My first Saturday there:
Walking on Copacabana beach with Ricardo and the Janes family we came upon some interesting artwork!
We arrived at a massive street parade in Ipanema. It was one of my favorite days there—the people, bustle, learning some new dance moves on the beach courtesy Ricardo (You can’t come to
Dad, for your next costume?The floats get political! No clue what they say though!
I got to be good friends with these guys—the caipirinha vendors!! Their caipirinhas came in the classic lime, passion fruit and coconut. How could I not try all my fruits and vegetables? :)
Looking in the direction of Copacabana
We went to a soccer game at Maracana stadium, one of the biggest stadiums in the world, which held the South American Cup in 2007. We rooted for the local team Flamengo. It’s only tourists who AREN’T wearing the jerseys. So we each bought some a sweet cheap headbands instead. This in turn bought us a LOT of friends! Ricardo, me and Nick.
Fans go nuts
Can I take some Brazilian kids home with me?!
After the game we went to the Sambadrome. This is where THE Carnaval parades happen, the Monday and Tuesday nights, starting about 9pm, done by about 4am. The twenty samba schools in
Parade turning into the Sambadrome. It’s probably 300m long, and the width of a highway, used specifically for the Carnaval parades!Monday:
Bike riding in the misty rain around the lagoon of
Out for dinner that night at a traditional resto of the style in the Northeast region,
Wednesday:We went on the favela tour. It was fascinating. Of course I’m going to compare it to
The first little bitty favela we saw was—according to our guide—probably one of the only in
This photo gives an idea of the close quarters and houses on top of houses. (This is what much of Port au Prince looks like…) This is the small favela we visited, Villa Canoas, which has only about 3,000 people.
A street in a favela—not wide enough for more than one person.
This place has benefited a lot from a recent government initiative—bright- colored paint jobs, putting cement stairs over mud pathways, tiles for the houses—it was pretty in places!!
Ice cream in the favela—wow!! In
Rocinha, the other favela we toured, is one of
A sweet local bar we wandered into in Copacabana! Copacabana neighborhood actually has the highest per capita of senior citizens in the city—all the folks who fell in love with the city in the 50’s and never left! So grannies everywhere. But still, a neighborhood bar on EVERY corner with friendly locals!
Goofing off on Copacabana beach!
We went up to some touristy sites—Pao Acucar, or
Copacabana in passing:
Soooo cloudy on Sugarloaf, surrounded in white like we were in heaven (thus angelic poses :)When the clouds leave! View from the top of Sugarloaf—THAT’s the cable car used in some James Bond movie for a crazy fight scene between James and a dude who’s got a bunch of metal in his mouth!!
The Loaf!From another site near the big Christ Redeemer Statue
Speaking of Christ—we didn’t hang out with him up close—he was a bit busy with the clouds. The Christ Redeemer statue is pretty much the landmark of
Historic neighborhood Santa Teresa
Historic fruit vendor explaining to some other tourist why they’re not allowed to take pictures, while Ricardo takes picture.We took a capoeira class that night—and it about killed us!!! All four of us we sore for at least 2 full days afterwards. I still have the blister. I LOVED it. That’s our instructor, who spoke NO English. But—my Portuguese vocabulary now includes Iiiiisso (thaaaat’s it) and Naaaaooooo (haha—no!) Saturday:
Another block parade in a different smaller neighborhood, Botafogo:
Graffiti! (I’m an elephant.)
Your average Brazilians in tutu
The most unflattering picture of me this trip. BUT, I couldn’t believe a fat stick of meat cost 2 Reais—US $1.30! That’s the same price for a can of beer (also exhibited in this photo)!Cute kids everywhere. Put him in my pocket.
While Alfonso here on the left worked tirelessly throughout the afternoon to smoosh limes into delicious caipirinhas, his colleague on the right who handled the money took the liberty of an occasional break to play his cymbals!!
A last highlight not captured on film:
Saturday, my last night there we indulged in a rodizio churrascaria around the corner. The Churrascaria is the typical Brazilian method of sitting at the table while the waiters come around with meaaaaat after different type of meat, skewered on sticks, which they slice directly onto your plate. Rodizio means all you can eat. BUT unlike churrascarias I’d been to before, where the waiters have a respectful and cautious pace, these waiters came about once a minute to give us meat!! I have never in my life gone from feeling hungry to about to pop in less time.
We went home and took a two hour nap (that was an accident actually!) before going out for the evening. It was my last night in
When we returned home about 6:45 that morning:
We hit a last parade before my flight out Sunday night—I was nervous I wouldn’t be fully sober arriving at the airport—a super end to my adventure! In the taxi on my way to the airport, it was a clear night, and I could even see Jesus perfectly lit up on the hill.
Getting back to Port au Prince—time for more Carnival, but some serious detox. :)