Travel Video: Warm Up at Arpoador Beach

It’s a cold one out there, folks. Blustery, face-stinging cold. It’s starting to be the kind of cold that makes you wonder how human beings survive in places like Minnesota and Norway, where it’s 40 degrees colder, and why, for the love of god, they don’t move elsewhere. (Say it with me now: You don’t have to be depressed all winter!) This week is going to be a chilly one across the U.S., possibly the coldest all winter long.

Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. People don’t really wear that much there…

Rather appropriately, then, I came across this video about Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It transported me away from these grey, windy, frigid city blocks and right back onto the sand of Rio’s beaches.  So how’s about taking a little break from staring at the excel sheets or emails on your computer screen and warm up by watching this video of sun-drenched Ipanema

Though the title of the video says it’s about Praia do Arpoador (praia means beach), Arpoador is just the little point of land marked by a large rocky outcropping between the world-famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in Rio de Janeiro.  (Check me out in the picture below standing on said rocks, and be jealous that I used to live just a few blocks from there!) But Arpoador can be thought of as basically an extension of Ipanema beach. It has more of a family reputation, whereas a couple hundred yards down in Ipanema, you have the gay section, appropriately marked by rainbow flags, and a hundred yards down from there is where the surfer crowd gathers, appropriately marked by the distinct smell of marijuana.

Karen in Arpoador
That’s me, on the rocks at Arpoador, being super stoked that I live in Rio.

But anyway, as a picture, or in this case, a moving picture, paints a thousand words, just watch the video.  Doesn’t it make you feel as if you’re right there on the water’s edge?  Lounging under a red umbrella, skin hot and sweaty from the blazing sun, toes digging into the sand, sipping on a cup of ice-cold matte leao (at 1:33), surrounded by very scantily-clad beautiful brasileiros? Unlike a lot of other videos I’ve seen about Ipanema, this one truly captures the vibe of a lazy afternoon on the beach in Rio. Tanned butt cheeks, teenagers wakeboarding, searing-hot sun, and all. I can’t get enough of the music, too! It totally captures the easygoing, sultry vibe of an afternoon of lounging in Ipanema.  I also like the juxtaposition at about 0:30 when the narrator says, “This place can be appreciated by its simplicities,” just as the video cuts to a shot of a woman’s backside in a tiny Brazilian bikini. Heh, I see what you’re doing there, guy. (Also, see what I did there to get you to click on the video link? :))


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