Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog› entry 25 of 86 › view all entries
Rio is magic in all ways! (After 36 hours of mostly waiting for flights and occasionaly boarding one anything would be though...) Surrounded and divided by steep mountains, lakes and wide beaches no other city can rival its scenery; all is mixed and intertwined. Cliffs rise over glass-facaded skyscrapers and the jungle has crept almost right into the city center. Old colonial buildings stand side by side with shiny office blocks and on he slopes favellas create colourful patterns only a stonethrow away from some of the most sought after adresses in the world.
We arrived on the copacabana -the mother of all city beaches: 6km of beautifull white sand beach barely visible beneath millions of colourfull parasols, snackbars, beer and coconut sellers and another million of severely underdressed people. This is the home of the speedo and the g-string! Along side the beach a wide promenade, a bikepath and a 6 lane road form a barrier between citylife and beachlife. Zebracrossings act as gateways and people dress and undress there, sheadding stress on the cityside and desperately trying to leave the sand (And your drunk earring salesman)on the beachside. On the cityside appartmentblocks rise over copacabanas people, over dodgy bars and fast food joints, over the shops and the buisness people and over the streetkids and the prostitutes - providing a tricky shelter for all.
Our days here are spent cycling all over rio. Everybody thinks the biketracks are excellent: The powerwalkers have decided ther´e somewhat to fast for the wide, wide promenade, the runners feel the need to run in the same direction as the traffic so they don´t have to move over and dazed teenagers with ipods are just too cool to even know where there walking. All these are very tempting to run over. But you have to be carefull because appart from all of this traffic theres also ancient people in wheelchairs and people on hospital sort of stretchers. Everybody here seems to believe in a bit of exercise and sunshine! women way over 70 trotting along in their bikinis, pooch in bag, doing stretches and skips, old men in speedos running on the biketrack at walkingspeed (clearly strong enough to knock any poor bike out of order over), enourmous people sweating buckets and only the occasional hollywood kind of person. The illusion has stayed firmly in the magazines together with the silicon, liposuction, low selfesteem and anorexic diets. Nicely enough Copcabana is a place for actual people.
The small bars in copacabana offer execellent refuge after a hot day with cheap beers and good snacks. Only our barman antonio didnt trust his sandwiches at all: "Not for tourists!" He mostly said when we tried to by them "Not good for the stomach!". So we bought a lot of beer, payed fortunes for the jukebox to play classic rock music and had an even more classic night together with paula the prostitute, michelle the transvestite and a guy called franco.