The post-holiday blues are well known to all of us and apart from hop-footing it right back to where you came from there’s not much one can do. To lighten up those dark days spent watching your tan fade make sure you pick up some souvenirs before leaving so you will always have a little something to remind you of your holiday.
In all countries it’s hard sometimes to pick out the gems from amongst the tat when souvenir shopping and Brazil is no exception to this. Copacabana beach is full of markets and street sellers trying to force ‘one-of-a-kind’ rings and bracelets onto you so let Dehouche help guide you to the lembranças (literally translated as memories) truly worth purchasing.
No trip to Brazil is complete without a Caipirinha, or five, whilst admiring the sun set over the sea. Many are unaware of its existence before visiting Brazil but you can be ensured that it will leave its presence with you for many years to come, and not just because of the hangover! To ease you into Caipirinha making, many stores sell a kit complete with masher and shaker and of course a bottle of Cachaça.
Stepping into a Granado shop is like taking a step back in time. They are set out like old-school apothecaries and sell products to treat almost every ailment imaginable. The beautiful packaging will help disguise your dry foot cream from your other-half, if they manage to decipher the Portuguese!
With shops all over the world H.Stern is no longer exclusively Brazilian but with lower prices it is definitely still in your advantage to come take a look. Be warned however, they have been known to employ sneaky tactics to make you buy with copious free Caipirinhas you may be feeling a bit looser with your wallet by the end of the afternoon! It is also possible to organize a workshop tour whilst in Rio.
Samba and bossa nova is synonymous with Brazil and the Girl from Ipanema has become famous worldwide but that is not where bossa nova ends. Live bands can be heard across the city and to pick up your own CD to bring back the memories when home make sure you stop by Beringela in Rio, a favourite amongst music insiders. (Av Rio Branco 185 Centro)
Arts and Crafts
Brazilian art is all about colour which is perfect to brighten up those dark winter days when you’re back home. Scenes often range from your typical Rio beach to images of tribal women in traditional dress. If you wish to support the local communities at the same time there are a few places in Rio where you can buy art done by the local community. The hippie market in General Osorio every Sunday is a great place to pick up some Amazonian woodwork.
Not much is more Brazilian than a pair of Havaianas; you will see everyone, from a local coconut seller to an upper-class Leblon girl, donning their Havaianas. They are the essential beach wear and you can now even buy gems to stick on them which turn them into appropriate evening-wear too. The best thing about them is that you will pay a third of the price as back home, make sure you stock up!