Along Rio's beaches, there are little stalls where you can get your ice cold beer etc. Beto & Ana are a fantastic couple who will look after you and your things while you swim, walk or play football on the beach. They will introduce you to loads of good people and invite you to join in for a barbecue!
They are on Ipanema, just down from lifeguard tower number 9. Their tent has Beto & Ana written on it. Tell them Anders, Fernando's friend sent you!
Barra is the best beach within easy reach of the the Zona Sul area, and easily the best for surfing. Rio is a renowned surfing centre and there are a number of surfing schools along the Barra beachfront. Try Esilo - it's friendly and good.
Esilo is attched to the Esilo swiming school - phone 21 2493 5151. Ask for Marcelo. The surfing takes place on the beach in front of Rua Oligário Maciel - the main street in Barra Oceánico
The light in Rio is spectacular, especially on the beach. Take a walk from Arpaodor to Leblon which takes about 45 minutes. Do this when the sun sets. It sets just behind the Dois Hermanos (two brothers) and the light is light blue/pink most of the time. The sound of the waves, people and Ipanema to your right make this a very special walk and keeps you fit. In the morning the sun comes up from Copacabana, so a walk from Arpoador - do check out the fish market - towards the Copacaban Palace is lovely too. Locals doing morning exercise, fishing boats coming back. I want to be there now!
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