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1 - The Road to Iguacu

2 - Iguassu Falls Nat'l Park

3 - Macuco Boat Safari

4 - Iguazu Falls Rest.

5 - Foz Tropicana Aviary

6 - Rafain Churrascaria

7 - The Road to Noronha

8 - Fernando de Noronha

9 - Sueste Bay Snorkeling

10 - Farewell to Fernando

11 - The Road to Rio

12 - The Hippie Market

13 - Sugar Loaf Mountain

14 - Copacabana Palace

15 - Too Much Gluten

16 - Botanical Gardens

17 - Buzios

18 - Copacabana

19 - Ipanema Beach

20 - Plataforma Show

21 - Corcovado Mountain

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Ipanema Hippie Market
The famous Ipanema Hippie Market in Rio de Janeiro.


This morning, against Marcelo's advice (go to the market after 3:00PM - that's when the locals go there.  You'll get better deals after all the tourists are gone), we go back to the Hippie Market to finish our shopping, primarily gifts for friends and family.  The market is bustling and the weather is fantastic for the first time since we arrived in Rio.  Bright sunshine - not too hot fills the sky as we scour the wares of the merchants.

After we've finally exhausted our list, we pack our things back over to Boteco Belmonte for lunch.  .   


We all just have soup this time, though we try one of their famed appetizers (cold and gooey - tasted like it would have been good if it was hot, though)

After lunch, we head back to the apartment to change and head down to the beach.  It's a Sunday, so the beach avenue - Av. Vieira Souto - is closed one-way to traffic.  The beach and boulevard are bustling with people now - the first time we'd seen this kind of mass congregation since coming to Rio.  We rent some chairs and an umbrella from a beach vendor, and sit and take in the sun, observing people.  At the end of our street is Post 8, the main gay beach in Rio, clearly marked by the rainbow flag, so we move over to Post 9 next door where there are more families.


We swim for a while in the fairly cold water at the beach (not cold compared to Washington or Sweden, but not warm either), doing some wild body-surfing on the big waves close to shore.  After a while, we feel pummeled and have to go back to shore to rest.  There are beach vendors everywhere selling everything from Agua de Coco (Coconut Water) to Ice Cream to wares.  They're not quite so pushy as those in Mexico, and seem happy.

It is very obvious we are the only Gringos around, as everyone has deep suntans and string bikinis except us - no, I didn't wear a Speedo, don't worry. 

Ipanema Beach
Can you tell we're tourists?
Fun in the sun on Ipanema Beach.
Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro
If you want to blend in on Ipanema Beach, look like this.

The beach in Rio is exactly like you've seen in the photos - packed to the gills with beautiful people with beautiful bodies, sun worshipping in dental-floss masquerading as bathing suits.  It is like a religion in Rio - the society revolves around the beach.  We can certainly see why.

After some more sun tanning, napping and people-watching, we've had enough and we head back for the apartment to shower up for our show that evening - we're going to have dinner at Plataforma and a Samba show afterward...


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