Saturday, January 22, 2011

Staying cool in hot Brazil

Here we are, summer in Rio de Janeiro. That means two things: punishingly hot days and sporadic (nearly daily) summer downpours. When it is hot, it is HOT. And when it rains, it RAINS!

But it’s pretty much predictable. The mornings will be hot and sunny and the afternoons will be overcast, then rainy (but still hot).

It’s not rocket science. In fact it is predictable meteorologically. While your travel agent will never tell you that Rio in the summer is rainy, it definitely affects how you spend your day.
Take it from a local: get to the beach by 10:00 a.m. It will already be jumpin’ with activity. It will be sunny and HOT. Stake out your place and enjoy the water. Do not forget to re-apply your sunscreen. You may think the early hours of sunshine are less consequential, but no…

Then by 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. – GET OUT OF THE SUN. Even if you are under an umbrella – the sun is scorching you. Trust me. Go back to your apartment or hotel and take a shower. Take a nap. There will be more fun to participate in when you wake up.

Now you can return to the beach after the worst of the heat has past. Go have a beer at a beach-side kiosk. Go join a gathering crowd around a group of musicians celebrating summer in song. Go find your place to munch on appetizers before you move on to your night time activity.

Celebrating summer in Rio is about enjoying the beach without a sunburn, escaping the worst of the heat and then showering, reconnecting with friends in the evening hours, and not shying away from the night time rain while you go out for dinner and then clubbing until dawn.
Yes it will rain, but as Luiz often asks: “What? Are you made of paper?”


Rachel said...

I think you posted this just for the pictures ;)

Great tips though and very true, we are not made of paper. I am, of course, made of sugar.

Chris said...

My first trip to Brazil almost 4 years ago, I just had to spend time on Copacabana beach. In early February. While my Brazilian wife was enjoying the sun, I on the other hand, could feel my Northern Hemisphere Winter White skin practically catching on fire. Even with SPF-50. I lasted about 1 hour before I started to beg for shade or to just go back to the hotel room so I could stand under the shower. "Go in the ocean!", she says. Yeah, the water was freezing cold and didn't provide the best relief from my overheated skin. That was my experience with the Brazilian summer. Take it in small doses first. Or, just take Jim's suggestions. His are better.


Jim said...

Sorry Rachel, that there were no tits or ass shots... of the female kind. The world is a big place. ;-)

brooke said...

Makes me want to vacay! And I love Luis, he cracks me up! Give him a hug for me!

Jim said...

Rachel - in fact I have been saving that Rio sunga photo for a while, looking for a reason to use it.

GingerV said...

the beach photo is Ipanema - probably about my street.
Like rachel I wondered if Luiz approved of your posted photos. and the phrase is made of sugar - causes sugar melts - paper doesn't just gets like soggy..... is he saying you get soggy when wet?

Jim said...

Ginger - I believe you are correct. But as Luiz speaks in English and Portuguese - he often comes up with the best of Malapropisms. Either way -- folks should not avoid the rain for its own sake.

GingerV said...

I love walking in the rain,,, but seems like it always rains after I have tried to do something with my hair and am on the way to dinner.... LOL

The Reader said...

Laughing at the photos and the comments, as well as your confession of saving that sunga photo for just the right post.

Here, I think many of my neighbors do think they'll melt in the rain. Funny image: the girl who cleans the pool dressing in full rain gear (pants, jacket, etc.) because it started to drizzle on her. While she was cleaning my pool. I felt so bad as she had jeans/t-shirt underneath -- so hot!!!

anyway, yes, good tips Jim. and -- wear a hat. You'll sweat like crazy, but your scalp won't burn.