Rio de Janeiro 20-25 June 2003

A personal review by Rod Ward


This is not the official conference web site which can be found at:

As ever with these reports it is being written on a daily(ish) basis & uploaded to the web whenever I can get a connection. There are a personal comments (written during lunch breaks etc.), not an academic review or journal report & should be read in that manner, and it should be recognised that I can only report on the bits I managed to attend.

Before getting anywhere near the conference preparation included writing & submission of a paper with my co-authors Dr. Jocelyn Wishart & Ross Scrivener & creating a powerpoint presentation. I also had vaccinations for Typhoid & Yellow Fever (unfortunately there is no vaccination for Dengue fever - current outbreak in Rio area), and malaria prophylaxis.

My trip to Brazil started with a bus to my local train station, Midland Mainline train to London, tube ride and then Heathrow Express to the airport for the overnight British Airways Flight (BA247) to Brazil. Of these UK readers can probably guess that Midland Mainline was the only one which was seriously delayed !

I am staying at the conference venue, the Sofitel - Rio Palace Hotel on the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, which is a good quality hotel very close to the Copacabana & Ipanema beaches. The road by the beaches was closed for people to cycle, roller skate etc. on the first day (Thursday) as unbeknown to us it was a national bank holiday. My only problems so far have been that there is no kettle to make coffee & that the power supply adaptors are not large enough for UK plugs - this has been overcome by the hotel electrician some wires & gaffer tape !!. Meals in the hotel are buffet style with lots of nice food.

Copacaban Beach

The Copacabana Beach - Sofitel hotel is in the background on the left of the tall buildings in the background.

Copacabana Beach
Copacabana Beach from the hotel

Before coming to Rio we had heard about crime levels and risks, this has not been a problem for me so far, but I have been putting my camera & computer in the hotel rooms safe. A quick walk around the local district has shown that locals tend to live in gated apartment blocks with security guards on the gates.

Restuarant at Sofitel hotel

The restaurant terrace at the Sofitel Hotel

The first night a group from UK, US & Canada set off to Marius Restaurantwhich had been recommended by several other people & had a massive meal of meat & shellfish with a local cocktail (which involved rum & lime juice but I forget the name) & wine for a very reasonable price. Some of us walked back to see the Copacabana at night & others took a taxi before people fell into their beds to recover from flights etc. the night before.

Group at the Marius Resturant

UK, US & Canadian delegates at the Marius Restaurant

On the second day (Friday) a group of delegates were having lunch on the balcony overlooking the Copacabana beach when a massive convoy of 20+ police cars with lights & sirens went along the road outside in convoy for no apparent reason!

Police Car Convoy

On the Friday afternoon I joined an organised coach trip to sugar loaf mountain which included a trip around various parts of the city including the football stadium, carnival route, city centre and cathedral before taking us to the cable car up the mountain which gave fantastic views over the city and the beach - unfortunately it was overcast and not as spectacular as it might have been - as we were leaving it was starting to get dark which enabled us to see the city lights.

Copacabana beach
Copacabana beach from the top of sugar loaf mountain
Copacabana beach
Me at the top of sugar loaf - with the Copacabana beach in the background
(not sure why my mouth was open)
View of Rio
Rio from the Sugar loaf mountain
View of Rio
Rio from the Sugar loaf mountain

Another organised trip from the hotel (with Gray Lines travel) was to the Corcovado to visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer. An interesting tour but unfortunately the mist meant that the views over Rio were limited.

Christ the Reedeemer Me at the Christ the Redeemer statue

On the Saturday evening another international group took a stroll along the promenade to "La Trattoria" for Italian food which was cheap & plentiful, and the discussion lively.

strolling on the copacabana
An evening stroll along the Copacabana
dining at "La Tratoria" dining at "La Tratoria"

Juggling on Ipanema beach

I even manage to find some jugglers to pass with on the Ipanema Beach !

In the evenings after the formal presentations a Samba Dance class was provided !
Samba Class

On the final evening of the conference the gala dinner was held at Rio's Iate club

Dinner at the Iate Club
Dinner is served
Dinner at the Iate Club
Fancy meeting you here
Dinner at the Iate Club
Dancing the night away
Dinner at the Iate Club
Excellent band (sorry didn't get their name)
Dinner at the Iate Club
Mind the swimming pool
Dinner at the Iate Club
More wine anybody?
Dinner at the Iate Club
Conga - I thought there was supposed to be Samba
Dinner at the Iate Club
Still congering
Heather Strachen - The chair
Heather Strachen - the new chair
Peter Murray - Maracas
Peter Murray green lights a new development
Linda Thede
Linda Thede - semaphore for international nursing informatics language?
Graham Wright
Graham Wright !

If any delegates want larger higher resolution copies of any of these images just email me.

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Page Created: 18.6.03

Last Updated: 23.6.03