At the Copa! Copacabana….

So after a long day’s work, Jeff and I decided to try and head up to Sugarloaf for some nightshooting. We thought that we had enough time to make it from Caesar Park to the mountain but of course Rio’s famous rush hour traffic put paid to that thought. So as a detour, we decided that it would be feasible to try and hit Copacabana beach for a little nightshooting.

One of the most palpable things about Rio thus far was how unsafe I felt. Now to me, manageable travel safety is defined as the following:

“The combination of high travel experience, confidence to diffuse an unexpected situation, moderate to high ability to negotiate in a foreign language without knowing that language and low situation of risk”

In Rio, for all the days I was there, I felt that while I had all the other skills, I felt like I had very low ability to negotiate and high situation of risk; hence this to me makes it somewhat unsafe. However on Copacabana beach at night, with tons of tourist police around, I definitely felt a bit safer. So after aborting our Sugarloaf mission, we jumped out just before the Copacabana Palace.

This is the most famous hotel in Rio, having been featured in movies and of course, we being the rockstars that we are, sauntered into the hotel with not a care in the world. From the outside, the hotel definitely looks a bit posh and inside reflects that; of course if one is trying to be cool walking in, you don’t take pictures like a gawking tourist, hence no pictures on my camera.

One does get a drink and take pictures by the pool though..

So after a caipirinha at the hotel bar, it was time for some beach walking. It’s amazing the level of activity on the beach at night. People run on the beach or play soccer or futevole (sp) till the late hours.

Drinking on the tourist beach is a given, with all the little bar shacks along the waterfront

And all along the beach, there are intricate sand sculptures

and then there are some that just defy the imagination

and of course one makes new friends

After all that walking along the beach, it was time for dinner and the dish of the night was the famous Filet Oswaldo Aranha

Filé à Oswaldo Aranha, one of Rio de Janeiro’s best known dishes, is a tradition created by a Brazilian minister in the Getúlio Vargas government in the 1940s, when Rio de Janeiro was still the capital of Brazil. Like many other politicians of his time, Oswaldo Aranha liked having lunch at Cosmopolita, a Lapa restaurant opened in 1926 which used to be called Senadinho (“Little Senate”) during the Vargas government thanks to its clientele.

Oswaldo Aranha always ordered a thick slab of filet mignon, prepared in a frying pan with sliced garlic and served with sliced potatoes, farofa and plain white rice. I ordered a side of extra garlic in the end.

After that gut busting meal, it was back to the hotel for the night.

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About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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