I have finally made it to Brazil and it has been the most amazing 2 days. It’s been my dream to come and step in to this part of the world and it is above and beyond what I have expected.
Also, my friend Aco has come to join me on this portion of my trip from Japan, so this adds to the energy and fun! Yay!
I am already going to say this on the 3rd day but
I LOVE RIO!!
Yes I love Rio already. Here’s Why!
1. The beaches and mountains – The landscape is so unique (to me at least) having the long beaches beautiful water (actually quite clear!) right next to the high arching mountains. The green is very rain forest-y and the scene together is one that makes you amazed with nature in one sight. I guess you can say that about Hawaii, but having a great live city right next in the middle of that is also unique. Reminds me a lot about Miami but there seems to be a bit more real vibe to it, if you know what I mean. I reconfirmed that I love beaches and I want my life to have beaches on a daily basis.
And yes I saw a lot of Brazilian bikinis. Raw asses my friends. All shapes and sizes. Here, I feel pretty comfortable in a bikini (not in Japan) and that is how a person should feel.
2. Food – Of course! I have to say, my knowledge of Brazilian food until now has been limited to Barbacoa / Churrasco = beef beef beef. However, there is a lot more I didn’t know and so much to try – we just can’t figure out what they are in Portuguese! Here are some things I’ve tried so far.
Staring with the standard – Carne Asado (Beef Steak)
With Rice, Black Beans and French Fries – loading up on carbs much?!
The steak is actually underneath the fries – this is for one person, but we split with two because the portions and the carbs are actually too much. Smart choice.
Roasted Chicken + Rice. Yum! – salty mini chickens with vegetable rice.
Side dishes to go along with the Meats:
Not sure what this is called but the dishes come with these chopped up tomatoes, peppers and onions in vinegar and its great palette cleanser in-between the meats. So refreshing!
Falafel – Some kind of potato made into powder and people love it here. They seem to sprinkle this not to meats, rice etc. It is like powdered mashed potato – (the kind that you make into mashed potatoes with adding hot water) but with flavour. It does dry out your mouth and I questioned its purpose at first, but after eating a lot more of it, kinda getting the hang of it. Still need to try more.
Portuguese Food – Because Brazil has its roots in Portugal, the food is here. There were a lot of seafood and tastes similar to Japan using fresh fish, (similar to things like Saba suzuke and even taroko!) so comforting to the Japanese tongue too.
Our friends took us to Adega Perola a popular place with lots of selections of beer and alcohol + Portuguese food. – waited outside until the table is ready, but that in itself was fun! Colorado beer made in Brazil. – confusing…
Bahia Food – A region called Bahia up north?
Abaraje – its like Fried bread and inside, is a paste maybe made out of potatoes or corn? with salty dried shrimp. Interesting, but not my favourite.
Angu – this, we liked, Beef stew with the past of the Palenta in the bowl. a bit like Grits I thought. Was good for the stomach after a hang over.
3. Music (Samba) & nightlife – Thankfully we had an excellent guide for the first night. A Rio resident Japanese friends that showed us around. They took us to what he described “deep samba” area in Padra do Sal (Rock of Salt?) which seemed to be the heart of Samba music in Rio? – correct me if I am totally wrong.
Since the next day was a holiday, it was on! Lucky us!
Pedra do Sal – The people are there surrounding the musicians in the centre. The paths surrounding them is stairs, hence gives more people the chance to see. People just gather and enjoy the music and people. Dancing, Singing outside. This is on a normal day? Imagine the carnival!
See the people and the beats here:
Ryo and Komo and new friends we met through the night.
Beer was sold in cans outside and it was cute that people drank it in cups and shared.
Our new friend was so wild, he made a can into a cup with his teeth.
4. People and encounters – the spirit of the Brazilian people and people that live there was as expected, relaxed, friendly, chill.
A couple we met while choosing food at the Portuguese restaurant. After a short chart they showed me pictures of their trips in Brazil and jotted down a list of places to visit and when in Brazil. Will call them when I do come back to Rio! Such beautiful generous people! Thanks! Hope you made it to this blog.
Out hosts for the night and new friends we met a long the way. Living in Rio will definitely change you because the mind-set is different. They said that they had a pretty tough time adjusting to the Brazilian way when they first came from Japan because it is so very different I could imagine. Now they seem to have blended in very well adjusted, relaxed, chill, if things don’t come or work, its okay, we’ll figure it out.
5. Bossa Nova – Went to Inpanema where the song “Girl from Ipanema” was made. Had a beautiful night listening to the relaxed sounds of Bossa Nova and my heart melted listening to the mellow sounds and rhythm.
Vinicus Bar – Across the street from the restaurant that the song was made
Other things, like the famous Christ the Redeemer – which I would highly recommend checking the weather and make sure that you go on a sunny day, because….
This … will soon turn into
Then to this
and you will only take pictures like this.
But on a good, day you may succeed and be able to do this and seeing this grand view.
So that is the first 2 days. Lots going on and I am not sure how to document this going forward. Too much going on!
Hope you fall in love with Rio as much as I did! And the journey continues!
One last day in Rio (for now) and then off to the north!