Our options for the first night included going to a samba school in a rougher part of town (the school itself, however, is apparently protected by drug traffickers, no worries) or going to Rio Scensarium, a famous samba bar in a neighborhood called Lapa. We evaluated our options over an excellent meal at Zaza Bistro before deciding we would pass on the sketchy joint and head to Lapa. Proved to be a good choice, and we enjoyed the samba until our overnight flight caught up with us and forced us to samba home.
Cristo Redentor was amazing this morning. Aside from that, a meal in the Santa Teresa neighborhood, and a market known as the "Hippie Fair," we have concentrated on studying local beach culture. The bathing suits are wildly skimpy, the beer wonderfully cold, and the vendors remarkably innovative. One of the most interesting beach options is a block of cheese on a stick. The vendors carry small grills and roast the cheese before serving.
About to head out for dinner. Tomorrow to Buenos Aires for a brief night before heading to Patagonia. I am shocked to be headed to jacket weather again.
By the way, your comments to the blog posts won't publish because I cannot moderate them. Feel free to comment, and I can publish them when I return to the states (which is fortunately two weeks away).