Breathtaking views, skimpy swimwear & a sunburnt Gringo : A Rio de Janeiro Photo Essay

Seven years and 90 countries later, I think I found the most beautiful metropolis in the world. It is a close call between Capetown South Africa and Rio de Janeiro. Capetown owns the wildlife scene but I think all things being equal, Rio takes the crown. It has taken me a long time to get to Rio. I have had my visa for several years now but seemed to always get sidetracked from visiting. From doing all sorts of weird jobs throughout Europe (the ghoulish Krampus, the saintly female Christkind and a toilet attendant in Holland come to mind) to getting my feet wet last year on the television with playing a National Geographic extra (as a WWII ghost) to most recently doing some charity work down in the Philippines (relief worker & Operation Save Santa) – I have had my hands full. But with the World Cup in Brazil this past year, I finally had my excuse to get back to my heart of hearts: South America.

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In truth, I opted to live in Belo Horizonte Brazil instead of Rio during the World Cup because 1) I hate being around the tourist hordes (I like to keep it local so I can feel unique and special snowflake that I am – my self-esteem depends on it), and 2) Rio is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. However, I think Rio just may be worth it.  It has it all: A ridiculous amount of amazing beaches set against lush mountains that weave up and down in a sort of never ending labyrinth; an easygoing lifestyle hallmarked by the juxtaposed conditions of going out to party til the sun comes up and staying in shape during the day by cruising along its long sidewalks that run parallel to the beaches – which also happen to have fitness stations every 100 meters; and of course, the Brazilians themselves.

Anyway, I am at a loss to truly articulate Rio’s vibrant interweaving of beauty and lifestyles into words, so I’ll just leave these here and you can see for yourself why you should definitely visit Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro-5

Can't do the beach without a standard hangover coconut

Can’t do the beach without a standard hangover coconut

Lifeguard casa

Lifeguard casa

Globo and tea: true beach days in Rio

Globo and tea: true beach days in Rio

Lemonade-tea and Globo - weird crackers that tastes like air. Yes air has a taste. Love this guy.

Lemonade-tea and Globo – weird crackers that tastes like air. Yes air has a taste. Love this guy.

Brazilian beach standard

Brazilian beach standard

Footvolley in Rio. Basically volleyball with your feet. These 50 year old dudes are IN shape.

Footvolley in Rio. Basically volleyball with your feet. These 50 year old dudes are IN shape.

Helicopter rescue. The waves/break is crazy on the beach. And quite dangerous. Brazilian Baywatch is legit.

Helicopter rescue. The waves/break is crazy on the beach. And quite dangerous. Brazilian Baywatch is legit.

Fitness workout stations every 100 meters. Gotta keep in shape if you want to survive in Rio.

Fitness workout stations every 100 meters. Gotta keep in shape if you want to survive in Rio.

I would highly recommend not taking Rio's rental bikes through traffic in tunnels.

I would highly recommend not taking Rio’s rental bikes through traffic in tunnels.

Sunday fundays in Rio

Sunday fundays in Rio

Sunday fundays in Rio

Sunday fundays in Rio

Street work outs

Street work outs

When in Rio, you gotta go local, the question is, small or extra small?

When in Rio, you gotta go local, the question is, tight or extra tight?

Extra small it is

Extra tight it is

Standard streetwalking attire in Rio

Standard streetwalking attire in Rio

Another view from Christ the Redeemer

Another view from Christ the Redeemer

So many views, head exploding.

So many views, head exploding.

Mi amigos with Christos

Mi amigos with Christos

What's up Jesus

What’s up Jesus

Nailed it

Nailed it

Cheeky monkey

Cheeky monkey

Can't get enough of these rolling hills

Can’t get enough of these rolling hills

Up close cheeky monkey

Up close cheeky monkey

Sugar Loaf

Sugar Loaf

Brazilian beer o'clock food

Brazilian beer o’clock foo

Lapa historical area. My camera caught a crystal.

Lapa historical area. My camera caught a crystal.

My friend PommieTravels with a different filter

My friend PommieTravels with a different filter

Rio's famous Escadaria Steps

Rio’s famous Escadaria Steps

A gringo perch

A gringo perch

San Francisco Love

San Francisco Love

Lapa aqueducts

Lapa aqueducts

Standard neighborhood views

Standard neighborhood views

Brazilian lunch aka cardiologist dream

Brazilian lunch aka cardiologist dream

The biggest avocados ever in Brazil

The biggest avocados ever in Brazil

Pre-football game beers. You can see the difference between people from Belo Horizonte vs Rio lifestyle here...

Pre-football game beers. You can see the difference between people from Belo Horizonte vs Rio lifestyle here…

Leave it to the Mineros to be the ones boozing the hardest before the Crucero game in Rio

Leave it to the Mineros to be the ones boozing the hardest before the Crucero game in Rio

Let the game begin

Let the game begin

Happy gringo got a ticket despite a never-ending line

Happy gringo got a ticket despite a never-ending line

The gringo sobers up when realizing beer is no longer sold inside the stadium...maybe FIFA isn't completely evil.

The gringo sobers up when realizing beer is no longer sold inside the stadium…maybe FIFA isn’t completely evil.

Insides Rio's football stadium

Insides Rio’s football stadium

The police bring their pets...wait

The police bring their pets…wait

Charles Bukowski bar...perfect.

Charles Bukowski bar…perfect.

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appropriate signage

appropriate signage

This is why you stay out all night partying

This is why you stay out all night partying

Shock at Rio's splendor or too many drinks?

Shock at Rio’s splendor or too many drinks?

Why you should stay up all night in Rio

Why you should stay up all night in Rio

Definitely not hungover

Everyday is a beach day in Rio, hangover or not.

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Turner barr
turnerbarr@gmail.com

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

2 Comments
  • Ian
    Posted at 21:17h, 05 October

    Stunning sunrise to end an amazing photo essay … has got me pumped for Rio!

  • Namaste Turkey
    Posted at 04:42h, 08 October

    Enjoying in Brazil, some of the pictures are very funny and very natural..good one