Carnival 2012 Rio de Janeiro

Posted: February 22, 2012 in South America
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I know a lot of you were already expecting a sign of life from me..so here I am after a crazy week in Rio…

After an emotional goodbye to my friends especially Claire at the airport I walked though the gates knowing that this year will be my year with all the ups and downs that it involves..

After waiting 4 hours in Rome to my connection flight (it was delayed due to adverse weather conditions at Fiumicino) i was on the plane at 1 am towards Rio de Janeiro..It was safe, no turbulences, some sleep, some films..and after 12 hours and 30 minutes I landed.

The heat hit me..29 degrees, excited passengers, great pre-carnival atmosphere and my past behind.

Certainly i left my waist coast on the plane so i had an extra 30 mins wait till someone got it for me. I took a cab and arrived to Books Hostel in Lappa.

I started with a beer and Facebook till i was waiting for check in. Tracy was the first person who walked into the room. She is Aussie from Melbourne, very nice. Then Lili came in from HUNGARY:)  A real surprise ..she is nice too, and then slowly I met the other people, namely D and Son from San Paolo (siblings) and Nati and Lia from Argentina.

In the afternoon we went with Tracy to a pre carnival street party..it was AWESOME!  And that time I didn’t know that this is only the start…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk-jF2oeKAY&feature=youtu.be

Had my first Capirinha..they make it with about 3 table spoon of sugar but the lime makes it a bit bitter..it has become my favourite drink in no time:)

In the evening i passed out around midnight due to the long flight but next day i was ready to go up to the Corcovado mountain to see Cristo and the stunning view to the whole city. Whoever hasn’t seen the pics yet on Facebook can do it here. But this is what I’m talking about:

In the afternoon I met the above mentioned crew and we went together to the Sugarloaf mountain with similarly superb view.

We spent a whole afternoon up there just chatting, getting to know each other, then I had my first Brazilian hotdog which has literally everything in it starting from cheese, quail eggs, grated crisps, ketchup, mayo, gherkin and some other ingredients that are hard to define. We sat down in the beach with a beer and continued to know each other’s life stories..Brazilian live music was a fantastic addition to the atmosphere.

The day after me and Tracy left at noon to Ilha Grande which is fairly large island about 150 km far from Rio. We booked accommodation there but since nobody knew where it was when we arrived we got to the hands of a great salesman called Hans (don’t judge by name..he is Brazilian:). We shared a house with 4 Chilean girls (there are a lot of Chileans in Brazil because they have cheap flight between each other), and in the evening Hans came to the house to teach us how to make Capirinha ( I’m struggling to believe that it’s a regular service given that on that night the attraction of Tracy and Hans bloomed into a nice holiday fling). On the second day we did a bit of trekking to Lopes Mendes (one of Brazil’s most beautiful beaches):

It was a 2.5 hour trekking in a forest where we saw monkeys, wild nature and as I got to know after the trip (luckily) full of poisonous snakes…

The water is warm unlike in Rio and the waves are usually great ..perfect for surfing.

In the evening Nati and Lia (AR girls) came too so we stayed in the same house and I learnt a lot about the history of Argentina. Now I cannot wait to go to Buenos Aires to see them because they are 2 of the most fantastic people I met so far.

After a chilled out 2 days on the island I went back to Rio on the 16th. Carnival started on the 17th so the choreography was pretty much the same every day: from 6pm drinking in hostel, then around 10 out to street parties till the morning, then 10 in the morning heading out for day parties, go home in the afternoon to have an hour power nap and continue the night..I have to say it took a lot out of me but it was the most unique and exhilarating experience in my life. One night I went out with a Brazilian girl (who showed me how they celebrate here:P) and a kiwi girl plus many more people from the hostel. And the night after my 2 beautiful Argentinian friends surprised me in the hostel so we got smashed and had tons of fun together. (they came back from Ilha Grande on that day). The cherry on top of the cream was certainly the Sambodromo (parade) on the 19th. I planned to go to this one with no hangover and relaxed as it starts at 9 pm and finishes at 6am in the morning meaning that 1 samba school is marching for more than an hour..and there is 7. We got there at 7 to have the best possible spot within my section (7). I went there with Tim and Sasha (Aussie travelling fellows- they both told me excellent tips for my itinerary). The costumes, the atmosphere, the samba…it was just my world..i got lost before sunset and came back to ‘my world’ just after sunrise…Brazilians know how to dance..for sure! I would recommend to everyone this stunningly beautiful event!

On the 20th I had my flight booked to Salvador so that I can have a bit of taste from the Carnival here. Due to the heavy party session in Rio I didn’t have the strength to go out on the fist night (I got to the hostel just after midnight) so I rather had a good 6 hour sleep. And here we are now..over (or in the middle) of the last night of Carnival. It is very different to Rio..there are trucks with music that you can follow within the security lines or without depending if you bought a ‘VIP’ T-shirt. (I didn’t because i knew I wouldn’t want to go crazy here..it is supposed to be a bit more dangerous than Rio ).

So now it’s almost 2am..time to sleep but my body is not used to going to bed this time..I stay 2 days in Salvador and then I am going to a city 5 hours bus ride away called Lencois (Google images are very very charming when you search the city). Then I decided to go back to Rio to stay a bit in Ipanema beach because during carnival I stayed in Lappa which is the most fun but not the most beautiful and safe part of the city. Plus during carnival you have no time to do the tourist stuff so it will be good to see how Rio de Janeiro is when it calmed down..

If you would like to experience a great Formula 1 ride, hop on a bus in Rio..first of all to get in you need to pass through a spinning iron gate. That’s how Transport of Rio avoids free riders.

Well..some people still find the way I guess…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np1Jl8263J4&feature=youtu.be

Then if you are lucky, you can have a seat and you survive the ride with minor injuries. If not, grab anything you can to hold onto and hope for the best.

Little annoyances:

-on day2 my iPhone died..RIP

-my camera got stolen from my lap by a 5 year old but managed to get it back with the help of a guy who has previously run the Marathon

– Brazil is expensive…even though it’s a fabulous country and i would love to spend here more time I cannot because after 10 days I am over my monthly budget..

– You cannot book any flights on the south Brazilian airlines unless you are Brazilian (ID number is linked to cc)

– Food is not the best..lot of deep fried stuff but the fruits are amazing especially mango

– Brazilian men are quite pushy..during carnival they have the ‘excuse’ to kiss anyone without permission so once eye contact made you can expect a kiss coming..from here it’s up to you if you return it. It’s not uncommon seeing couples having sex on the beach or in an alley

– Toi Toi toiletts are disgusting..i chose to pee on the street instead of going into one

So it’s 3am now..got some company that delayed the finish of this article. I should go to sleep. Feel free to comment/ask anything that you feel I missed out.

Bye now x

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