if these wise words, from Ratty in Kenneth Graham’s Wind in the Willows, hold a ring of truth for you, make sure to pay a visit to Rio de Janeiro’s beautiful city lake.
Located in the city’s wealthy South Zone, close to the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon, Lagoa is a vast stretch of water surrounded by towering jungle-clad mountains and circled by a seven kilometer walking, running and cycling track.
A scattering of waterside bars, kiosks and restaurants make Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (to give Lagoa its full name) make this a popular spot for a romantic dinner or drinks, while families flock here at weekends to enjoy the scenery and take in some air.
Experienced boaters can hire sail boats and take to the calm (if not entirely clean) waters, while those family favourites, swan boats, are on hand for those more skilled in pedal power than sailing technique.
Budget visitors to Rio will find that it’s worth trying to get a group of friends together for a water-borne adventure – the swans cost R$20 for just half an hour on the lake, regardless of whether they are occupied by one or six people.
Given the size of the lake, 30 minutes is woefully little time, so split the cost and invest in an hour or more if you want to cover any ground.
Busy at weekends, the Lagoa is a quiet and peaceful spot during the week, and with exercise stations strategically placed along the running track, this is a great spot for anybody wanting to keep that beach body in shape. After all, with so many beautiful Brazilian girls and boys on the scene, the competition is fierce.
if the idea of hard physical exercise in the sticky heat of Rio is a little unappealing, simply grab a coconut water from a vendor and take a leisurely stroll, before you know it you’ll have covered seven kilometers without even breaking a sweat.