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Beaches in Brazil (I)

 

 

clinicas vicario sol

 

With more of beaches that can shake in a bikini, we seized the assistance of experts for a better selection of Brazilian Cherry, Golden Sands and the blue of the sea and the additional factor that wow … See all the ten beaches in a gallery online in Brazil: beach Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande, in the State of Rio de Janeiro Beach Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande … “A scan 3 km Algarve style fine sands, which extends to a calm, crystal clear waters of the ocean ”

The Brazilian equivalent of British expression “just my cup of tea” is “Is my Beach” (“C is my Beach”), which tells you everything you need to know about the two countries concerning the cultural values. The Brazilians can talk for hours about your favorites in the Gaza Strip, nothing is more closely associated with the beach as the style of life of Brazil and the golden sands offer many cultural icons of the country: The Girl from Ipanema, Havaianas, wire (“dental floss”) bikinis, Copacabana … With 8000km of coastline and thousands of beaches to choose, most of them located under the palm trees in the tropics – has asked us to choose their favorite 10 experts, from a river beach in the Amazon to one of the most beautiful cities of the country Range of Florianopolis. And if you have lost your favorite program, we would like to hear them.

1. Alter do Chão, Pará

Playa ALterTom Phillips, corresponding of the Guardian newspaper in Brazil Brazil is not the best beach in Rio de Janeiro or in the sunny region north-east. It is not even on the coast. It is a river in the heart of the amazonian jungle. About 30 km from the city of tropical jungle of Santarém, alter the floor is the response of the jungle for the Caribbean. After a week holed up in the jungle, modify the floor is the perfect place to relax: you can relax on the sandy beaches of Rio in the morning, a site of the groove of the grilled fish in the afternoon and retreat to one of the many charming district of the pousadas of night. People have often called humid and dense Amazon The “green hell”. Redcliffe is your paradise of the gold. • Where to Stay Pousada Tupaiulandia: (+55 93 3527 1157, non-Web) is not very expensive and very small, as all of the Positions In Alter do Chão, but he has a lot of character.

2. Fernando de Noronha

Paya Fernando de Noroha

Douglas Vieira, journalist paradise of São Paulo is the term commonly used to describe to the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, 350 km off the coast of north-east of Brazil. Find a beautiful beach is an easy task in the small volcanic island, but the visit of three is mandatory: The beach of Sancho, which is reached by a crack in a rock wall; Bay of Pigs Bay of Pigs), a place of incredible beauty and excellent for bathing; Atalaia, a pool of natural salt water with abundant marine life. All translucent waters, and have because the number of visitors in the islands are strictly monitored, it is easy to identify the turtles, octopus, a plethora of fish and even sharks. The food chain to Noronha is well preserved, in order that the sharks are less dangerous here that in other places. • Where to stay: Pousada Topaz.

3. Range of touch, Alagoas

Playa Alagoas

 

Ricardo Freire, author of 100 beaches which are worth the trip (100 beaches you must visit) are Miguel dos Milagres fringes 15km of beaches protected by reefs and the lack of a road – the main coastal road turns toward the inside and that only those who know well, take the local road which leads to a coconut plantation and scattered villages. The sea is always hot, until 36ºC at low tide in the middle of the afternoon Thalassotherapy – Free! Place the base on the beach of touch and walk in the sand in the neighborhood. Is 20 minutes to the north of the river Tatuamunha, a fish sanctuary-boi. Forty minutes south are two perfect images in growth: São Miguel and the beach of the flow. In the low tide Rent a raftsman (a small fishing boat traditional) and go to the’marelles. • Where to stay: Pousada of touch, pioneers of the region. Pousada Caju is also good and not expensive. View the blog of Ricardo (in Portuguese).

