Carnival has two major components. The Sambódromo (Samba Parade) and blockos (street parties). The Sambódromo is where the samba schools each do a very elaborate parade, competing against each other for the title of best samba school. We decided to go on one of the smaller nights as tickets for the 2 main nights were reaaaaally expensive. Buying the tickets was an adventure on its own. We couldn´t buy them online as we don´t have a Brazilian ID, so instead a group of us decided we´d go to the Sambódromo to buy them. When we got there we found out that the tickets had sold out (by someone official) so we were advised to talk with people who were standing around (scalpers) and buy tickets off them. Very fortunately the first person we spoke to spoke English, after deciding we didn´t want his tickets he helped us find ones we wanted (acting as a translator). BB had already done research on which sections were good and bad so we were prepared and knew which tickets were a complete rip off (like a man trying to sell us tickets for a section that is so bad people give them to their friends for free!). The whole thing seemed pretty dodgy but worked out fine - the man met us back at the hostel with the tickets and we ended up with a group of about 20 people from the hostel all going together (only being marginally ripped off). The costumes and floats were amazing! So much colour! This will definitely have to wait for pictures to describe (once again when i find better internet), because i´m struggling to find a way to describe how amazing it was.
While the Sambódromo was amazing and we´re very glad we went for one night, the blockos (street parties) are really where the fun is at. Everyone dresses up in fancy dress (whatever theme you want) and comes together to follow a float and procession down the road, dancing and drinking. There are many many blockos on everyday, so luckily some local friends we made last week advised us on which parties they thought would be the best. Every day we would go to a blocko around 4pm then not get home until 5 or 6 the next morning vowing the next night we would sleep more.... we never did. The blockos only go for a few hours (officially) but the party continues for a long time after, once we had enough of the blocko we would head to lapa for more street party time or to Ipanema to listen to psy trance on the beach. The beach parties were funny ´cause they would be playing really hard psytrance one minute and britney speays the next, then more pstrance, then lady gaga...weird! The beach parties were waaay nicer that lapa in the way that you didn´t feel like you were in a public urinal. We have officially coined the term `that's so lapa´ for anything that is disgusting. But lapa was always way to funny and random not to go back again - always providing funny/horror stories to share. For example ´Ewww - did you guys just see that transvestite licking that hookers foot in the middle of the street´ (lapa foot is a bad syndrome where you walk around in thongs and come home with black feet covered in god knows what - which is what makes this vision doubly as gross). I´m not even going to try and explain all the blockos we went to - all i can say is if you like to party - carnival is the place to be.
Our bodies are now going into shut down and all 3 of us took a vow not to drink yesterday and not get suckered into drinking with anyone that wanted to go out. We´re all sounding like pack-a-day smokers from breathing in too much gross rio air and drinking waaaay too much (not at once just very sustained drinking). Today we´re heading back down to our happy place (Trindade) for some R&R before the next leg of our trip.
Rio i love you, but your killing me.
|Enjoying Free Concerts|
|Sambódromo - sooo colourful|