Created on Saturday, 07 July 2012 Written by Arlette

Spontaneous, free spirit - that is how I am feeling. I'm like a bird. (Nelly Furtaldo song love it).

Grab opportunities as they come by keeing an open mind.

Booked a trip to Brazil on Friday and flew out on Monday with no hotels booked. Smart move - not quite with Rio+20 summit. Rio was full unless you have £1,000 per room a night.

Finally, we managed to secure a place in Leblon which is a hip neighbourhood and the one you would probably like to live in if you are there. A residential, pretty neighbourhood with lovely restaurants and bars and interior shops.

On our stay at Rio, we explored the various neighbourhoods of Leblon, Ipanema, Copocabana, Jardim Botanica and Santa Theresa by making it our mission to eat at a lot of the recommended places by locals. Time Out helped too...

Leblon - Sushi Leblon was always busy, Zucca - highly rated, I'm not sure about the staff given the ladies recommendation for hip drinks afterwards... we left Leblon to head to jardin Botanica and it was deserted!... Zucca was ok - nothing wowie, Q bar was buzzy, a few other bars on the street were cool - I forget the names now. Cafe Hum was a favourite for coffee and cake as well as Tacho Capixaba a favourite haunt for locals. We ordered really badly - order the taster breakfast sharing for two, mango,breads, coffees and juice. Why I ordered cake again!

Jardim Botanica - I have no clue of the name of the places - dead on a monday night apart from the two Brazilian pilots who tried their best to charm us... well that was an amusing evening, nothing more to be said on that front. It was like meeting Tom on Top Gun... the lines etc.. hilarious. We visited the gardens on our last day - lovely. Fountain of the Muses with Cristo Redentor in the distance.brasil

Santa Theresa - very cool feel, hilly, cobbled streets, fab tapas places, locals all hanging out - chance to try the fried cod balls and empanadas with fish. Bar do Gomes was very cool. Tried the Bohemian brazilian beer - rather pleasant.

On we went to try Rio Scenarium in Lapa where immediately after sitting down with one drink, the Brazilians approached us... got to give it to the Brazilian guys they are confident and don't give up. We were not having any of it. The buzz and music was excellent, ther persistence of the Brazilians annoying so swiftly we left... they would not give up.

Ipanema - loved Ipanema Resto (Joana Angelica Street) for lunch - the vibe for dinner was buzzing too. Great spot for salads. Try the pudding too.. mini nutella.
Walking back to the hotel, we passed by Cafeina another cool coffee spot. Seriously buzzed out after the morning coffee. I LOVE the coffee here... in Brazil.smiley

Oh, I must say also we dropped in to Granado store in Centro. It is undergoing a huge resurgence in popularity. The productsd are all about the syle of the bygone era. They are branching out over Brazil and I rather liked the Ylang Ylang products and the Brazil nut body cream - Castanha do Brasil. I saw a lady buy ten tubs so thought it must be good. I bought one. (Granado, Rua Primerio de Marco, 16 Centro). I smothered the body cream on and felt very ill in the evening. I forgot you apply sparingly. I smelt like a Brazil nut for a day or two... .. slightly strong, over powering... knocked myself out! The headache. Ha

... Rio....brasil2

... Love, Energy, Creativity - it all comes together beautifully.

The sun is shining and on we go... happy days.

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