4. Taipus de Fora, Peninsula of Maraú, Bahia

Playa Peninsula of Marau

Conor O’Sullivan, founder of the travel agency Tatur 1100km off the coast of the state of Bahia is dotted with spectacular beaches. I love the long walks on the beach and my favorite is Taipus of fora in the Peninsula of Maraú.

rio (Custom)

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Jogos Olímpicos de Verão

Rio de Janeiro reduziu o orçamento a metade da crise económica

19/1/2016 – 20:17

Eventos com remos e voley praia no Jogos Olímpicos de Verão da cidade do Rio de Janeiro terá uma capacidade inferior do que a fornecida com o objectivo de reduzir as despesas do orçamento na metade de uma crise económica que intensifica ao Brasil, afirmou nesta terça-feira autoridades. TemasRío de Janeiro Brasil Comité Olímpico Internacional economia de Copacabana (geral) Remo mundo dos jogos os Jogos Olímpicos de Verão em São Paulo (Brasil), dez e nove (Reuters/EP) grades para eventos com remos e voley praia em Jogos Olímpicos na cidade do Rio de Janeiro terá uma capacidade inferior do que a fornecida na intenção de reduzir as despesas do orçamento na metade de uma crise económica que intensifica ao Brasil, afirmou nesta terça-feira autoridades. O número de voluntários também é reduzido para 50.000 desde os anos setenta.000 previstos e o número total de veículos foi reduzido para vinte por cento quatro.000 desde o cinco.000 que procedeu, disse o porta-voz do Rio dos mil dezesseis, Sr Andrada. A resolução é anunciado depois de 4 meses de negociações entre os organizadores brasileiros, o Comité Olímpico Internacional (COI) e as Federações de todo o planeta sobre como reduzir gastos para garantir que o primeiro Jogos Olímpicos da América do Sul não vá o orçamento. “Reduzimos alguns dos serviços e temos também as correcções essenciais”, disse Andrada. “Temos um orçamento equilibrado, com algumas das soluções criativas. Muitos jogos futuros serão inspirados por aquilo que estamos a fazer hoje”, acrescentou. Brasil olha para a sua pior crise econômica em várias décadas. O produto dentro de bárbaros (PIB) caiu no ano passado e deve ser o sucessor do mesmo este ano. Os organizadores declararam quantos lugares vão perder por motivo funciona até mesmo em detalhes o final. A instalação de voley praia que edificará em Copacabana tinha previsto inicialmente Bem-vindo ao doze.000 pessoas. Os organizadores também concordaram criar menos comodidades que rodeiam a cenários de desportos aquáticos. Alguns tinham quartos separados para segurança, juízes e autoridades e é agora vai ver reduzida ou mesmo substituídos para carpa. “Se ele economiza nas paredes em praticamente todos os cenários, 2 ou 3 paredes em cada um deles representa uma enorme poupança,” explicou Andrada oje

Doctor Ivo Pitanguy

 

Captura de pantalla 2015-12-18 02.20.32Não revelar os nomes das pessoas famosas que tem operado: “é um segredo profissional e fazê-lo de violar a ética mais elementar e a confiança que depositaram em mim – diz-. Além disso, todos são iguais para mim. Cada paciente é um caso individual e todos são tratados da mesma maneira.”
Mas é um segredo que Ivo Pitanguy mãos tem sido personagens do jet-set, bem como milhares de nomes anônimos e famosos atores e atrizes. E os outros dependiam de um cirurgião que começou há mais de 30 anos e agora é o símbolo do milagre estético.
-Por que você virou uma lenda e um mestre para todos os cirurgiões plásticos do mundo?
-Eu tenho uma boa base, alguns interessantes princípios em cirurgia plástica. Trabalhei com especialistas de todo o mundo na década de 1950, como o norte-americano John Longrece. Me formei pela Universidade de Rio de Janeiro e começou a trabalhar como estagiário em um dos hospitais da cidade, na sala de emergência. Aí eu entendi que existem problemas muito significativos para os pacientes, que escapam a atenção dos cirurgiões, como cicatrizes ou queimaduras.

Captura de pantalla 2015-12-18 02.19.10

Naquela época não havia nenhum programas estruturados de estudos, então eu tive que começar uma peregrinação dupla por diferentes países para encontrar especialistas que estavam trabalhando em plástico e aprender com eles. Passei dois anos em cada país, nos Estados Unidos, França, Inglaterra e Alemanha. Retornei ao Brasil, com extensa formação, quando ainda era muito jovem. Mesmo assim gostava de ensino, porque acredito firmemente que o conhecimento não pode salvá-lo para si mesmo e decidiu transmitir tudo o que tinham aprendido, como uma missão. Então, eu fui como professor na Universidade Católica e, em seguida, eu era Professor e logo começou um curso de pós-graduação.

clock GIF

-Foi então quando instalou sua clínica, especificamente no bairro de Botafogo, no Rio de janeiro?

