World Cup 2014: What to do if you don’t have tickets for a Brazil World Cup game…


The Rio Metro on World Cup game day.


Well, it’s World Cup 2014 game day again and the nerves are jangling here at Eat Rio HQ. Personally I’ve been fairly confident on Brazil’s behalf for all of the preceding games, but Mrs Eat Rio has been a bag of nerves from day 1. But going up against Germany in the semi-final of the World Cup? Well, let’s just say I have some painful memories

The game today will be played in Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais, but what should you do if you’re in Rio and want to get the big game atmosphere? How about walking through Cardeal Arcoverde metro station on the way to the Fanfest in Copacabana? Here’s how it went down in Brazil’s most recent game against Colombia:

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Futevôlei: Is this why Brazil is better than England at football?

I’ll be honest from the start, I like football a lot – I used to play a bit and I think it’s a great game. I’m not obsessed with football though; I don’t love it. If anything, my interest in the game has faded a bit over the last 15 years. I certainly don’t think football is a matter of life or death (or even more important than that), so if you’re looking for insightful and up-to-date football analysis, you should probably check out some proper blogs.

Did anyone stick around for the second paragraph? OK, so now that we’ve established that I’m no expert on the subject, let’s talk football! I have a premise so deeply ingrained in my footballing psyche that I doubt I’ll ever be able to shake it: Brazil are better than England. For most of my life this had been an indisputable fact. The fact that this is now a matter for some debate (sadly due to a slump in Brazil’s form rather than a surge in England’s) is something I still struggle to get my head around.

But why are (were?) they so much better than us?


Brazilians play a lot of football. But then so do the English!


On my first trip to the beach in Rio I saw something that made me go “Ah! So that’s why they’re so good!”:

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Photo Post: Vhils in Rio

A couple of weeks ago I was getting off the Metro station in Copacabana. I was in a big hurry because I was running late, but just happened to look up for a moment and saw something pretty amazing.



This is the work of Portuguese artist Alexadre Farto, AKA Vhils. Apparently his process involves first painting an image onto a wall, then using drills, chisels and other tools to chip away at the painting to leave the final image.

Here’s a close-up:

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Invasion of the Mermaids by PXE

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Copacabana recently. A few months back they closed the Metro station in Ipanema, so nowadays the bus drops me on the beach in Copacabana each night and I wander the streets looking for either Siqueira Campos or Cardeal Arcoverde stations to complete my journey home. At first it was a real pain – I got lost quite a bit – but after a while I found that I was getting to know my around the neighbourhood.

As I walked the streets of Copa, I noticed one set of letters appearing over and over: PXE. I’ve seen these letter on walls, shop fronts and especially on those nondescript, grey boxes that contain, erm, telephone wiring? Electricity stuff? Clearly I have no idea what these boxes are for, but I do know that they look better when they’ve received the PXE treatment!



PXE, or Marcio PXE to his friends, has a pretty cool blog – he even actively encourages people to download examples of his work. I have noticed several themes running through his work and these themes have meant I’ve had to learn some new vocabulary!

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Photo Post: You must be mine

When the sun comes out in Rio, things get very hot! If you have to stay out on the street for any amount of time, you’ll find yourself looking for some shade before long. This particular street in Copacabana has the shade situation pretty well covered.


This tunnel of trees in Copacabana ensures that you won’t have to worry about finding a shady spot.


Does anyone recognise this street? Here’s a clue: It was named after a Brazilian revolutionary heroine who was born in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina and who died in Italy.

Her future husband’s first words to her were “You must be mine” (I imagine he growled this while fixing her with his best look of smouldering desire…).

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Photo Post: Beach Acrobatics!

Ah, Saturday was another nice relaxing day on Copacabana beach! If I have a few drinks on Friday night then I find that nothing clears away the heavy head like a nice swim in the sea followed by a relaxing snooze. But not everyone is so lazy at the beach!

Last weekend I was taking pictures of the sea-spray caught in the late-afternoon sun when a rather outgoing individual approached me and told me to follow him and bring my camera. Here’s what he did:


Raoni doing this party-piece!


