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Half time: A Taste of Rio

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Rio view

So today is show 15 for Planet Sport Destination Rio which marks the half way stage during our time here in Rio de Janeiro.

Love Rio vanMost of us have almost been here a month now but it still seems we are scratching the surface of this fascinating city.

Myself and Tommy, who are producing the Taste of Rio features, are trying to gain an insight into what makes this city tick from the good to the bad to the ugly.

From Copacabana beach to the City of God one thing we can say at this half way stage is the people have Rio have been nothing short of brilliant.

Friendly, funny, joyful, helpful, charismatic and (you could apply this as a good or bad point) laid back, the Cariocas are certainly one of a kind.

maracanaThen of course there is the football. Our reporters have been to every Maracana game so far as well as watching all the other World Cup games and it is safe to say that this is turning out to be one of the most entertaining tournaments I have ever seen.

If the knockout rounds are just as good as the group stages then perhaps we should hold the World Cup here in Brazil more regularly. There could be worse places to hold a tournament I suppose.

There is still a lot more for us to explore here in Rio, from doing the touristy stuff such as Sugar Loaf mountain and Corcovado to looking at issues such as human trafficking here in Rio and helping out with some football projects in some of the city’s low income communities.

We are only at the half way stage but barring some kind of disaster I can only see my fondness of this city growing.

This city is not perfect (the same as any city I suppose) but it has a good heart, a strong heart, and I cannot wait to see what the next half of this project here in Rio has in store.

Andy’s top five things about Rio so far: 

  1. The beach – Copacabana and Ipanema have been bubbling with atmosphere since the World Cup began. Fans from different countries converge on these beaches and the atmosphere created is just great. Also it is a great place to go for your days off.
  2. Buffet – You pay by the weight of your plate. Once you get clever with what you pile on you can have a whopping big lunch for a bargain price. Brilliant stuff.
  3. Andy tries to speak Portuguese Acai – This is a drink made from Acai berries. It is thick like ice cream so you need a spoon to eat it. I am addicted to the stuff, they sell it everywhere and it is good for you. Mix it in with granola and it makes a lovely breakfast.
  4. The people – Just brilliant. They have put up with my bad Portuguese for a start so that deserves medal status.
  5. Coffee bars – These little places are everywhere. Need an early morning pick me up? Grab a quick shot of coffee. Need a quick snack to keep you going? Grab a bite for $1R. Lovely. 


Tommy's top five things about  Rio so far: 

  1. Beach life - Feels like I'm cheating a bit with this one as it encompasses so much - but I love it. The activities (football, volleyball, foot-volley, slack-lining, surfing), the views, the people-watching - it's what Rio's all about.
  2. Meat - I love a BBQ and love a bit of meat. I went to a restaurant the other day and they just kept bringing over different types of meat on skewers and putting it on my plate. Heaven.
  3. Tommy in Rio by the ForteBrazil matches - When the Brazilian team are playing, everything stops - work, school, shopping can wait... the game is on. The yellow and green comes out and the people join together to cheer on (exuberantly) their team. And if they win, it's party time.
  4. Views - Pretty much wherever you are, there is something interesting to look at. From the beach, you can stare out to sea, enjoying a backdrop of mountains (including Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf), the road is lined with hotels, including the luxury Copacabana Palace, and above that the favelas stretch out over the hills. In some respects, the view tells you a lot about the place.
  5. Carioca - The people. They're fun, warm, outgoing but laid-back at the same time, extremely welcoming and hospitable, and some are rather beautiful (inside and out, of course).

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