Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 38 and 39 - Rio de Janeiro (8th and 9th May)

So we went to the club Mariuzinn or something like that and they did the same thing with payment, you get a card and then pay at the end. Slightly dangerous but still..... Funny thing was the computer system broke so they had to come round to everyone in the club and swap the credit card for a paper one. We didn´t have to pay drinks up to that point because he system went down and lost all track of them... Nice one.

From Rio disposable camera


From Rio disposable camera


They were playing some of my favourite music, R´n´B, Brazilian Funk... just the sort of stuff I like to get down to and feel comfortable dancing to..... Yeah right. I have to admit, I´ve not seen as much arse shaking in all my life. The good thing about this club is that it is mainly locals who go... It was certainly an experience.... The girls do this kind or arse shaking dance getting lower to the floor with each bump and grind.... Quite entertaining actually. I have to admit I did try to give it a go.

From Rio disposable camera


I couldn´t have looked more out of place. I must have looked like a sweetcorn in a pod of peas.... Still a good night was had by all.. Got back about 6am.

Friday started pretty early. I woke up at 10.30am and am getting used to surviving on 4hours or so of sleep. I went to the beach for an hour and then Jay and I took the tour of the Favela. It was incredible. We went to a Favela called Rocinha which houses 200,000 people. Madness.

We took the minibus there and then jumped on the back of motorbikes to get to the top of the favela.





They are called motor taxis and they are used to get up and down the only street in the Favela. The next thing I knew we were shooting up the hill at about 70miles an hour screaming past buses and in between vans as well as other motorbikes taking gaps that should never have let us through. I could actually feel my knuckles turning white as I clung on for dear life.... It was slightly disconcerting when on approach to a hairpin corner my driver turns to me and says "Ok gringo"....... to which I replied ..... "road, road" pointing ahead of us...

I made it, looking about ten years older and white as a sheet (even more so than normal). When we got to the top, our guide told us that the Favela is illegal and the police can actually close it down at any time but with 200,000 people living there it´s a little tricky.

It´s run by drug barons and there is virtually no crime unless rival gangs come in for a gun battle.... We were told it was safe to take video cameras and digital cameras on the tour... the only place in Rio where we have been told it is ok to do this.



Crazy... Although there were certain places we can´t do this because of the drug barons privacy.... I decide to abide by these rules.. Safer, I thought.



I have to admit, throughout the tour, which was amazing by the way, I felt so safe.. Everyone was so friendly and I played football with some little kids around 10 or 12 years old. It was going so well until I decided to show them some true British grit and took one of them out with a horror two footed lunge just below the kneecap.. teach you to nutmeg me Ronaldo!!!! Just kidding, I didn´t really. I was playing head tennis with one of them.... Good fun..

We then went to an artist studio and looked at some amazing paintings...



so I bought one of them... Some local kids gave us a samba drumming show... they must have been about 5 or 6 years old.



The tour was an incredible experience and I would recommend it to anyone who visits Rio. PS the last gun battle happened four weeks ago.... phew...

From Rio


From Rio


From Rio


From Rio


From Rio


From Rio


From Rio


From Rio






Last night, we went out to Lapa. It was madness. There must have been about ten thousand people out on the streets. It´s incredible. I went there with Loreta and Ita (Ireland), Jay and Rich (UK), Jairu (Costa Rica) and my new roomies Emma, Nikki and Caz from Hampshire. We were joined by Tharcia and her friends (Brazil). Jairu and I decided to go with the Brazilian crew to experience a proper local night and arranged to meet the rest of the guys a bit later.

From Rio disposable camera


From Rio disposable camera


It was such a laugh. I was introduced to all of Tharcia´s friends and got a litre bottle of beer for one pound. Very dangerous. After downing a tequila courtesy of Jairu, we hit a Brazilian funk club. Tharcia taught me how to dance Brazilian Funk. I´m thinking of renaming this blog.... around the world in a thousand dances.... it seems to be a common theme for me. All in all, I had an amazing night.

I met the others and we headed back to the hostel where we feasted on Domino´s pizza at 5am.... Yes, I do feel guilty...

Today I´ve spent most of my time trying to get my ticket to fly from Rio to Sao Paulo at 4am tomorrow morning. Nightmare. No travel agents were open.... grrrr.

Got it sorted so roll on Lima and all that Peru has to offer. Can´t wait.

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