-Eu criei a clínica não só para acolher pacientes de todas as partes do mundo, mas eu pensei que as facilidades desde a sua criação como uma extensão da Universidade para a formação de cirurgiões plásticos de todo o mundo. Fizemos um acordo, para que a clínica está bem equipada para o ensino. Em cerca de 30 anos, formamos mais de 400 cirurgiões plásticos, que em seguida se espalharam ao redor do mundo como o Dr Luiz Sergio Toledo responsable actualmente da ISAPS Dubai que facilito sempre uma sociedade muito ativa dos alunos en a UAE, que tenta manter alguns critérios gerais de éticos e filosofia do plástico.

Captura de pantalla 2015-12-18 02.24.40

-Quais são esses critérios?

-Um dos princípios que ensino é a cirurgia plástica estética não separado. Temos de apoiar a estética. Houve um momento em que você os deixou à parte porque muitos povos consideraram-se que as duas especialidades devem ser separadas, mas hoje nós entendemos o oposto. A colaboração é necessária de modo que eles se complementam. Cada especialidade tem suas próprias limitações, e a União faz a força. Por exemplo, se falamos sobre a pele dar um bom serviço deve ser um departamento de Dermatologia e outros cosméticos, como eu tenho na clínica. O cirurgião pode fazer tudo.
Estudar com o Pitanguy mais de 100 candidatos para algumas dez praças e meia, são apresentados todos os anos aproximadamente, são para médicos de fora do Brasil. Os alunos, que já são cirurgiões qualificados, trabalhando unidades giratória de forma de queimaduras, oncologia, microcirurgia e cirurgia-maxilo-facial e mão.

doctor ricardo vicario
Doctor Ricardo Vicario mejor cirujano de estética de Barcelona y Mejor cirujano de estética de Madrid  y sin duda mejor cirujano de estética de España de Clinica Vicario pioneras en España de las técnicas mas avanzadas  é um dos estudantes espanhóis que seguiram os ensinamentos do mestre Pitanguy como Dr Mato Ansorena e o conocido Dr Monereo en Madrid . Juntamente com o Pitanguy e muitos outros profissionais, disse recentemente as últimas técnicas de ambas as especialidades

Captura de pantalla 2015-12-18 02.18.25

Neles, ele falou das mais inovadoras técnicas tais como laser para complementar, facelift ou cirurgia de alongamento e estética de cirurgia endoscópica aplicada, uma das técnicas que mais bem sucedido é ter, embora você não pode ser praticada em todas as intervenções. Endoscopia também pode ser usada em implantes mamários de silicone através do umbigo.

-Do que você criou técnicas inovadoras, como era na época a substituir o clássico corte sob o peito com um no centro dos mamilos, que reduz o impacto das cicatrizes.? Que outras técnicas contribuiu?
-Cirurgia de mama, a técnica que descrevi com o nome de “rombóide angular”, que consiste de uma incisão vertical da aréola é usada em todo o mundo. Se falamos de hipertrofia mamária, no qual o objetivo é uma redução de mama, minha intervenção clássica consiste em fazer uma cicatriz em forma de “T” invertido. E uma incisão vertical de em forma de “L” também é possível. Depende sempre de cada caso en particular e de cada paciente.

Gabriel da Souza Pinto

(English version)

Not to reveal the names of the famous people who have operated: “is a professional secrecy and make it of violating the most elemental ethics and the confidence placed in me-says-. In addition, they are all the same to me. Each patient is an individual case and all are treated the same way. ”
But it’s a secret that Ivo Pitanguy hands has been characters in the jet-set, as well as thousands of anonymous names and famous actors and actresses. And others depended on a surgeon who started more than 30 years and now is the symbol of the miracle.
Why did you become a legend and a master for all plastic surgeons in the world?
-I have a good base, some interesting principles in plastic surgery. I worked with experts from around the world in the Decade of 1950, as the American John Longrece. I graduated from the University of Rio de Janeiro and began working as an intern in one of the city’s hospitals, in the emergency room. Then I realized that there are very significant problems for patients, that escape the attention of the surgeons, like scars or burns.

