Cidade de Deus - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.



Carioca Pronunciation /ˌkarɪˈəʊkə/ NOUN

  • 1 A native of Rio de Janeiro. ‘One is a nordestino or a mineiro (native of the state of Minas Gerais) or a carioca (native of the city of Rio de Janeiro).’

  • 2 (also carioca) A Brazilian dance resembling the samba. ‘Repeat shuffle, then carioca, starting with your left foot this time.’

Origin The original word, "kara'i oka", comes from the indigenous Tupi language meaning "house of carijó", which was Guaraní, a native tribe of Rio de Janeiro who lived in the vicinity of the Carioca River, between the neighborhoods of Glória and Flamengo.



There is always a lot of negativity surrounding the violence and corruption in Brazil and although it is something to be concerned about, I found that my time was well spent and Rio de Janeiro is one of the most vibrant cities I've ever passed through. The music, location and the people make this beautiful city what it is and without a doubt it should be in anyones bucket list.

 

Contents

  • Cidade de Deus - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • My first day in Rio

  • Sunset and Samba

  • The long way up

  • When in Rio

  • A little culture

  • Funny memory

  • Final thoughts

 

My first day in Rio

Its 6am in the morning and I rise from the back of the car after a 10 hour journey from Santos. We're here! My good friend Milena tells me whist I just catch a glimpse of the big BEM VINDO AU RIO de JANEIRO sign driving in. Tired, hungry and dehydrated from the few days previous beers and caipirinhas, it was time for all of us to rest up for a few hours before before our first port of call at a friends apartment to sink some cold beverages and hit the pool under that sunshine; within a few hours it went from 0-100 and we were all in a taxi rushing to get to Copacabana before the bell struck midnight. With a little bit of luck and some hard roadwork we made it for the spectacular firework display that I had only previously ever saw on BBC News; normally the next afternoon after waking up from my slumber. What a start to the year.


Sunset and Samba

After taking it easy and having a late lunch in a local restaurant near my friends home in Tijuca, Milena a native of Santos wanted to show me around this vibrant city. Our first stop was to take a walk around the very attractive Mureta de Urca where you can relax over looking Botafogo Bay. Full of little bars and restaurants along its waters edge and with Morro da Urca behind you this is the perfect place to enjoy some ice cold beers and watch turtles swim by.

Taking a walk on the opposite side of Morro da Urca you will find the Pista Claudio Coutinho walking trail leading up to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) offering some beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and overlooking Praia Vermelha whilst the sun settles.


Later in the evening it was time to hit Pedro do Sol for a true insight to the party vibe that Rio has to offer where you will be immersed into a huge street party that happens here on a Monday and Friday nights. With live rock and reggae music, DJ's playing anything from Samba, hip hop, funk and drum and base; I found this to be one of the most memorable nights out in Rio.

Along these streets you will be gladly caught up in having dance offs or lessons, find cheap cold drinks and caipirinhas at every vender and if you are a little peckish the venders that don't serve drinks will serve every homely Brazilian snack available. Furthermore if you love graffiti and art you will find it everywhere in this concrete jungle that is a crowded, bustling and unique Carioca cultural experience, so be prepared and bring your dancing shoes.


Tips:

Be careful and learn to relax a little.


The long way up.

Having time to kill some of the curiosity and explore a little I asked to be dropped off at the Leblon viewing point in the southern part of Rio. Giving me an attractive scenic view of my lonesome coastal walk via Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches towards Pâo de Açucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain).

Stopping off at various points to enjoy the odd chilled coconut as a refreshment and to take in some of the stunning views on offer I felt that this 12km walk was worth the risk and make it a wonderful memory for me.


Along this picturesque coastline you will find Pedra do Arpoador a peninsular for surfers and a chill out spot that gives you an amazing view of Ipanema beach and Forte de Copacabana (Copacabana fort) originally a chapel that houses the Virgen de Copacabana.

Not waisting to much time on historic sites I decided to skip the fort and take a walk