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Nick and Laina's Adventures


USA | Saturday, 6 December 2008 | Views [1517] | Comments [8]

So last night when we got back from the internet cafe, which was our last stop on the way home, we settled down, and started getting ready to sleep, it had been a long day and our eyes were hardly staying open. After a few minutes, cristiana came home, took one look at laina (I was trying to not look tired, she apparently was not)and asked, "are you too tired to go out tonight?" We were like, Oh, but it is 11 oclock at night, isnt it bed time? Cristiana smiled, and told us there was a samba band playing in the district of Lapa, a 30 min bus ride to the north. We decided excitedly to go, Samba! Sweet! Ive only heard it on CD!

 We got on the bus outside Critianas apartment, which i forgot to describe how beautiful the streets of Copacabana are:

As you walk down the street towards the beach, picture a smaller sized city street lined on both sides with huge tropical trees with large thick branches that shade the street heavily, so you feel as if you are in a jungle, and tons of smaller palms all around, at ground level, and then when you look at the sidewalk you see that is it a mosiac of black and white tiles all of broken pieces and it feels like a cobblestone street underneath your feet.

Back to the story, so head head down on of copacabanas streets, catch a bus, 2R, about 90 cents, for 30 mins in to the part of Rio called Lapa. As we get off the bus, i realized that Lapa is a totally hip/individual/really cool place. The buildings look like old european style, maybe italian, they are probably really old, but they have all been converted into bars, and art galleries within the last 10 years, Lapa seems to be the Greenwich villiage(NYC) of Rio. Laina´s favorite part was the plethora of graffiti art over most walls, they were all very well done, and looked good, besides being graffiti. On the next block and a half, we found a new bar that just opened today, saw 1000+ people about my age, and some older, we bought some fresh squeezed fruit juice, I got mango! Laina got Lilikoi, passion fruit, i forget the portuguese word. Delicious! Then we headed to the street where the band was going to play. Actually I was able to hear it already, the band must have started earlier that night. We headed up the street which the band was on, there must have been 1000 people, just on this 200m stretch on cobblestone street.

 As we get closer, the sound of Brazilian Samba gets louder. If you don´t know Samba music, it sounds like this: Strong african beat with one or more drums, but it is a difficult beat, and often sounds off-beat. Then there is a guitar, bells, a steelstring Ukelele, more drums, a flute and saxaphone. The band is all sitting around a picnic table, surrounded by listeners, speakers, microphones and assorted instruments waiting their turn to be played. All singing is done in portuguese of course, but i think that the most characteristic part of sampba is the way the singing goes with the drums, anyways you gotta listen to it, maybe type "samba" into youtube or somthing, pick the most brazilian looking video, and maybe you´ll see.

As we approach the music, we meet up with some of cristianas friends, a german, two greeks (self-appointed "greek-gods" and yes, Holly, they are very simular to the greek characters in "The Ruins"), another person from the US, and two more brazilians. As we meet each person we greet with a kiss on both cheeks hello, which is the standard here, and immediately start sharing stories of the last 24 hour trip. The music picks up its rythm, the drums get that irresistable dacing beat, and every starts the samba dance, a typical latin dance involving moving your body in ways that you can´t and watching all th brazilians in their very natural environment.

At about 2:30AM cristiana decided we are all getting tired, and it is time to do some sightseeing. We leave the samba band and head out of Lapa. We walk for a few minutes, and come across a large set of stairs, that are all set in a sort of masiac tiles of brillliant yellow and green (of course, brasil´s national colors) red and blue. The stairs are the work of an artist who is constantly changing them and adding more colors and tiles every day and taking down old ones. We shot some pictures, and decided to head home. We got back at about 3, and passed out. I just woke up around 1 pm, and wrote this letter. Lots of fun!

Things to check out:

Brazilian Samba, Marisa Monte (musician), Lapa, Copacabana

P.S. the plane ticket I bought is fully refundable for 1 year, even after the flight.




I am amazed, you're the author Nick.

  Peter Seferovic Dec 6, 2008 4:26 AM


I love reading your stories, they are delightful! Keep them coming, they get my imagination going!

  Julie Sims Dec 6, 2008 5:53 AM


Who wrote this? Really? Wow! I'm so very impressed. I will send a copy to Mrs. Engleman, your second grade teacher. I feel as if I am there. I will start sharing your stories with my class. We are sending the link to all the relatives and hopefully you will hear from them soon. Wonderful! Keep up the blog so we can hear every day what it's like. I'm so proud of you both! Love, Mommy

  Mommy Dec 6, 2008 10:52 AM


Boy, I wish I were there dancing the samba right now. Instead I am bummed because my job may take a new turn next year, and not a good one at that. But, I have only a few years to go and then I can travel the world too. ( If I have the money and no more fires in the house!)
I loved your descriptions, but I honestly think I wouldn't have been able to stay awake for as long as you did. Keep writing--your writing is very good. Is Laina writing too or are you the natural author ?
Love, Holly

  holly Dec 6, 2008 10:57 AM



So good to hear from you--amazing to hear from you. I loved your description of the samba. You move your body in ways that are not possible.

Keith and kids are coming here for 2 days. rachel is trying out for a state soccer team. They don't expect here to be good enough to be selected, but they thought they would give it a try. she has made 2 cuts.

Be safe and feel our prayers.

Aunt Mary

  aunt mary Dec 6, 2008 1:22 PM


Hey travelers,
Great job on the blog. You're going to have to adjust your daily schedule a bit it seems. Will we be able to see any photos here? I'd like to see the sunrise over the Atlantic. Who needs sleep when you're in such a magical place?!!
Uncle Don

  Uncle Don Dec 6, 2008 5:27 PM




  TERRY AND SUSAN Dec 7, 2008 11:44 AM


Hi Nick and Laina,
I am at Pats and just read your great blog. Wow! I wish I could be traveling with you. I hope you guys have the most fabulous time ever, and i will keeping abreast of your travels on the blog.
Love, Karen

  karen knudtsen Dec 8, 2008 9:03 AM



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