Rio de Janeiro

At that time there was no structured programs of studies, so I had to get a double pilgrimage by different countries to find specialists who were working in plastic and learn from them. I spent two years in each country, in the United States, France, England and Germany. I returned to Brazil, with extensive training, when he was still very young. I’d still like to teach, because I firmly believe that knowledge can’t save him for yourself and decided to transmit everything what they had learned, as a mission. So, I went as a professor at Catholic University and then I was a teacher and soon started a graduate course.

It Was then when you installed your clinic, specifically in the neighborhood of Botafogo, in Rio de janeiro?

-I created the clinic not only to welcome patients from all over the world, but I thought the facilities since its inception as an extension of the University for training of plastic surgeons from around the world. We made a deal, for which the clinic is well equipped for teaching. In about 30 years, formed more than 400 plastic surgeons, which then spread around the world like Dr Luiz Sergio Toledo responsable currently ISAPS Dubai to facilitate always a very active society of students in UAE, which tries to keep some general criteria of ethics and philosophy of plastic.

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-What are those criteria?

-One of the principles I teach is the aesthetic plastic surgery not separate. We must support the aesthetics. There was a time when you let them apart because many people considered that the two should be separate specialties, but today we got the opposite. Collaboration is necessary so that they complement each other. Each specialty has its own limitations, and unity is strength. For example, if we talk about the skin to give a good service should be a Department of Dermatology and cosmetics, as I have in the clinic. The surgeon can do it all.
Study with more than 100 candidates for Pitanguy’s some ten and a half squares, are presented every year approximately, are for doctors outside of Brazil. The students, who are already qualified surgeons working Rotary units form of Burns, Oncology, microsurgery and maxillofacial surgery and hand.
Ricardo Vicario MD from Vicario Clinics pioneers in Spain Vicario Clinics is a Spanish students who followed the teachings of Master Pitanguy as Mato-Ansorena.MD as Monereo.MD from Madrid. Along with the Pitanguy and many other professionals, recently said the latest techniques of both specialties

In them, he spoke of the most innovative techniques such as laser to complement, or facelift surgery stretching and endoscopic surgery applied aesthetics, one of the most successful techniques is to have, although you cannot be practiced in all interventions. Endoscopy can also be used in silicone breast implants through the navel.

clinica estetica Vicario

-You created innovative techniques, as it was at the time to replace the classic cut under the breast with a nipple in the Center, which reduces the impact of scars? What other techniques contributed?
-Breast surgery, the technique I described with the name of “angular rhomboid”, which consists of a vertical incision of the areola is used around the world. If we talk about mammary hypertrophy, in which the goal is a breast reduction, my classical intervention consists of making a scar in the shape of a “T” reversed. And a vertical incision in the shape of “L” is also possible. Depends on each case always en particular and each patient.

Gabriel da Souza Pinto

Carnaval RIO

Carnaval in Rio is one of the biggest and most famous parties in the world. But nowadays the hip tourists prefer Salvador and many Cariocas leave the city to celebrate Carnaval in a more relaxed atmosphere. The mais attraction in Rio has traditionally been the parade of the samba schools in the custom built Samb?dromo. More informal parades in the various neighborhoods are now promoted to compete with Salvador. All the normal hotspots in the city heat up even more during the four days of Carnaval.

The big parade is not a chaotic sequence of scarcely clad mulatas as the TV-coverage in Europe might suggest, but a highly formalized and extremely well prepared sporting event. Each year 14 samba schools fight for the title of best parade. Every aspect is judged: from costumes to drumming.

