Peter Allen charmed us with his maracas belting out “I go to Rio.” Barry Manilow invited us to the “Copacabana” and from 1965, everyone from Frank Sinatra to Amy Winehouse has sung about “The girl from Ipanema.”
This is Rio. Music, beaches and laid back. This was what our retirees found upon arrival. Reggae music on street corners and lots of bodies on hot sand.
Brazillians love their fitness or perhaps the appearance of them loving fitness. Dotted along the shore is fitness equipment and our tourists estimated at least 100 beach volleyball courts were positioned from Leme to Ipanema. There’s lots of ‘Mr Brazils’ who parade along the coast who pause to do push ups and chin-ups or whatever else will show off their muscles. The females prefer to pose for their latest Instagram shots, the more provocative the better as they see it. Watching over all of the goings on along the beach is Mt Sugarloaf. Mr and Ms X decided not to go on the cable car to get views of this city as they opted to take the train up the Corcovado Mtn to see the magnificent Christ the Redeemer statue. Our retirees were blessed with clear blue skies. It was still a battle with the Instagramers who were intent on getting THE best shot with not another soul in their picture.
The statue is huge and towers over the city. It’s lit up at night and our travellers first saw it as their Uber took them to their hotel on their arrival. It was one of those WOW moments. Over the next few days Mr and Ms X would watch it appear and disappear from view as the clouds came and went.
AND THEN IT ALL CHANGED.
24 hrs later, it was like Brazil decided to wake up from all that partying and realise that there was a Coronavirus Pandemic across the rest of the world.
Sanitizers started to appear, masks and quotas inside restaraunts. The roads were less crowded and the Atlantica Avenue that runs along the beach was less populated.
For our retirees, it was time to stay close to their hotel, and wait for their flight home.
Obrigado Rio. It was great but now it’s time for Mr and Ms X to say Tchau. These two have to get home. Quickly. Two weeks of self-isolation awaits them.