Leaving subtle, polite, friendly BA, the musical notes of many Rio songs started to become louder in this poor traveller’s brain. So we are now in search of the elusive Lola in Rio.
The initial impression was a happy, sunny one in the company of a chirpy transit guide through the city to reach our hotel one block back from Copacabana beach. Pink Floyd would have been unimpressed by the wall of hotels stretching as far as the eye can see along this famous white sand crescent. Unimaginative architecture designed to cram more bodies in to a landscape ringed by the most impressive geological structures. The city of contrasts!
Thousands and thousands of people on the beach…….and I salute the lack of self-consciousness. All shapes, sizes, colours, ages and costumes – and us peoplewatching from the shade of the umbrella with a cold drink! The anticipated beach volleyball, buff males and youthful butts flossed by colourful thongs, promenading, cyclists and dog walkers did not disappoint. Copacabana summed up.
Then came the hunt for the elusive ATM that worked. Local coin is needed to buy the street food – tapioca pancakes with a variety of fillings, herb rolled haloumi cheese on sticks, hot dogs etc. Only 2 years since the Olympics and the footpaths and streetscapes are weary and worn though.
Once the sun set and the public holiday makers left……..rubbish remained…….the night brought a warm ambience …….rubbish no longer visible…. and we shared a wonderfully tender and flavoursome seafood paella and wine at a beachside restaurant. Life is sooooo blessed.
Yes, even the waft of sewerage struggling to cope with the millions and millions of city dwellers or tourists is the reality of a raw Rio. Bring on tomorrow!