With 48 hours in Rio now behind us here’s some of our first impressions:
1. Natural beauty. To state the obvious the geographical setting of this city is absolutely majestic. Mountains, lagoons and beaches merge seamlessly with the city which wraps itself around its landscape in a natural, unimposing way.
2. It’s mainly very baby friendly. A couple of bars along Copacabana were not entirely welcoming but more generally people are inquisitive, affectionate and playful towards Amber.
3. A lot of posing. Posing doing pull ups, posing with dogs, posing in speedos, posing walking down the street.
4. Rio loves dogs. There are dogs everywhere. It’s a dream come true for Amber.
5. A complete cultural mash up. Black African, Portuguese, Native Brazilian and more besides. Not to mention the influx of tourists for the Olympics – in one short morning we saw Denmark, Australia, Sweden, Tunisia, Netherlands, Great Britain, Russia, USA and Canada all represented.
6. Edge. Despite the touristy feel, particularly where we are based in Copacabana, you feel the undercurrent of trouble simmering beneath the surface. Lots of police, lots of very large guns, helicopters overhead and a warship lurking in the seas off Copacobana – this is a city where the poverty and disillusionment felt towards the government will inevitably rear its head no matter how many armed police patrol the streets.
7. No mosquitoes. Despite a very shouty world media we haven’t seen any of the little shits so far, never mind been bitten by them.
8. Expensive. Thanks to Brexit it would be 20% cheaper had we traveled a couple of months ago. Cheers Vote Leave (what do you mean our budgetary concerns weren’t central to your thinking?). Anyhow this is still an expensive place regardless of exchange rate. We are making our own sandwiches for lunch – this is quite a change for James from a few weeks ago in London.
As for Amber for the most part she is adapting well. She loves the dogs, took to sand very well (her grass phobia gave us low expectations when taking her to the beach) and has largely been her usual busy, energetic, happy self. Food remains somewhat of a war of attrition but we’ll persevere and apart from a jet lag induced meltdown on Sunday evening she has been on great form throughout. We are blessed.