PC 04 from Rio de Janeiro

January is the month of holidays here in Brazil (the UK equivalent of August!) but they ended today and everyone is back to work, back to school. And the traffic is back, making trips within the city long and frustrating, with journey times unpredictable.

Weather seems to have dominated the news across the globe in the past month, with extremes in both hemispheres. Here pictures of Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor – Corcovado) surrounded by lightning during an electrical storm were surpassed a couple of days later when lightning struck his right hand, causing damage! As to the heat, well, 35-39 deg C seems to cover it, with night-time temperatures rarely below 28 ….. but then it is Summer. Rain? Er! Once in the last 4 weeks.

A lot of people we know seem to be planning to leave Rio or Sao Paulo during the football World Cup, 17 June – 17 July. Rather like in the run up to the London Olympics, the prophets of doom here imagine a rather chaotic month, but one hopes the reality will be different. Down south in Curitiba, they have until the 18th of February to finish a stadium, or all the games planned there will be moved elsewhere. Pressure! Pressure!

Last Saturday had a day’s sailing. Celina has a friend, from decades ago and who lives in Paris, whom she asked whether she knew anyone with a yacht in Rio. “Well, my brother has ….!!” …….. and this led us to last Saturday, boarding a 38ft yacht with Sergio, Ricardo and Larissa Mirsky and sailing out of Guanabara Bay heading for Niteroi, East of Rio. The weather in this part of the world is generally good for sailing and so it was, with a pleasant breeze, clear sky and a strong sun. We found a good anchorage off a crowded beach, ordered a huge Anchovy (fried!), some pastel (rather like a Cornish pasty without the Cornish!!) and other Brazilian croquette-like fried vegetable Manjoc called Aipim, which was all duly delivered by boat. We sailed back in the early evening, past Sugar Loaf Mountain which forms the western edge of the bay’s entrance and old Portuguese naval fortresses which line the eastern edge, into the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club (Iate Club RJ) around 7pm having had a great day.

It’s an odd thing to do, maybe, to go to the cinema when the sun’s out and it’s 30 C in the early evening, but we went and saw the Wolf of Wall Street last week. I’d seen a video clip of a discussion between two Times film critics (one Kate Muir) in my digital newspaper, one who liked it and one who thought it overly long. We both liked it and thought Leonardo di C brilliant as Jordan Belfort – highly recommended!

Amazing to think at the end of this week we’ll be half way through our 12 weeks here in Brazil. Time flies when you’re having fun, huh?

Keep in touch.

Love etc

Richard Yates – richardyates24@gmail.com

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