Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday in Parque Villa-Lobos

Brazilians do parks as well as they do beaches. I spent several hours last Sunday, strolling through the huge and wonderful Parque Villa-Lobos. I thought Ibirapuera, just a leisurely 45 min walk from my apartment, was cool. But Villa-Lobos, just a few extra minutes in the opposite direction, is even bigger and arguably better. What good fortune to live smack dab between these refreshing oases!

There's a restaurant in the park, but if you get peckish beforehand, try the Popcorn Kombi! ("Kombi" is the word for the old-school VW buses.) For sale: Special Popcorn, made to order, with provolone cheese, butter and oil.

I have become much more active in recent weeks, walking or jogging an average of 10 miles a day and swimming a couple times a week. Even though Sunday was overcast, it felt nice to be amid loads of other active people--of all ages and fitness levels--enjoying walks, jogs, bike rides, the playgrounds, or working up a good sweat on the volleyball, tennis, basketball courts and soccer fields.

What's more, there are workout stations throughout the park with nautilus equipment, a skate area...

...and ample practice space for capoeira (my favorite).

If a picnic (or piquenique, even) is more your speed...

After all that movement, you'll probably want to rehydrate with a deliciously cool água de coco!

Good thing, this discovery!

Sampa, eu te amo.