I would like to begin with a shout-out to all my pale-skinned pals: if you visit Rio be prepared for lots of stares, because we stand out like shining beacons among the sea of tanned bods. If you can complete your time in Rio free of sun-burn you deserve a medal. The reason why the streets are empty between 10-4 became very apparent, very quickly. The sun is an absolute scorcher, so if you are planning on spending the day at the beach I implore you to invest in an umbrella. If you are one of those lucky tanned human beings, you will fit right in. I happened to visit Rio with one of these such humans, and she had no problem at all hitting the waters for a midday swim whilst I cowered in the shade.