[for the first part: http://andrejrusskovskij.com/?p=3341]
What to do (continues):
- Ride the waves of Barra de Tijuca, or, most likely, let them hopelessly drift you away. [You can reach the surfers’ paradise in Rio’s outskirts in no longer than a 30 minutes Uber journey, or by local bus if you’re not in a rush]
- Get loose and witness how beautifully the rhythm of samba unites people, no matter what the colour of their skin is. This was made possible by Beatriz, who took us to a carioca community’s carnival rehearsals.
- Take shelter from the hot weather and the city noise in the unconventional and inspiring MAM (museo de arte moderna) [entrance is free]
- Discover the mesmerizing and gigantic, social issues-inspired work of Kobra, an ex favela kid, currently one of the most influential Brazilian street artist, in the modern avenue of the Cidade Olimpica.
- Walk along the catwalk, ehm… promenade of Copacabana (it’s one of the most famous in the whole world after all), leave it behind you, and find yourself a spot in the much more attractive and less tacky Ipanema beach (make sure to pick the right Posto, avoid the family one if you’re too sensitive to kids). Survival guide: speedos for men and Brazilian thongs for women are the norm, self body shaming is inevitable considering how obsessed Cariocas are with fitness, to make the body shaming worse give in to the yummy beach food everybody’s trying to sell you, don’t leave your stuff on the shore while bathing, have fun!
- Clap at the sunset from the rocks of Arpuador. This is one of the most magical memories you will collect and a perfect way to say goodbye to Rio.
- Fall for the bohemian charm of Santa Teresa with its artists ateliers, cobblestone alleys and panoramic terraces. [as previously mentioned: take the cable car instead of venturing solitary uphill streets]
Things we missed:
- the botanic garden and its waterfall;
- Few viewpoints such as the Vista Chinesa;
- A favela experience. A big hit or miss in our opinion, depending on how lucrative the tours are and whether you are willing to accept to witness somebody’s poverty from your safe bourgeois pedistal. There are some despicable van tours that drive across the favelas in the same way a Jeep would in a safari. And there are some charities that aim at raising awareness of the favelas’ conditions by organizing tours where the money you’re charged actually helps the community. We thought the latter was the only one worth considering and we got in touch with an Italian charity called “il sorriso dei miei bimbi”, which operates in Rocinha. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to arrange a visit due to our travelling schedules.
Who deserves a big thank you: Clara Mafalda, Christiana, Alessandro, Alberto and Meritxell for all the tips. Willie for introducing us to the adorable Beatriz.
Livia and Angela for showing us how to make the most of a Friday night in Lapa.
Olympus OM-10, Agfa CT Precisa 100 (35) / Lomochrome Purple 100-400 (35), 26-27-28/11/2016, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).