The Girl From Ipanema

DSC05315ipanemaD.JPG

This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, February 17, 2004 was originally posted on February 19, 2004.

DAY 122:  Seeing the state of the dining room table the morning after a first night celebration of our new apartment, there was no explanation needed for the fact that Lara was pretty much sick and hungover all day.  I was feeling fairly okay — nothing that a little breakfast couldn’t cure.  Lara stayed in bed feeling rough while I went out to attend to Blog duties at an internet cafe and buy a couple of more groceries:  a fresh baguette for Lara and slices of cheese for my hangover breakfast, the good ol’ American grilled cheese sandwich.

After recuperating while watching episodes of Friends on our satellite TV’s The Warner Channel, we decided to take advantage of the sunny day by strolling all the way through Copacabana to Ipanema Beach (picture above).  On the eastern end of Ipanema Beach was the Arpoador, a small, rocky peninsula that jutted out into the Atlantic, a perfect place for surf waves and for fishermen.  I explored the area with my camera while Lara sat on a bench to recuperate some more.

Lara was still feeling rough and walked back to the apartment to chill out while I went on to explore the rest of Ipanema Beach.  Getz and Gilberto’s classic song “The Girl From Ipanema” implied to me that I’d see many lovely Brazilian girls on the beach — the kind that when they pass, each one they pass goes “Aaah” — but they were few and far between.  In fact, a lot of the people I noticed in and around the beachfronts were American guys who I take it were influenced on coming down to Rio for Carnivale because of Snoop Dogg & Pharrell’s “Beautiful” music video, shot in Rio.

I continued my leisurely stroll along the beach, passing the impressive sand sculptures of a talented artist.  I was beginning to think the supposed “girl from Ipanema” was merely a figment of his imagination until I realized the nearby rainbow-colored flag waving proudly on a pole.

I continued west until I heard the rhythm of a five-man samba band performing around a crowded, touristy (and hetero) beach.  There was a group of people with mobile phones and cameras trying to look important, and soon I realized what they were all hovering around:  a swimsuit model lounging out near the waves for what looked like a swimsuit calendar shoot or something.  The tall and tan and young and lovely girl was moved and primped into several sensual positions by an assistant, and glared her sexy Brazilian eyes for the nerdy-looking photographer behind the camera.  Aaah.  Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one trying to sneak in a photo without security looking.

As dusk was approaching, I went off to find a bicycle rental place so I could ride off into the sunset.  It wasn’t as easy as I thought; the address of the one place in Copacabana mentioned in my tourist guide turned out to be that of a residential high-rise.  I gave up on the idea anyway since I was tired from the total four-mile walk and just sat out for a bit watching the waves, sipping sweet water out of a fresh coconut.


LARA WAS FEELING MUCH BETTER when I got back to our apartment.  She sorted herself out with a pack of ramen noodles while I just finished the leftovers from the night before.  After, we went out for a nightly stroll to shop for Flamengo soccer jerseys to twirl around during the Caroica 2004 finals the following Saturday — it was easy since there were many guys just walking around and selling cheap bootleg ones out of a bag or over their shoulder. 

The vibe on the beach was chilled out with a slight breeze of salty sea air.  A man with a guitar played for a cafe on the beach.  Hippies sold homemade jewelry on towels spread across the sidewalk.  Spray paint artists worked their magic on their boards on the sidewalk.  People sat with drinks at sidewalk cafes and watched people go by.  We saw all this as we made our way to the night markets in the middle of Avenida Atlantica along beach, which sold the regular tourist souvenirs of t-shirts, jewelry, paintings and some other cheesy things that you might by for others but not yourself.  An American guy who probably knew the lyrics to the Snoop Dogg/Pharrell song more than he did any Portuguese overheard Lara speaking English and tried to get her to try on a woman’s shirt so she could model it for him.  She just gave him the usual “Não obrigada.”  (“No thanks.”)

Whereas The Girl From Ipanema can make people go “Aaah,” Lara the Girl From Guernsey just made the guy go “Awww…”






Next entry: Before We Have Company

Previous entry: New Neighbors




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Comments for “The Girl From Ipanema”

  • First!

    Posted by Warren  on  02/19  at  02:04 PM


  • beyoooo…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/19  at  02:08 PM


  • i wanna go on vacation again!... i think i’ll be at -80 hours after my last vacation… hmmmm. Brazil looks amazing, looking forward to carnival! what type of music will you be dancing to? perhaps i’ll pick up the CD and pretend i’m in carnival?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/19  at  09:36 PM


  • those beaches are making me jealous!  I wanna be somewhere warm… but have to wait 8 more weeks for Thailand :(

    Posted by Liz  on  02/20  at  12:08 AM


  • that sand sculpture must be permanent! i have the same picture… mine was taken 1.5 yrs ago!

    did lara eat the ramen noodles raw?

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/20  at  12:11 AM


  • All I can think about is Carlton Kareokee singing “The Girl From Ipanema” song on an epp of Fresh Prince!!  haha

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/20  at  02:45 AM


  • got your postcard from the falls. wow, those are beautiful, though the picture on the postcard was no where as good as the pictures you took. those sandcastles are amazing. i wish i could make a sancastle like that, but i keep knocking them down by accident. =P

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/22  at  07:02 PM


  • got your postcard from the falls. wow, those are beautiful, though the picture on the postcard was no where as good as the pictures you took. those sandcastles are amazing. i wish i could make a sancastle like that, but i keep knocking them down by accident. =P

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/22  at  07:02 PM


  • That sand castle reminded me of the stop-motion classic “The Year Without a Santa Clause”... looks like the North Pole. BTW it’s still winter back home, and boy does it suck. Those pics of the beach look so inviting… they’re calling out to us… Blog Hogs, come to Rio…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/22  at  09:13 PM


  • bom dia, erik..como esta? bem o non? so you have been dancing the samba in one of my favorite cities..and have you consumed muitos capirinhas and eaten feijoada?  while you were looking for the girl from ipanema were you also looking at the many bundas of girls wearing dental floss…...com muitos beijos e una pregunta, ”  are you drunk yet?”  nancy

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/23  at  02:06 PM


  • NANCY:  Hello and welcome to The Fellowship of The Blog!  Glad to see you here.  Capirinhas, Caipifrutas, caipiruskas…  is feijoda the meat bean stew thing?  Then yes. 

    Lots of dental floss here, but weather’s been kind of shitty the past couple of days…  I was in the sambadrome dancing in the pouring rain, but loved every minute of it!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/23  at  05:19 PM


  • That’s funny, it’s also been raining at the NO mardi gras back here in the states…

    Have a great time and stay safe…Everyone!!


    -Harry

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/23  at  05:33 PM


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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Before We Have Company

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New Neighbors




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