A Night in Rio

December 29, 2009 - 12:24 am No Comments

Our Rio Apartment

Dinner with Tati at a little restaurant called Boteco de Garafa, in the nearby neighborhood of Leblon (lih-BLON). I treated myself to a lime caipirinha (Brazil’s national drink) and got drunk after three sips. Good stuff. Was nice getting to know Tati, who is a local and seems very happy to show us around Rio for the next few days.

At Boteco da Garrafa

After dinner, Tati showed us around Ipanema and Copacabana by car. She said we’d be going places where I could take pictures, so I took my camera. While driving along Copacabana Beach, I started asking Tati some questions about the prostitutes leaning on the parked cars. Trying to accommodate me, she stopped in front of one and rolled down the window. I was scared. I asked her to keep driving.

We parked the car, and Tati said it was OK to take pictures. With nightclubs flickering on one side of the road and a well-lit but empty beach on the other, and lots of sketchy looking characters in between, I was a little scared, but Tati reassured me. I stepped onto the beach and immediately got looks from three rather large and scary-looking Brazilian guys, but it turns out they were security guards wondering WTF this gringo was thinking. Tati walked over to them, struck up a conversation, and everything was fine. I bet there aren’t a lot of people who have taken pictures of Copacabana Beach at night with a camera like mine.

Copacabana Beach at Night

Copacabana at Night

We also drove around Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, a good-sized lake in the middle of Rio with a brightly lit Christmas tree floating in the middle. Kind of cool, but apparently the locals hate it because people slowing down to look causes a lot of traffic.

Christmas in Rio

Tati took to one of her local Monday night hangouts, an intersection in Leme where bars overflowed and Brazilians drinking beer filled the streets. Although there were lots of people there, Tati said it was surprisingly dead and wasn’t sure why.

Tati & Me

She took us to a few other spots around town, but there wasn’t much going on. Giving up, she dropped us off at our apartment. Doug and I rallied and ventured out on our own but couldn’t find anything except the sweet smell of bacon lingering at one particular intersection near our apartment. A relatively early night for our first in Rio.

Still no sign of our bags. The American Airlines web site says they will be delivered to our apartment tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

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