Thursday, 31 July 2008

Packing List - and what NOT to bring.

Pack light! The weather in here is mostly warm even in the winter ( guess what! today is a winter day and we are having 30ºC... ),
unless you are going to the southern states of the country on your trip ( there can be really cold ... Ok... bring at least a sweater... one never knows when the weather changes...A lightweight wrap or jacket is often needed as the major hotels, restaurants and bars, as well as the subway and most taxis and buses, are air-conditioned.

Informality is the keynote in Rio de Janeiro in terms of dressing. Jackets and ties for men are restricted to offices or for a night at the Opera.

Lots of t-shirts (do I need to tell?), cargo shorts and bermudas for the days, jeans, chinos or khakis for the evenings. For a special night. a little-black-goes-with-everything-dress for the girls or a button-down shirt ( with trousers, of course! ) for guys will do just fine!
Remember, summer temperatures easily reach 40ºC. Natural fabrics that breathe, like cotton and light colors will help.

Girls: Just for the start, bring your favorite bikini. Then, buy yourself some of the gorgeous ones you will find here.

You are going to walk a lot. Bring your confortable favorite pair of sneakers. Another pair of casual shoes for the evening. You will need dress shoes only if you are coming on business, or planning to go to the more sophisticated nightclubs. Forget your beach flip-flops at home, and join the Havaianas sandals' club in here ( see next tip )

Toiletries:
Unless you have this really specific favorite stuff you do not live without ... there is no need to bring shampoos and beauty products They are easily available at import stores and better supermarkets.

Warning: heavy make-up users may experience kind of a face-melting in the summer here

You may choose... Bring your umbrellas or buy a cheap one in here....
It may rain in here.

In general
Bring your sunglasses, high sunblocks, a hat, and good mosquitos repellent as well.

Electricity
The voltage is 110 volts, 60 cycles. In most hotel bathrooms there is a 220-volt outlet. If you're coming from Europe you may need an adapter plug. Sockets will take plugs with round or flat pins, but not usually the flat ones where one side is wider than the other.

Do not take more than you need for the frist few days. One pair of shorts or a bikini, a few t-shirts, one sweater, shorts and jeans. Don't forget your favorite hiking shoes and a pair of flip-flops. A little pull bag will do the trick but bring inside another big bag that you can fold or then an empty luggage. I'll explain bellow why...

Ok, forget your clothes except your favourite t-shirts and jeans. Shopping in Rio is so cheap that if you take a lot of luggage you won't find place to put inside all the stuff you bought. In Rio there are only two seasons: summer and summer... ooops, sorry, winter, but it's so hot that it's just like summer! So you won't need anything too worm, maybe just a sweater just for the night style. As for the rest do as I do... I go with empy bags and come back loaded with the latest trends by half price!!! And by the way, the quality of the fabrics is extraordinary! Don't forget just a rain gear if you are coming on the rainy season. Rain comes and goesin seconds, but when it comes it's like as if someone opened a hose! Shoes there are also inexpensive and good quality.

The pharmacys in Brazil are just like one big supermarket! You can find anything and everything. All of the major Medicin Companies have their products also in these places, so take only the medicins that need a prescription and that you can't live without. They have all of the usual painkillers and usual medicins. They also have naturistic medicin shops with thousands of different vitamins and other stuff. They're all good. Try the Guarana pills! They are energetic and the best solution for an afternight drunk headacke and sickness!! All natural, by the way! And take my tip: if you feel sick just drink a lot of coconut water and eat a lot of Mamao (also known as Papaya). Your body will work as a clock!

Taking a camera is a must!! Rio has not only wonderfull sights to photograph but you can also take lovely photos of every day people. Just remember to put it in a plastic bag when you take it to the streets. Please do not hang it on your neck, it just turns you into a possible target for the thiefs! You can find film everywhere and I would advise you to develop your films there. There are very nice laboratories and the developing is really cheap. At least half of what I pay in my own country! I shoot mostly slide film, so I'm very choosy about the places where I develop my film, but most of the Kodak laboratories do nice work. Don't take it to Depla though, they never do as you say and the photos seem to loose colour.

Hiking shoes are a must. There's a lot of places to hike in town and on the surroundings. Take a pair of long light pants and a hat. The sun is always very strong so a pair of sunglasses are also important. Take one pair of swim trunks or bikini. They are so good there that you can buy them half price from what you pay in Europe and the States.

Bring your favorite pair of sneakers ( or any other comfortable walking shoes)-casual wear ( casual shoes ,casual pants like chinos or khakis and a Polo shirt for the evening .A suit and tie and dress shoes are not really necessary, unless you are coming on business.Comfortable clothes are a question of survival ( like cotton, linen). Bermudas or cargo shorts with lots of pockets / pair of jeans.You will need plenty of T-shirts.Bring a nice sweater if you are coming during the colder months and a sweat suit even if you are coming in the summer, as you may want to sleep in it when you turn the air-conditioner full blast at night. A favorite casual jacket is a good addition, if you are coming in the winter or fall. A light rain jacket is always a good addition, as it does rain in Rio.
- special note to socks: knee-length socks are a fashion no-no in Rio. If you want to look like you belong, go for shorter socks, and do not pull them all the way up. Socks are never to be worn with sandals, either.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be in Salvador, would you recommend bringing a light blazer or is there no need? I was thinking at night it may cool down.

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