Surf Bus…totally awsome, man!

Lets go surfin now
Everybodys learning how
Come on and safari with me
(come on and safari with…)
Early in the morning well be startin out…..

You know the words to Surfin’ Safari by the Beach Boys……OR better yet, the Chuck Berry written song performed by the Beach Boys….Surfin’ USA…

If everybody had an ocean; Across the U.S.A…then everybody’d be surfin’ like Califon-I-A!

Sunset surfer

But this is Brazil and there is a fresh surf culture here not to be missed.  For catching some great waves, one only needs to catch the SURF BUS.  Here’s how…..

DEPARTS FROM: Largo do Machado (Rio de Janeiro-Botafogo) at 7h, 10h, 13h, 16h

COMES BACK from PRAINHA at 8:30h, 11:30h, 14:30h, 17:30h

You simply choose which beach you wish to jump off at….Leme, Copacabana, Arporador, Ipanema, Leblon (all in the south zone), Sao COnrado, Barra, Recreio, Macumba or Prainha.  The complete trip takes about 1h30min.  Please note that on Saturdays and Sundays the last stop is Macumba Beach.

FROM THE website:

“Surf Bus works everyday of the week from 7a to 7p.  It is a completely transformed bus with the capacity to carry up to 12 long boards, 20 smaller boards, and 10 body boards; equipped with a 32″ LCD TV exhibiting surf films and video clips, DVD, Hi-Fi stereo video, surround-sound system, mini-fridge and cabinet with surf rope, scraper and parzffin in case the surfer needs it.”  For more information on their website or in person:

(21) 2527 0891-office or (21) 8515 2289-bus phone OR OR

Taste of Rio 2011….yummy!

A Tasting of Drinks and Dishes from various Restaurants

Friday, May 20, 2011
Clube Federal in Alto Leblon

Taste of Rio is THE fundraising event of the year organized by


David, Katia and myself decide this was the PERFECT cause…..we could eat and drink all evening while speaking English and win fabulous prizes while at the same time benefit a good cause!

For much more information, photos on the event, please check out the INTERNATIONAL CLUB RIO’s blog:

ALSO….as reported in THE RIO TIMES | MAY 24, 2011

Taste of Rio 2011 in Alto Leblon

David, Katia and Lance at Taste of Rio 2011

Can you spend a weekend in Rio de Janeiro for just US$100?

Well, we didn’t think so, but please read on to find out….a great article from the New York Times’ “Frugal Traveler”, Seth Kugel…..

TRAVEL   | May 10, 2011
Frugal Traveler: $100 Weekend in Rio de Janeiro
Filling your time during a cheap weekend in Rio de Janeiro would seem like a no-brainer, writes Seth Kugel, but if you want to eat actual meals, drink the local grog, listen to music and get around town, too, you’re asking for trouble.

A salesman with Matte Leão iced tea in one tank and lemonade in the other, on Ipanema Beach.

David and Lance beat AMAZING RACE contestants to Selaron Stairs!!!

David at Selaron Stairs-Santa Teresa/Lapa
Lance at Selaron Stairs-Santa Teresa/Lapa

So we had a bit of a head start…..we have been coming to Brazil for many years!  The TV show, “Amazing Race” closed it’s season show last week in RIO. This show as per  TV  market research  has 25 million viewers each Sunday. The contestants flew into Rio and took the Bondie to Santa Teresa to  find the SELARON STAIRS!  Santa Teresa ROCKS!!!

Ok, for those of you who don’t know what the SELARON STAIRS are or who Jorge Selaron is… on!

Selaron’s own site:

Taken from the web site quoting Mr. Selaron!

Who is Jorge Selaron?

“I was born in Chilli in 1947 and, after travelling, working and living in more than 50 countries, I arrived in Brazil in 1983. In 1990, I started work on my major masterpiece which, little by little, turned into the most original stairway in the world. It has 250 stairs and is 125 metres long.

In the beginning, everyone laughed at me I covered the steps in green, blue and yellow tiles – the colours of the Brazilian flag. As I worked, my profession changed from painter to sculptor, my hands covered in blood, calluses, irritating and in pain. Even though the work was difficult, I was passionate about it.

The rent was late, the phone was cut but every time I succeeded in finding some money, I bought materials and continued, obsessed and possessed. I worked without rest and I stopped when I had no more material left. When that happened, I painted paintings to earn some money so that I would be able to continue my work. Since 1977, I have painted and drawn over 25,000 pregnant women, my choice of subject due to a past personal issue. I have already painted more than 300 tiles and I have put much of my life into my masterpiece. I have invented a fantastic unique technique which consists of constantly changing the tiles. This gives a unique energy, and makes it a living, mutating work of art with over 2000 different tiles, collected in over 60 different countries.”