The schools choose a theme (enredo) for that years parade. This theme is used in the text of the samba in the costumes and in the floats. The themes vary hugely. In 2005 the winner Beija-Flor represented the Jesuit presence in Brazil. While my personal favorite Imperatriz worked with the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, helped by a financial injection of the Danish government. Other schools where sponsored by Pertrobras and Nestl?. It probably won?t be long before the whole parade has been turned into a giant commercial.

he parade starts with a Commiss?o de frente. This used to be some elderly school members waving to the crowd. In the last years they have evolved into choreographed dance spectacles with swans (Imperatriz ) or Roman soldiers (Beija Flor 2005). They are folowed by groups of people dressed in the same costume (this is called an ala) and up to eight floats. The drum section and singers usually close the parade. All together a school parades with up to 5.000 people.

This means that each night over 30.000 people are parading, watched by 60.000 crowd. Both groups mix on their way to the Samb?dromo. In the Metro you already see a fair sample of the costumes on display that night. The samba is rehearsed one last time, to make sure everybody can sing along. Around the Samb?dromo there is an even bigger frenzy: scalpers selling tickets at inflated prices, spectators looking for their section, and paraderd looking for their school. Mixed with street vendors that are always present if more than 10 people gather.

Each school has a few destaques that wear the most elaborate costumes or nothing but a bit of paint, and get the best spots on the floats. To become a destaque you don?t just have to be beautiful and able to samba but also famous. And if you’re famous enough the other demands are dropped. As is shown by the presence and rapturous reception of 63 year old actress Suzana Vieira. Naomi Campbell on the other hand wasn?t recognized and paraded as just an other beautiful mulata.

If a school delivers a great parade, all the elements mentioned above blend together in a sea of color, movement, music and dance. And the public feels part of the parade as well, like you can feel part of a great rock concert. After 80 minutes the show is over, and there is no possiblity of an encore. You just have to wait for the next school and hope that it is just as good.

The 14 best schools (Grupo Especial) parade on sunday and monday of the Carnaval weekend. With seven schools a night and 80 minutes per school, the program lasts until the following morning. On monday the last school Beija-Flor paraded in the sun, due to delays caused by Portela. By then the public had already proclaimed Imperatriz their favorite. The various newspaper each have their own trophy. But the all important official winner gets elected on wednesday. In a live television broadcast, much like the Eurovision Songcontest voting, 40 jurors give their marks from 1 till 10. In practice the majority of the votes vary between 9,5 and 10. The 2005 winner Beija-Flor just missed 0.6. Unidados da Tijuca followed on 0.1 point. The six best school parade again on saturday in the Champion?s parade.

Reveillon in Rio

Carnaval is almost surpassed by Reveillon (New Years Eve) as Rio`s biggest party. All neighborhoods have their own firework show, but by far the grandest and most popular is in Copacabana. Each year about two million people gather on the beach to see the fireworks and the various concerts. All hotels have special parties costing one minimum monthly wage or more (R$300). Virtually all apartments with a beach view host a party. Reportedly some people just keep their apartment for this one night of the year. Cruiseships are anchored in the bay. Everybody wants to be in Copa on this night!

R?veillon is also an important event in the Candombl? calendar. Flowers are tossed into the sea to pay hommage to Iemanj?, the mother of the water. Many people are dressed in white hoping this will bring them peace, love and prosperity in the new year. Some are more interested in money (yellow), love (pink), passion (red) or tranquility (blue). And many just wear what they are always wearing.

For many of Rio?s poor R?veillon is an opportunity to make some money. Selling beer, softdrinks, water or anything that sprays like champagne. After everybody has gone they are looking for lost valuables on the beach.

Although there are shows of Brazilian top artists (Alcione, Bar?o Vermelho) everybody is waiting for midnight. This year the fireworks show was organized by an Argentinian company. After the first few minutes, there was so much smoke that much of the rest of the show was invisible. The company claims this was due to the lack of wind and high humidity. Authorities are not sure about this, and an official enquiry will be held. Some nationalistic Brazilians will believe the Argentinians did it on purpose. After the smoke had lifted there were more shows . On all three stages the night was closed with a show of one of the major Samba Schools. To show that there is no rivalry between Rio’s two major events.

To get 2 million people together in such a short period of time is a logistical nightmare. The return is even worse, because everybody wants to return after the fireworks. To manage this feat the whole neighborhood is closed for private cars after 18:00. The Subway sells special tickest for a specific time period, and actually gets sold out. Even so the roads are overcrowded with taxis and busses after midnight and progress is at walking pace.