Afterwards he told me his name was Raoni – apparently an indigenous name meaning Jaguar, made famous by Chief Raoni Metuktire, a campaigner for indigenous rights and protection of the Amazon.

The Raoni I met in Copacabana appeared to be a bit drunk in high spirits and told me enthusiastically that he had been to Ipswich (in the UK) as part of a Brazilian youth gymnastic team. I wasn’t sure whether to believe him at first, but then I thought “Who’d make up a story about Ipswich?” – surely it’s too obscure to be a lie!

Anyway, he was a funny guy and his leap made for a pretty cool photo!

Copacabana, street kids and popcorn in the rain

We had a massive storm in Rio on Tuesday night. I was leaving work in Barra and had just got on my bus when the first fat drops of rain started to fall. Within minutes the rain was coming down in torrents and the thunder and lightning started soon after.

The windows on the bus steamed up and the rain was so strong that it was like someone was spraying the outside of the bus with a hose. As the bus hurtled along the precipitous Avenida Niemeyer I thought that perhaps it was a good thing that I couldn’t see out of the windows.


When hurtling along Avenida Niemeyer at breakneck speed in the dark in the middle of a thunder storm, looking out of the window is not recommended. Source


The bus came down the hill into Leblon and then followed the beach into Ipanema. Every time the bus doors opened to let passengers off, I saw some new scene of watery mayhem – people cowering on the beach under a buckling gazebo or wading through flood-water and sheltering under wind-smashed umbrellas.

Then I made my fatal error.

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Where to stay in Rio

If you’re coming to Rio for a holiday, finding a place to stay can be tricky. If you want something cheap then you’ll probably start looking on the various hostel search websites and soon you’ll discover that “cheap” is a relative term! A bed in a dorm in Ipanema will set you back around R$50 (US$25) per night.

Further up the pecking order you’ll find pousadas (guest houses). These vary enormously, from basic to boutique. There are some real gems out there so if you’re looking for something with personality, this would be my recommendation. I’m no expert on accommodation in Rio (I live here!), but there is one pousada I can definitely recommend because it’s where Mrs Eat Rio and I got married!

Casa Áurea

Casa Áurea in Santa Teresa. Ahhh, happy memories of our big day!

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Great food in a favela: Bar do David

Remember I was talking about Comida di Buteco recently? Well today I thought I’d tell you about one of the participants that I visited recently. Bar do David is located in Chapeu Mangueira, a favela in the neighbourhood of Leme, right next to Copacabana. It has been on the ‘favela food map’ for a while now, renowned for its excellent food, in particular a seafood feijoada.

So, last weekend we decided to go and see what all the fuss was about. The idea of seafood feijoada had already piqued my curiosity and when I realised it was involved in the Comida di Buteco competition I had one more reason to go!


One of the best favela restaurants in Rio, Bar do David is situated in Chapéu Mangueira, not a million miles from Copacabana.


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What colour is your New Year’s Eve?

And so we reach the point where memories of Amigo Oculto and Blueberry Trifle are fading fast and we turn our attention to New Year’s Eve. It seems that in Brazil, New Year’s Eve may be referred to using one of several terms. Mostly I hear people talking about Reveillon, but then I have also seen Véspera de Ano Novo and Noite de Ano Novo (hint, I ‘wonder’ about things like this in the hope and expectation that some clever Portuguese speaker will clarify things for me).

If you decide to spend your NYE in Rio then the main event is held in Copacabana. As many as 2 million people [shudder] are expected to celebrate together on the night – there will be big-name musicians such as Beth Carvalho, O Rappa and [shudder again] David Guetta, plus a spectacular firework display. I went past the area in a taxi yesterday and the driver joked that the only people who stick around for this event are tourists. Indeed, many Cariocas decide to use this holiday to get out of town and avoid the mayhem.

The New Year's Eve fireworks in Copacabana. Sure the fireworks look cool, but just look at all those people. Good luck getting a taxi home... (thanks to for the awesome photo)


But regardless of where you decide to spend Reveillon, there is one question on everyone’s mind: What colour will you be wearing?

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