How to get to the SELARNO STAIRS from Casa Cool Beans…..,+136+-+Rio+de+Janeiro+-+RJ,+20240-270&daddr=-22.91557,-43.18025+to:-22.91557,-43.18025+to:-22.91516,-43.17905+to:Rua+Joaquim+Silva,+87+-+Centro,+Rio+de+Janeiro+-+RJ,+20241-110+(Hotel+Love%27s+House)&geocode=FXQ6ov4dCv1s_SnpjTPZnX-ZADEpuN0GGjtx0w%3BFQ5Wov4dJh9t_SltgWpEe3-ZADH7jvNC4dpyag%3BFQ5Wov4dJh9t_SltgWpEe3-ZADH7jvNC4dpyag%3BFahXov4d1iNt_SmrCHiqfH-ZADH9SaPyWNYP7g%3BFVVXov4d7iNt_SG88_OMQ6tJAylbULa0fH-ZADEjXQiWJ_kqPg&gl=br&hl=pt-BR&mra=ltm&via=1,2,3&dirflg=w&sll=-22.918061,-43.181226&sspn=0.010732,0.019205&ie=UTF8&z=16


If you would like to make a donation to Selaron’s staircase, send your tiles to:

Selaron (Pinto Chileno)

Escadaria Selaron, No. 24

CEP 20241-120 Santa Tereza

Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Learning Portuguese at Casa do Caminho Language Centre

David and I had a GREAT experience this week; we took an intensive 1-week course in Portuguese at the CASA DO CAMINHO LANGUAGE CENTRE.    Marco, our instructor was SUPER!  Broken up into private classes, semi-private (2-3 students) and small group (<9 students) as well as levels A-C plus advanced conversation; the language centre really seems to have a good thing going.  Besides offering classes in Portuguese, English and Spanish, the centre is involved in all kinds of other activities.  The prime function of the school is to fund an orphanage!

From the Casa do Caminho website:

“The Language Centre is part of the umbrella organization Associação dos Amigos da Casa do Caminho, which is an NGO and social project in Xerém, RJ (45km from Rio de Janeiro). Your tuition fees are donations that go directly to fund these social projects.”

The have several fund raising things for sale at the Language Centre, one of which is home-made jams.  We have decided to feature these exclusively at our breakfasts at Casa Cool Beans….a good cause and good food!

If you wish to make a donation or sign up for one of their courses…you can not go wrong either way!



(21) 2267 6552

Dolores THE "Buggy Tour Lady"

You might have read about DOLORES on TripAdvisor or seen her mentioned in the Guide Books….she exists and she is FABULOUS!!!

Lonely Planet states, “Dolores Leao is a lively guide who speaks English, Spanish, Italian and French.  Her Buggy Tours are highly recommended by many readers”.

When our clients come back from one of her 1/2-day or full-day tours they are ecstatic that they booked her.  She charges R$110 per person for 4-hours; 6-hours R$150; 8-hours R$180.  50% more if there is only one person.  Due to the size of her “buggies” her buggy tours can generally only accommodate three people.

Her tag line, “Buggy Tour- The best way to know Rio” is spot on.  Taking a tour with Dolores is the best way to know Rio.  All her tours are customized to YOU.  But she is eager to share secrets and tidbits along the way to provide you an “insiders” view.  Below are some guests of Casa Cool Beans about to embark on their tour with Dolores (in the middle).  For guests of Casa Cool Beans, she lives down the street so has quick, easy access to the Guesthouse.  But be careful to book early as she is very popular!  You do not need to be staying with us at Casa Cool Beans….simply ask the hotel or guesthouse where you are staying to contact Dolores for the booking….you will be glad you did!

Dolores "The Buggy Tour Lady"

Shopping-the best of the best! (Amazônia Soul)

How would you like to visit the first Amazon store of the world?  You can if you visit Rio de Janeiro!

More of a small bistro with art to purchase, Amazonia Soul is located in Ipanema on Texeira de Melo, 37.  This is on the south side of Praca General Osorio, where the Metro exit is located.  Consisting of GASTRONOMY, ART & CULTURE….this is really a charming store not to be missed.  Craving that Acai?  No better place to sample it than right here!!!  Want a unique piece of art from the Amazon as a gift for yourself or someone special….lots of choices here.  Grab a bite to eat from a list of items that are more than tantalizing…yummy!


Amaxonia Soul

Teixeira de Melo, 37- Praca General Osorio

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro-RJ

(21) 2247-1028 or 2523-0270