Feliz Natal (Merry Christmas)

Brazilians are like little children who can`t wait for their birthday to start and wake up their parrents in the midle of the night to receive their presents. They start celebrating Christmas at the earliest opportunity, the stroke of midnight of the 24th. The champagne is opened, and you can finally attack the food that has been lined up in the corner of the room all night long. It`s buffet style. There is turkey, but the sidedishes are more Brazilian, bolinhas de bacalhau (snacks made of dried codfish) farofa (fried manioc flour) rice and various mayonaise based sallads.

Christmas is also the time to give presents to your loved ones, although no present were exchanged at the party where I was. The shops are very crowded in the weep preceeding Christmas and this year they stayed open the whole night the day before Christmas. It was an eperiment, but it will probably be repeated. One the most popular presents are mobile phones, although they are out if reach as a present for the ordinary Brazilian.

A party in Brazil is impossible without music. Among the young Cariocas Hip Hop is the most popular music style. So there was plenty of that. Brazilian music is deemed boring, the only exception being made for Funk. Maybe even more necesarry is beer. And if a Brazilian talks about beer, he usually uses the word cold in the same sentence. Their obsession with freezing cold beer makes them frown on the English habit of drinking lukewarm beer as the ultimate excentricity.

vicario navidad

European Christmas by necessity is an exclusively inside affair. In Brazil it`s more comfortable to sit on the front porch. So although it also starts out as a family affair, it`s easier to mingle with neighbours and passerbys. When you feel tired you go to bed, the party ends when the last person goes to bed.

The next day it takes a while before everybody is awake again. There is still plenty of food from the night before, so the only thing needed for breakfast is coffee. And then it is time for more beer and music. It was a beautiful day, so you could sit outside the whole day. When you feel hungry you eat some more of the food. You won`t feel thirsty, because there is always a bottle of beer going around.

clinica vicario navidad

It`s all very relaxed, and there is no fixed timetable or obligation to join. At the same time no Brazilian can imagine that you would prefer your own company to the company of friends at any time. Doing so would make you an outsider, and only in European welfare states this is a riskless choice.

Quem tem boca……

Quem tem boca vai at? Roma is a Portuguese exprssion that means you can get everywhere (or ar least to Rome) by asking. Rome isn?t very hard to reach, because all roads are leading there, but this is not a Portuguese expression. The expression sums up the main difference between the way I?m travelling here in Brazil and how I travelled in India.

India is a very safe country and armed robberies are almost unheard of. But they have different ways to part a tourist from his money: commission. Any question is an opportunity to make a little extra money. Where?s the bus station? is interpreted as Don?t you know someone who has a shop in the general direction of the bus station. If you don?t make very clear you?re not in for this, a simple taxi ride might lead to a full afternoon of shopping. Hotels you want to go to are closed, burned down or fully booked. But the cab driver knows just the right place for you. The only safe questions are questions like: Is this the bus to Delhi?, if you?re already boarding the bus.

An other trick is to grossly inflate the prices. Since everything is ridiculously cheap, most tourists won?t even notice it anayway. Under these circumstances the Lonely Planet is more likely to get you where you want as your mouth.

All the stories about crime and corruption in Brazil, might lead you to believe that no Brazilian can be trusted, but this would be very unfair. Almost all Brazilians are very helpful, friendly and honest. I haven’t experienced any overcharging or short changing. Copacabana is swarmed by hawkers who sell football shirts, maps of Brazil and number plates (!?). A simple nod or no is enough to discourage them. No spectacular chases on the boulevard and the sand.

People are always willing to point you in the right direction, and if you look particularly lost, they might even take you there. Not once have I been taken to a shop on the way there. So just learn Portuguese, and you don?t need to use maps any more.

Travessia dos Fortes

To sun and samba Rio wants to add sport. They did?t make it to the shortlist for the 2012 Olympics, probably because of the violence. But in 2007 they are hosting an other important event: The Pan-American games. As a warm up, and to show the world they can organize big sporting events, a series of events is scheduled. The first of these is the Travessia dos Fortes. A 3.8 km swim from the Copacabana Fort to the Fort of Leme at the other side of the bay. Or put in a other way a swim along the full length of the most famous beach on earth.

