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SUNDAY TRAVEL Escape · PDF file 2019-08-14 · 40 SundayTerritorian.Sunday, October 13, 2013. PUB: NT NEWS DATE: 13-OCT-2013 PAGE: 40 COLOR: C M Y K TROPICALLANDSCAPES Standingatopthe710mpeakof

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  • 40 Sunday Territorian. Sunday, October 13, 2013. www.sundayterritorian.com.au

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    TROPICAL LANDSCAPES Standing atop the 710mpeakof Corcovado, youwill seewhyRio de Janeiro is called theCidade Maravilhosa orMarvellousCity.

    Lushly forestedmountains fringe the city,with shimmering beaches tracing the shoreline and a string of tiny islands scattered along the seafront.

    Far frombeing amere cinematic backdrop, this seaside beautyhosts outstandingoutdoor adventures: hike theTijuca rainforest, bicycle alongside the lake andbeaches, sail acrossBaia de Guanabara, and surf, rock climbandhang glide in oneof the world’smost stunningurban landscapes.

    CAPTIVATINGBEACHES Rio’s beaches have long seduced visitors. Copacabanabeach becamea symbol ofRio during the 1940s,when international starlets flewdown for theweekend.

    Hogging the spotlight these days is IpanemaBeach, its fame andbeautyunabated since bossanova starsTomJobimand Vinicius deMoraes introduced theworld to its allure in the ’60s.

    For cariocas (residents of Rio), the beach isRio’s backyard – aplayground that’s free and

    open to all, offering endless enjoyment in the formof football, volleyball, surfing, snacking, drinkingor simply relaxing amid the passing people parade.

    THERHYTHMSOFRIO Music is the lifebloodofRio, with a soundtrack comprising rock, old-school bossanova, hip-hop, funk andBrazil’smany regional styles.Above all, there’s samba, a rapid-fire style

    ofmusicwithAfrican influences and an infectious beat that is synonymouswithRio.

    You canhear it all over town, but the soul of samba resides in Lapa, an edgy, red- light district that is home todozens of live-music halls and an enormous

    weekend street party that draws revellers fromallwalks of life.

    Samba is also the integral soundduringCarnaval and the danceable backingmusic to street parties andparades.

    JOIEDEVIVRE SpeakingofCarnaval, Rio knowshow toparty.Whether you call it joie de vivre, lebensfreudeor lust for life, cariocas have it in spades.

    Carnaval, and the build-up to it, is themost obvious manifestationof this celebratory spirit.

    ButRiohasmanyother occasions for revelry – celebrations after the big Flamengo (orVasco, Fluminense orBotafogo) footballmatch,weekend samba parties around town, baile (dance) funkparties in the favelas andboat parties on the bay.Or save your energy for major fests likeReveillon (New Year’s Eve) and theFestas Juninas.

    RIODE JANEIRO’S TOPFIVE

    1. CARNAVAL

    Get plenty of sleep before you board the plane, because once you land, it’s non-stop revelry untilAshWednesday (sort of) brings it to a close.Withnearly 500 street parties happening in every corner of town, youwill not lack for options.

    For the full experience, join a samba school andparade amid poundingdrumcorps and mechanised smoke-breathing dragons before thousands of roaring fans in the Sambodromo.Or assemble a costumeandhit oneof the Carnaval balls around town. Thebuild-up startsweeks in advance.

    2. IPANEMABEACH

    Theenchanting beachfront attracts awidemixof cariocas, with a different crowd– surfers, volleyballers, bohemians,

    muscle boys – for each section (or posto), including famous Posto 9where Ipanema’s young andbeautiful frolic.

    Theprincipal activities of the day are people-watching, surfsidewalks andwatching the sunset – best fromArpoador, at Ipanema’s east end.

    You canalso eat anddrinkon the sand.Roaming vendors bring the goods to you, and barracas (beach stalls) set you upwith chairs, umbrellas and caipirinhas.

    All youneed to do is showup.

    3. COPACABANABEACH

    TheCopacabana experience is aboutmany things: rising early andgoing for a run along the sand, playing in thewaves ona sun-drenched afternoonor whiling away the eveningover cocktails and appetisers at a beachfront kiosk.Regardless, you’ll probably notice that

    incredibly seductive view: 4km ofwide, curving sands framed byRio’s ubiquitous greenpeaks.

    Headuphill for evenbetter views – rooftop bars and forts at either endof the beachmake great settings for taking it all in.

    4.NIGHT-LIFE IN LAPA

    TheLapaArches form the gateway toRio’smost animated nightlife. Pass through the64m highportal and stroll the packed, bar-lined streetswhile the rhythmsof samba spill out of 19th-century facades.

    While there are drinks (kerbside beer and caipirinha vendors) andmusic (impromptu jamsessions) all around, venture inside anold- school dancehall to see the city at itsmost dynamic.

    From thebandon stage comes the rhythmsof samba– oneof theworld’smost infectious beats.Grab apartner

    and join themayhemon the dance floor.

    5. PAODEACUCAR

    (SUGARLOAFMOUNTAIN)

    Some say to comearound sunset for the best views from this absurd confectionof a mountain. But in truth, no matterwhat timeyou come, you’re unlikely to look atRio in the sameway.

    Fromhere the landscape is pure undulating greenhills and goldenbeaches lappedbyblue sea,with rowsof skyscrapers sprouting along the shore. The ride up is good fun: all-glass aerial tramswhisk youup to the top. The adventurous can rock climb theirway to the summit.

    This is an edited extract from Lonely

    Planet Rio de Janeiro (8th Edition)

    by Regis St Louis © Lonely Planet

    2013. Published this month,

    RRP: $36.99.

    Aseductive seaside city

    TIPS

    Crime in Rio is declining,

    but it’s wise to be

    cautious.

    � Take nothing of value to

    the beach.

    � Avoid Centro (Rio’s

    business and financial

    hub) on weekends, when

    it is deserted.

    � Don’t wear expensive-

    looking accessories.

    � Carry a copy of your

    passport, one credit card

    and enough cash for the

    day; leave the passport,

    extra cash and cards in

    your hotel safe.

    GO2 RIO

    Golden beaches and lush mountains, colonial

    neighbourhoods and modernist style, samba-fuelled

    nightlife and spectacular football matches – welcome to

    the Marvellous City where life is anything but subdued

    IN FULL COLOUR: Ipanema Beach is Rio’s playground (main); samba is

    an integral part of city life (above) and can be found on the streets or

    in old-time dance halls.

    Pictures: Lonely Planet Images

    Escape www.escape.com.au sundayterritorian.com.au SUNDAY TRAVEL

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