Last Day in Rio: A Photo Essay { 80 images } Created 4 Nov 2012

On my last day in Rio, after a week of professionally-guided tours and thousands of photos for my clients, I decided to go exporing on my own to try and veiw this amazing city through the eyes of her citizens, or "Cariocas". After a huge breakfast of fresh tropical fruit, eggs, pastries and a big cup of Amarula and coffee, I took a taxi to visit the community of Santa Marta which I heard had been "pacified" and was no longer dangerous. I took the recently installed cable car to the top of one of Rio's steepest city slums for a closer look at what life is like in a favela. After finding some really interesting scenes I took a city bus to Copacabana Beach where I walked to Ipanema through the rainbow of beach cultures. You have the working class beach of Copacabana, then the surfing and muscle beach of Apoador which is shared with the favelas of Cantagalo and Pavão-Pavãozinho. After this you come to Posto 8 and the gay beach and then on to Posto 9 which is the beach of vanity and "beautiful" people. This is where I stopped and had a coconut with my last 4 Reias (all my bank cards had been blocked by HSBC Fraud Protection). I saw so much on that last day. Everything from children collecting precious water at the top of Santa Marta, to the humourous spectacle of girls posing in ridiculously provocative forms on Ipanema Beach to Longboarders and Ice cream salesman. After just (in italics) catching my transfer to the airport that evening after sundown I felt like I finally had my finger on the pulse of Rio de Janeiro. Now I'll be counting the days till I can go back and get in-depth.
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