Sunday, 21 February 2010

Craziness at Carnival - Rio de Janeiro - Feb 2010

New liver needed please??!

Almost a non event for myself as I had looked into the cost involved with acquiring accommodation and the 6 day minimum that was a necessary requirement. Not a fan of being tied down in the 1 location forced me to abandon the hunt for a hostel and to simply wing it upon arrival. Worst case scenario would have meant leaving my belongings in a locker and staying out all night with my slumber location being the beach the following day. Not too bad an idea but surely only a 1-2 day possibility. Having only a few friends in Brazil I also put out the feelers for any potential couches I could surf on! A long time ex patriot friend in the North came to my rescue with the possibility that she may have a friend who could put me up for a few days. After getting in touch with Olivia's friend Susie this plan started to fall into place with amazing style and freaky luck turned into a major highlight of my trip! 
Susie, an ex pat also had been traveling the Northern states of Brazil for the last month with a friend of hers from London. These two freakishly flew into the International terminal 20 minutes after I touched down so the airport pick up was extremely helpful as my bags were heavy with the 12 bottles of booze that customs allow you to bring into Brazil! 

Arriving back at Susie's gorgeous 3 bedroom apartment located on the main street of Botofogo with views of Jesus, a pool and dinner being prepared by the families personal cook was definitely not what I expected. Spoiling myself with these luxuries was something that most backpackers will not come across very frequently. Being only a few years younger these 2 were in town for their first Carnival experience also had planned to do it in true style with tickets to perform in one of the school's at the sambadrome. Snaffling an extra ticket for myself was priceless (as can be seen from these images). With the addition of another 2 Pommy lads we had our 5 imitation parking officers doing our best to sing in Portuguese whilst sambaing in front of thousands! Turns out that we must have done something right or perhaps it was my lucky Australian boxers, which made 1 or 2 appearances whilst sambaing that got our school into the top 5 for the event! 

As partying was like second nature to these guys we hit it off almost immediately. My time in Rio was extended to a week and we partied every night. From the local Boca street parties with authentic music to performing in the sambadrome and then later (Main event - Monday) getting to watch it from the grand stands with the locals. Our days started late and were spent either by the pool or at the beach. On the rare occasion we would start the partying early arvo however our stamina (mine mostly) was affected by this and we (I) needed to save some endurance as most of the partying would not start until 1am and finish up at sun up! I personally did 2 sunrises throughout the week so not too bad considering I'm not much of a drinker!  
The weather was extremely hot throughout the week with my 1st day in Rio being the 2nd hottest place on the planet for that day (or so the Brazilian news reported). The beach had mostly shore breakers and was a little green but a refreshing break from scorching our bodies and trying to darken up my Irish tan! Once the sun sets over the mountains where Jesus stands tall, the entire beach claps which is a pretty amazing experience! I might try and bring this back to Bondi and see how it catchers on…

My last night of partying was spent at the closing of the largest indoor dance music conference in the Southern hemisphere. Headlining was Armin van Buuren and the atmosphere was like no other gig I have been to. Everyone was dressed up…the gents in trousers and dress shirts, girls in stilettos and frocks and the 5 of us were wearing tees, shorts and flip flops! I have never seen so many attractive people at a rave and only a handful of Aussies about so not too many Westies to spoil it! There was no queueing for the bar as very few drank and no fighting which is rare in Oz. We partied right up the front until sunrise and then dragged our weary bodies home to bed.

I'd like to put a special thanks out to Susie for her hospitality, both Fatima's for their cooking/cleaning, Olivia for her recommendation and the Pommy lads for not giving me too much shit about being whiter then them! 
Now I make my way overland (two days transit) up north to Salvador where I will then head west to Lencois to meet up with Olivia and spend a week or so chilling in the mountains and national park. 

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  1. U can write! U can write pretty well!
    Cant wait to read more of these...

  2. Wow! Looks great, sounds great! Surprised you sobered enough to be able to write about it...