The Girl From Ipanema Went Wheeling

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December 23rd

“Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, each one she passes goes – ah…”

Tall and tan? Not exactly. Young and lovely? Hopefully!

After a nice hotel breakfast and a family lunch at a buffet restaurant in Leblon, we decided to go walking (wheeling) on Ipanema. Sunday is no doubt THE day to take stroll in Rio. This is because two lanes in the beach road are closed and reserved for pedestrians (this also includes bicycles, skateboards, longboards, short boards and other mysterious devices).

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Along the beach there are a lot of people who want to be seen, no matter if they are playing beach soccer, working out, flexing muscles, running or whatever activity they might find sufficiently spectacular.

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Our activities were: Wheeling, beer/sodas, some more wheeling, watching people and even more wheeling. Crossing Ipanema beach with a wheelchair to get to the ocean, seems more or less impossible because of the deep sand. However – the waves were huge and dangerous, so very few people were swimming. A temperature of 27-28C therefore suited us perfectly.

After wheeling ourselves to life guard tower nr. 7″ (nice wheelchair accessible toilet at the guard towers) we turned and moved North. We ended up at the huge hippie market, where they sold everything from homemade jewelry, artifacts, marihuana (or maybe it wasn’t) and poor quality hippie clothing. Nothing very useful, but charming and definitely worth a visit.

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After a drink at Bar do Lado (next to the hotel) we found an Italian dinner place called Allessandro & Frederico at a Leblon design mall with pastas, pizza and steaks. The food was ok, but too spicy and pricy in my opinion.

Accesswise it was better. Before 23.00, you can enter/leave through an accessible entrance. After that – there are 4-5 steps. People in Rio are usually helpful (although a bit unfamiliar with disabled people it seems). “Obrigado” is a useful word to know = “Thank you”. If you are female, say “Obrigadada”. People in general do not speak that much English, but they do seem to appreciate that you know a few words of Portugese.

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