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Nick and Laina's Adventures

Favela.

USA | Sunday, 7 December 2008 | Views [1011] | Comments [4]

We'd like to thank everyone for their comments! Answering some questions: Rio is 2 hours ahead of new york city, I(nick) am writing the blog, with help from laina for descriptions, pictures will come soon!, we just need to gather the cameras.

Yesterday we slept in, 3 PM! When we woke up, we headed to the grocery store for some lunch food, mangoes,cachaça (brazilian sugar cane brandy, similar to rum, but sweeter, and with a distinct flavor, the bottle was 4R, or 2$ for a liter) and fresh bread! yum! Then a new couchsurfer showed up at Cristianas house, Phillipe from Chile. He had to carry his bicycle(in a box) 6 blocks, because he got off at the wrong stop.

After strolling the Copacabana strip, we headed home to get ready for our long night ahead. Cristiana is going to take us to a favela, a Brazilian slum, to go to a party at abed and breakfast high up in the favela. She says that this Favela is the "safest" favela  in Rio de Janeiro. At about 9:30 two guys show up at the apartment, one is from germany, and the other, france. They have been living in Rio for a long time, and can speak portuguese well. This is the begining of our group of many countries! Around 10 Oclock we head out, to a small restraunt on street side, for some beers and music, Samba! While we were socializing, a brazilian kid came up to us with an empty bag, he was collecting our empty beer cans, unfortunately i still had some beer in mine to finish. At the restaurant one more friend from Argentina showed up to join our group as well as a couple, one from Peru and one from Bolivia. Once we were all together, we headed towards the bus station, but we were slowed down by another restaurant when everyone realized they were hungry. So this is how Brazilian time works, I had thought we were headed straight to the Favela, but now  1 1/2 hours have gone by, and we are still in Copacabana! So in this small Botega, a brazilian fast food joint, I got a Coxhina, which is like spiced chicken wrapped in dough and deep fried! Very Delicious. Laina got an Açai berry smoothie, which she later regretted, but it was very good, but extrememly sweet. So we got on the bus and headed to Catate, the district with the Favela we were headed to.

Once we got off, we walked 15 mins to get to the base of the Favela. Brazilian slums are largely placed on very steep hills that are not occupied by other houses. This results on the streets and alleys being extremely steep and windey. At the bottom of the hill a bunch of brazilians offered to take us up to the top of the favela on the back of a motorcycle, I thought this would be dangerous! Philippe the Chilean, and Marcus the Argentine took the motorcycles, and we all took a taxi to the top.

Driving into the Favela was quite an experience. All the streets are cobblestone, or dirt. They are very steep and very narrow. THe taxi driver sped like a bat out of hell as he flew up the hill. Above the street there are soo many power cables in all directions it looks like a huge black spiderweb. The sides of the street are houses and buildings. All the brickwork was not done proffesionally, and you can tell from the sloppy motar and non symetrical lines, that each person probably built their own house. The colors here are amazing. There are many tile mosiacs of bright colors on the ground, and on walls. Many people are hanging out their brightly colored clothes to dry too! It seems that the Favela is full of culture and color, and that much of brazils flavor comes from these Favelas.

When we got to the top, we went to a club called the Maze hotel. They host big parties once a month and many people from brazil go. Not to many tourists are willing to go into a favela without knowing what they are doing for a party. We are very lucky, Crisitana hase been there 5 times, and here friends know the area too. We would not have gone without them. The maze hotel is an actual favela slum house, that has been slightly renovated but not too much, so you can see what it should look like. The club was packed! When we got there is was totally full. It costs 10R, whis is lke 5 dollars, and the drinks are 7R which is like 3.50$ not so bad. There is a jazz band playing, a keyboardist and a saxophone. They are good, but they are not the reason people are here. As I walked upstairs the brickwork is very narrow and there is hardly any room for your shoulders. when I got to the roof, I could see why this place was such and attraction! It opened up into a circle room without a roof, and it was full mosiac-ed absolutley beautiful. All differenent colors and shapes. There were 5 different openeings to the room, even though it is open air, and I headed out one of them. It opened up to a porch which overlooked all of the Favela, and then flamengo, and also the classic Rio de janeiro landscape, green mountains, beautiful ocean, bays, and marinas with sailboats. keep in mind it is about 1Am now. Its dark, but everything is lit up by street lights. The Favela looks amazing, just like the picture from the movies. Closly built houses, extremely steep terrain, giving the architecture a very dramatic feel, and many colors, and power lines. Inside the club there are 300 people, it is shoudler to shoulder packed, and eveyone is talking singing or drinking beer, out of the 1liter bottles brazilian only seem to have. We stayed until 3:45am, and i was not tired, because nobody else was. 3:45 semmed more like a number then a time, since in the US, there would be nobody anywhere but bed at 3:45, and everyone here was excited. Then crisitana decided to go to the bars in Lapa for some food, and we (laina, phillpe and I) vouched to head back home to rest. Heading out of the favela was a little scarier, because there were more more people that lived there, and less people from the party out and about. We grabbed a taxi home, about 20 mins, and 15R, 7$, got into the apartment and passed out. Very exciting night!!

Things to look up: Favela, Maze Hotel, Coxshina (i think thats how it is spelled)

 

Comments

1

Cool, what can I say, I'm impressed.

  Peter Seferovic Dec 7, 2008 5:07 AM

2

OK...now I get it...you went to Brazil to party all night long and sleep in the day time...hmmm...nice to be young...Fun writing: I am enjoying your great descriptions. I am glad you seem to be meeting so many people,couch surfers and others. Do they like or wonder about Americans? Will any of trhe people you are meeting be traveling the same routes you plan? Dad.

  jim dunn Dec 7, 2008 8:47 AM

3

your writing is terrific...very picturous.....so glad you had someone with you that knew their way around I m behind on your letters..so back to reading..it is saturdy and I'm having the first lozy day that i have had in months...watching chiristmas movies in bed..just wonderful.....xx00

  susan and terry Dec 7, 2008 11:30 AM

4

When I zoom in really close on your map, I think I can see you. Is that you sitting on the rock on the harbor wearing that green shirt that I gave you? See, you're not that far away! Have fun and be safe! Love...

  Mommy Dec 7, 2008 2:00 PM

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