafes in addition to large amounts of time plonked on the sand. Has been great.
But it is rather pricey here - compared to the rest of South America - and feeling like I don't want to get stuck here, so am going to move down the coast now, first to Ilha Grande, a big tourist island that has no cars on it, one main town and a few little villages scattered about. Sounds like a great place to relax, and even though we've found Rio perfectly safe, will be able to forget about those issues completely and have a few days of absolute calm.
Will report from there if I can summon the energy....