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Sarah's Travels

Rio Carnaval!!!!!!!

BRAZIL | Wednesday, 13 February 2013 | Views [290]

And so to Rio for the Carnaval!! After arriving into Rio and having said goodbye to the lady who got us all here from Quito (Magaly, the truck), we checked into the hotel in Lapa and set off to explore the neighbourhood and had a late lunch/afternoon snack at Lapamaki sushi near the hotel. That evening we all went to Kilogramma, a buffet restaurant where you pay per kilo for food for the final dinner of this leg of the tour. The dessert buffet was too tempting and I had a delicious Doce de leite crocante cake (crunchy caramel).

The following day we headed out on the city tour starting at the Lapa Steps, which were created by an artist whose wife died while pregnant, and contains tiles from all over the world and is known as the Great Madness. This was followed by the modern Cathedral, the Corcovado with the Christ Redeemer and finally the Sugarloaf. It was quite foggy, so we didn't get a clear view across Rio, but it was still amazing. Once back at the hotel, I dropped my bag off in the hotel while we went off to get cash out. In the next 40 mins while the room was being cleaned, someone stole my beloved Olympus E450 camera with the photos from that day......unfortunately I came back and had a nap so didn't realise until we were about to go out for dinner, by which time it was long gone. Determined not to let this get in the way of my evening we went down to Ipanema on the bus to a bloco street party. The bus ride was very noisy and packed with people celerating Carnaval. Once there, we walked along the beach drinking beers and eating hot dogs. We kept following the crowd, but once we got down the party was finished so we headed back to Lapa to dance the night away at the Arches.

The next morning after a lie in, I headed out to the Tourist Police in Leblon to get a report. 4 hours later I got back to the hotel after elbowing my way through 2 bloco street parties to sample the delight of the Brazilian burger chain Bob's Burgers. After an afternoon chilling out at the rooftop pool, we went back to the Kilogramma place for sushi and sparkling wine. We then headed down to the Arches to meet the crowd who went to the football match and after quite a lot of searching we found them. People started to head off home until there were just a few of us left dancing samba. Sunday was the big Sambadrome day, so in preparation, I slept pretty much all day, though I did get up for breakfast! After a very yummy Tuna Yakisoba and California rolls at the sushi place next to the hotel (so much yummy sushi here) we headed out for the Sambadrome all dressed up and ready to party!!! My costume was a purple top, purple lay (flower garland), purple mark and purple flower in my hair....can you guess the theme?! The first school started at 9pm and the last one left the parade at 6am. We were in Sector 13 right at the end of the Sambadrome where the parades ended and during the last school parade, the 2 remaining partyers (including me), managed to sneak down to the parade area and get right into the action. After it was over we walked down the whole length of the Sambadrome getting a good look at the private boxes and bars at the start of the parade. The atmosphere during the parade was electric, the samba music pumping and the dancing ceaseless. The stands were packed and there were flags flying for the different schools and everyone was singing the samba songs. It was undeniably one of the highlights of this trip.

After 5 hours sleep, a few of us met up to get pizza at the Kilogramma place (I know- 3rd time, but this place was good and close to the hotel). Though sadly, pizza was only an evening special, we settled on buffet and headed back to the hotel to chill out. We finally managed to get pizza in the end at rhe Carioca da Gema, by the Lapa Arches, overlooking a street party and accompanied by passion fruit caipirinhas. After a lime caipi on the street, we headed into an upstairs bar with band and dj to dance until the wee hours. So that brings me to Tuesday, which was a day of goodbyes. Goodbye to the hotel and goodbye to all ,y fellow travellers who were either moving on, going home or setting out to travel on their own. I set off to explore Catete, which is not far from Lapa and on the other side of Santa Teresa hill. There were still loads of street parties going on when I walked back to the hotel to say goodbye to everyone there. My last goodbye was at the Sobrenatural seafood restaurant in Santa Teresa at the top of the hill. We had bolinhos da bacalhau (salted cod balls), pastel de siri (crab pastries) and shared a plate of Coco de Suribim. Suribim is a spotted fish, which was cooked until tender with a coconut sauce containing grated Brazil nuts and served with fried maniac and banana alongside broccoli rice- heaven!!!

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