Pedra Bonita and Praia do Leblon

5-7 July, 2012

Thursday night, we went out for a Brazilian dinner with some friends of Tim who had lived in Washington, DC. We had breaded pockets full of cheese and vegetables (we have been eating so much cheese), and a classic fish stew served over rice and a ground flour from the Amazon called manioc. It was delicious, and it was nice to try something very Brazilian. It is normal to have dinner at 22:00 or 23:00, and the tables are all full then.

Pedra Bonita

The plan for Friday had been to hike up to the top of a rock formation called Pedra Bonita, look at the view, and then go to a nearby beach. Pedra Bonita is in the Tijuca National Park, a real rainforest right in the City of Rio de Janeiro. Unfortunately, for the first time on this trip, the weather was uncooperative.

Eric took my picture in front of a trail sign. You can see Tim and Angelina in the background, not very far away, and how shrouded in fog they are.

Tim and Angelina in the rainforest.

Eric took this picture of the foggy trail.

Eric also took a picture of this fascinating yellow bamboo.

There were some nice bromeliads.

The disappointing view from the top.

We started down, but then stopped because it appeared to be clearing. After a few minutes, though, we gave up and went down.

Although the view was disappointing, I did get to see some nice birds. I didn't get a great picture of these Blue-naped Chlorophonia, but they are really cute birds with green heads, yellow breasts and blue backs.

I also saw this little Golden-crowned Warbler.

When we got back to the car, the parking lot attendant told us that we should drive up to the hang-gliding launch and look at the view from there.


Angelina took our picture at the overlook.

We had come down quite a ways, so the view was not as nice as it would have been from the top, but at least we got a sense of it.

Nearby Pedra da Gavea was still shrouded in fog.

Praia do Leblon

Since it was so cold and foggy in the area of Pedra Bonita, we decided to go back toward Ipanema and see how the sun and the beaches were in that area. We got to Praia do Leblon, and it looked very nice, so we parked and went to the beach. Tim and I played in the water.

The view of another rock formation, called Dois Irmãos, from Praia do Leblon.

The lovely beach.

Saturday night, Eric caught up on some much-needed sleep while Tim and Angelina took me out to a public square with free live music. The samba band performs every Saturday night, and a crowd gathers to dance and drink beer. They have to stop at 22:00 because the neighborhood is residential, so we got there in time to hear only a couple of songs. But it was still nice to see some of the excitement of the usual goings-on in Rio.

Saturday night samba.

On to Santa Teresa.

Last updated: 08/07/2012 by Eric and Beth Zuckerman