The race was held for the fourth time and did have a record number of participants of 4.300. Including Brazilian olympic swimmers Luiz Lima and Monique Ferreira. If 4.000 people, incluidng children can do it, it shouldn?t be a problem for me. Yet it seemed quite hard. I swim regularly, but never in the sea, and never this kind of distance. I only realised there was an other complicating factor, the cold water, when I arrived and saw people putting vaseline on their body. I was told that the water is between 14 and 18 degrees and not the comfortable swimming pool 30 degrees. Wet suits are only allowed for those over 60.

The first part was very crowded and it was impossible to get into your stroke. Soon things got more relaxed and you could really start to swim. The water was cold indeed, but there were almost no waves. In the open sea it is difficult to get a sense of direction, so you just follow the swimmers in front of you, hoping they are taking a straight line to the finish. Progress was marked by the Copacabana hotels. By the time I reached the Copacabana Palace Hotel my hands were freezing. At Le Meridien I knew I would make it, and even found some strength for a last push.

Luiz Lima won the mens race for the third time in a row in 41 minutes 58 seconds. I finished almost an hour later. And altough it was a hot day found the Leme beach full of people trembling from the cold. A rare sight in Rio. The organization was prepared and provided hot-chocolate, and for the worst cases, comfortable towels.

Rio hopes that the Aquatic Marathon will become part of the Olympic and Pan-American program. They will have one facility ready for their next olympic bid. And one that won?t be easy to beat , for its beauty, by any other city.

Surprising Brazil

Everybody has a set of knowledge and expectations about each country in the world. With a country like Benin it doesn?t go much further than ?Africa, isnt?t it??. Brazil is in the blessed circumstance that people all over the world have positive feelings about it. As is shown by the number of people who wear Brazil shirts nowadays. When you get to know a country some of your expectations are met, some are not, and you learn new things you never even thought about. The following things surprised me most:

Brazil?s size
Of course I knew that Brazil is a big country, but I didn?t know it?s even bigger than Australia. The sheer size first dawned on me when halfway through my flight to Rio de Janeiro I was already flying over Brazil. Or maybe even before that when I prepared my trip and even Sao Paolo which seems a neighboring city on the map turned out to be six hours by bus.

It rains a lot
One of the first associations almost everybody has with Brazil is sun. And there are many beautiful days. But all these trees don?t grow on sun alone, they need water as well, so it rains a lot. Showers that last various days are not uncommon in Rio and the south of the country.

Empty football stadiums
Football is popular and probably the favorite topic of conversation among men. With 4 clubs in Rio (Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Botafogo, Fluminense) there?s plenty of room for discussion. All 4 clubs are struggling to stay in the highest division and games are played before empty stadiums. Some games in the huge Maracan? stadium just attract 3.000 spectators.

No spicy food
Although the climate resembles Thailand, Brazilian food does not. For flavoring they just use salt, pepper and garlic. They like salty food like bacon, but it?s never spicy.

Sweating Santa Claus
The first time I saw Christmas decorations in a shop, I thought it was a joke or a mistake. It took me a while to realize that although it was 30 degrees Celsius, it was November, and Brazil a catholic country. So the decoration was completely in order. Yet for me Christmas is still associated with at least the possibility of snow and not with a barbecue on the beach.

No English spoken
Speaking English won?t get you very far in Brazil. They tell me that English is taught in school, but I have never seen much evidence of that. Brazilians can?t pick up English from radio and TV either, because both are almost exclusively in Portuguese, including the music. Even simple things like place names can lead to confusion due to the peculiarities of Portuguese pronunciation.

Van Who?
Almost everywhere in the world the mention of Holland produces the same almost Pavlovian reaction :?Ah Holland, Cruyff, Gullit, Van Basten?. In football crazy Brazil you would expect this to happen as well, but until now it didn?t happen once. Brazil?s superiority complex doesn?t allow room for foreign players.

Smelly Gringo?s
Some Brazilians have heard rumors, they find very hard to believe, that Americans and Europeans just take one shower a day. It takes some convincing before they believe that in a place that?s not a natural sauna, this is enough not to be smelly.