Rio de Janiero

Kate-cancun beachI am addicted to watching the Olympics although it’s not just the competition. They brought back old memories.

It was a last-minute vacation with a friend who called to say “Can you get off next week?” The deal was outrageous and so was the city. I was off to Rio!

This past week I looked for my Rio photos but came up empty.

Despite the fact that it wasn’t on my “visit” list, I loved it more than places that were. It’s a very interesting place.

Here’s what I remember.

The most gorgeous people live there. “Tall and tan and young and lovely” says it all. All that mixing of people makes them more beautiful.

They speak Portuguese, not Spanish but fortunately beer and potty are easy to translate into any language with some sign language. I did just fine.

It’s very beautiful. Nature was good to Brazil. Rain forests and a lot of old history to see.

The food was great and local beer was cheap. Anything imported wasn’t. (Hey, when in Rome….)

Even back then, you DIDN’T DRINK THE WATER! I didn’t get sick. Obviously beer made from that water must go through some filtering process that eliminates the nasty bacteria.

Brazil was where I developed my love of good coffee. I was served an espresso somewhere and I was hooked (probably made with that bad water too). It was rich but not bitter. I brought 10 kilos home with me. Some people bring other…ummm….stuff, I stick with coffee.

The poverty was astounding. There didn’t seem to be a middle class. You were either rich or poor. If you were rich you were with beautiful people in sidewalk bistros, drinking imported Scotch. If you were poor you didn’t have running water, bathrooms and your house may be made out of dubious materials that could wash away in a storm.

I stayed in an upscale hotel two blocks from the beach but it wasn’t a beach vacation. It was cool (temperature wise) and there were more interesting things to see and do.

It was the very first time I saw a thong bikini. Both men and women wore them. It was the 80s. It wasn’t worn back home. I had a hard time taking my eyes off the stuff. (Yes, I too am astounded I didn’t spend more time on the beach but I did a beach walk every day…for health reasons of course.)

Sprinkled in the Olympics are clips of Rio. So fun. Just don’t know what I did with my photos. I included a picture from that era although I’m pretty sure I was in Mexico. (I can tell by the blouse!)

 

 

38 thoughts on “Rio de Janiero

  1. i have a few friends who have been to Rio, and each one has come home in love with the people. What a wonderful trip…hope you find the photos at some point. Your “80’s” photo is so fun to see. When I look at mine from that era, including long permed hair, I sometimes hardly recognize myself!

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  2. Love the picture! I’m still thinking about the question “can you get off next week?” That has got to be one of the best spur of the moment adventures E V A H. Not to mention that you became a coffee smuggler.
    Sadly, it doesn’t seem the economic balance has changed over the years.

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  3. I was there in the 80’s too Cate. It is a magical place, yet the stark difference between the haves and the have nots made it uncomfortable at times. I remember the music and the rhythm … So enticing and yes .. Sexy as hell!

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  4. I’m an Olympic junkie, for ice-skating in the winter games and volleyball in the summer games. It’s the only time I can see volleyball on TV!

    It’s also the first time I’ve seen the landscape in Rio (albeit on TV) and it is unbelievably beautiful. The combination of mountains and ocean is incredible, even better than Hawaii’s scenery. (Don’t tell my in-laws.)

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    • Ice-skating! And the skiing! Love it (said by a person who can’t walk on flat dry pavement without falling!) There are similarities between Hawaii and Rio although Hawaii has a lot of beautiful places that aren’t overpopulated (at least back when I visited).

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  5. I can remember sitting around with 3 friends (guys) one Summer (in England) and discussing what we could do before going back to school. Somebody said “Why don’t we drive down to Rome?” We left 2 weeks later with minimal plans and minimal money… and had a great time! There is a lot to be said in favor of impulsive decisions!

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    • Especially when you are young and don’t worry about “what ifs.” I had a few impulsive vacations caused by a “can’t pass this up” deal on flight and lodgings. Not sure if you can get those anymore but even if you did they may be too spontaneous for someone with responsibilities.

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    • I rarely wear my hair short so I was surprised when I saw this one. Also saw my hippie picture — long hair, parted in middle, no bangs. That wasn’t a good look for me. Espresso! I’m having a mocha with it right now.

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    • The comment went into my queue for approval since I’ve never approved a comment with this name before. Comment is approved and answered. It is beautiful. It’s coastal and they don’t (or at least didn’t) have drought issues when I was there. Everything was lush and green. Never got a mosquito bite either.

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  6. All the photos I’ve seen are gorgeous. I’m sure that hasn’t changed. It’s a shame about the crime that’s going on over there but things have changed everywhere. Did you ever go back after that visit?

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    • I did not although I would. There is so much to see that except for our local beaches and a few destinations in the US, that I don’t revisit. I went on a lark and it turned out to be one of the best vacations. Sure wish I could get some of those coffee beans….

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