Hot Winter Beach

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Beach Vendor, Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

What’s black and white and red all over?  Coco Verde!

[Audio suggestion if you use Pandora: Open new tab-Go to a New Station-type in Adriana Calcanhotto and enjoy some warm Brazilian vocals. But come back here to escape to a hot beach!]

It’s early morning and you have walked for miles along the beach. Your sandals are caked with sand and the sand is grinding under your feet. You can feel the heat building. The sun is warm on your back. You are already sweaty. People who are running and cycling in the other direction have to squint because of the intense sun in their eyes.

That dawn sun shines brightly on black and white stones on the walkway. The stones were hand-placed in an artistic pattern that repeats continuously for more than two miles. The warm sand, the blue sky, and the green palms contrast strongly with the vivid red of the tables and chairs.

You have a decision to make. Do you stop and get a snack or coffee before you head out across the sand, or is your breakfast still holding? There are many vendor huts like this one  along the beach.  Each hut is named. The yellow pennant on this hut says ‘Coco Verde’ or green coconut in Portuguese. The daily delivery of coconuts is stockpiled for afternoon drinks. OK, a green coconut isn’t black and white and red all over, but this hut and the walkway are.

A few volleyball and football players are making their way onto the beach. The crowds will arrive later, in the heat of the afternoon. There are still expanses of sand open for you to set up your spot for the day. The bustle of the traffic is loud along the oceanfront boulevard, but the sounds of scooters, buses, and trucks fade if you move across the sand toward the gentle surf. There you will hear only the soft hiss of the waves, gulls calling overhead, and the constant shouts from the games nearby.

Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro is coming to life. You are there in time to see the deeply tanned regulars claim their territory.

This photograph was taken in July, in the heart of Brazil’s winter. Expected high temperature on that day was around 27°C (80°F). As I write this on December 22, snow and freezing temperatures are causing holiday travel havoc across northern Europe. Much of North America is shivering. Today in Rio de Janeiro the predicted high temperature is 37°C (99°F).

I hope that this Copacabana photo has brought you some warmth wherever you are. If you are listening to Brazilian music maybe the feeling will last. Happy holidays!




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