Rio! Aka heaven! We made our escape from the heat, dirt, crime, and giant cucarachas of Salvador at 02:00 in the morning. Arrived at the airport alive, after a crazy fast taxi ride in mostly empty streets. We shared the car with John and Josie, from Coco de Mere. They were off to explore the Amazon while we headed to Rio. At the ticket counter we were informed our tickets had been cancelled. But, not to worry...they could put us on an EARLIER flight for less money...in the upgraded comfort class. Ok yes please! 2 hours and 10 minutes later we touched down in Rio. This taxi ride was even more exciting than the one the night before! Swerving, dodging buses, flying along at 100 kph in a 60 kph zone...we were deposited unscathed to our luxurious hotel Windsor Leme right in the beach at Coco cabana! We knew we were way too early to check into a room, but got on the list, tucked our bags into the luggage hold, indulged in a decadent hot breakfast with gallons of excellent Brazilian coffee, then headed out to the beach. Wow! Just stunning, gob-smackingly beautiful! We strolled the entire length of Coco Cabana, crossed through a shopping district next to the fish market, and then walked the length of Ipanema as well. After 3.5 hours of walking, we headed inland to Loblon district, found a fabulous cafe for lunch, perused the local shops, the took a taxi back part of the way. We ended up with another really nice walk, checked into a really fancy free-upgrade suite on the 18 th floor. Jesus Christo is looking in our window from above, and we have the whole beach stretched out before us! Pure heaven. What a fabulous spot for Valentine’s Day!image0.