After an overnight flight from New York via a one hour 'stay on the plane' stop at Sao Paulo we landed in Rio.

Half an hour later we arrived at the Marina Hotel Leblon and checked into what had been advertised as a 'beachfront suite'.

Finally some truth in advertising - looking out our windows we saw the complete length of Ipanema/Leblon beach.

In case you are wondering about the double name, the top part of it is called Ipanema while the closest part is called Leblon, but as you can see below, it is the one continuous stretch of beach .

To the left we could see all the way to Aproador, with Copacabana around that point.

Straight out and down to the clear water, white sand and distinctive tiled path that borders the entire stretch of beach.

And to the right as far as Two Brothers Mountain

After a quick shower it was time to venture out to become the woman who visited Ipanema 

After strolling along the beachfront for about 500 metres, the heat was starting to tell, so we looked for an air-conditioned spot for lunch.

While we had a leisurely lunch on the 23rd floor of the Caesar Park Hotel, the crowds below continued to grow

Now sated with fabulous seafood and a great Chilean Chardonnay it was time to get back to beach level and seeing the sights - in the sand where a sculptor was busy

on the edge of the promenade where 'beach businessmen' offered anything you were likely to need - and then some

across the bay, where clouds had joined the two brothers

on the promenade where the cariocas (Rio residents) were on parade

on the sand -or at least what was left of it

or, for a little more space without that pesky sand, why not pull up a bench.

In case you are wondering what happened to Copacabana, we went around to Copa one day for a swim and enjoyed a drink by the pool at the historical and very elegant Copacabana Palace Hotel one evening, but spent the remainder of our beach time on Ipanema/Leblon.

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