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Rio after Melbourne (Part 2)

In my last post I showed you some of the culinary highlights of my trip to Australia. Today I wanted to show you some of the other things that caught my eye. I’m aware that this is a blog about Rio, not Melbourne, so I promise that after this we’ll be back in Brazil for the foreseeable future!

 

Beaches and coastline

With the beaches being such a central part of life in Rio, Mrs Eat Rio was very keen to see how the beaches of Melbourne compared. Although St Kilda was nice, it didn’t really come close to the city beaches of Rio. Once we got out of town we saw some much nicer beaches, but I still think Rio wins this contest!

Lorne-beach

Along the Great Ocean Road lies the beach town of Lorne. Pretty quiet this time of year and not an umbrella or beer seller in sight!

 

Lorne-beach

Nice waves for surfing in Lorne.

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Amigo da Onça!

Onça is the Portuguese word for jaguar – surely one of South America’s most beautiful animals.

Jaguar Onça

A jaguar (onça in Portuguese). Source

 

I learned this word during carnival earlier this year. The sun was shining (by 9am it was already ridiculously hot) and there was a great atmosphere among the revellers as they followed the musicians down a very steep, narrow hill in Catete.

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Turning my back on a Toucan

I’m bit reluctant to tell you this, but I’m going to trust you with the information: I like birds. The reason I’m reluctant is that, for some people, a statement like that conjures up images of ‘bird-nerds‘ spending whole weekends sitting in a hide with a pair of binoculars, excitedly trying to catch a glimpse of some obscure brown bird so that they can cross it off their list of confirmed sightings.

I’m not like that, OK? I just like birds. I think they’re interesting, some of them are really beautiful and if I happen to see a nice one then I might stop and watch for a while. (Full disclosure: I do own a pair of binoculars, but I haven’t seen them in 6 months and they’re really cheap and crappy anyway. Also, I studied birds for a year as part of my Masters – the species in question was Parus major, better known as the Great Tit. This was a recurring source of hilarity in subsequent job interviews, e.g. you spent a year studying great tits?).

Great Tit Parus major

A Great Tit, Parus major. Careful how you search for this on Google… source

 

So, that’s the birdy background out of the way, now on with the story:

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Scissor-tailed Visitors

Soon after we moved into our place in Glória/Santa Teresa, we took a trip to the nearest branch of Tok&Stok (a chain selling reasonably priced furniture and household goods, a little bit like Ikea but without the meatballs, herring and arguments). Our shopping list was not particularly exciting – a dish draining rack, cutlery tray, you get the picture. All in all it was a rather boring shopping trip. 


Until we got to the checkout! Because there, hanging on a hook, was a hummingbird feeder. Wow. I love hummingbirds. We don’t get them back in Europe and although I saw a few in Colombia, the novelty has definitely not worn off. The feeder went in the trolley and I went home with plans of attracting legions of hummingbirds. 


And guess what? It worked! 

 

In Portuguese, hummingbirds are called Beija-flor (flower kisser). This one is called Beija-flor Tesoura (Tesoura is Portuguese for scissors, a reference to its forked tail). In case anyone is interested, the Latin name is Eupetomena macroura.

 

 

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