Published: February 24th 2008February 1st 2008
So we finally made it to Rio after about a zillion hours flying. First couple of days just wandered around Copacabana and beach a bit, and sampled my first (of many) Brazilian caipirinha. Met up with some friends after a few days (Helen and Fergus), spent the day on the beach catchng up and so the caipirinha drinking continued........
Carnival at the sambadrome was fantastic. The costumes and floats were spectacular........and sooo much glitter!!! It all started at around 9pm and finished at 6am - wasn´t sure I´d make through but we met a couple of Brazilian guys who made sure we were dancing constantly and never without a beer!!!! There were loads of street stalls all around Rio sellng costumes and outfits for carnival - I resisted the urge to buy a glitter wig and some fairy wings (don´t think I can fit another bean in my rucksack).
We were possibly being a bit over-cautious but Rio didn´t feel that dangerous (apart from the caipirinhas!). The people there weren´t quite as glamorous and beautiful as some of the guidebooks suggested they would be, although the beach seemed to be a bit of a hang out for
the posing men - bad luck for Fergus who was on a mission to collect photos of beautiful Brazilian women (for some friends....) - they were a bit scarce! There were loads of street parties for the carnival - bit like Notting Hill Carnival really - drinks, music, dancing (and lots of blokes dressed up as women - seemed to be a bit of theme of the carnival - not sure if it´s usually like that?????).
Went to see a footbal match - Vasco v Botafogo - couldn´t have asked much more from a football match really - penalty, couple of red and yellow cards, 5 goals; atmosphere was amazing and they went mental when a goal was scored, fireworks and the lot (not sure if that happens at the Britannia stadium????). All the fans were mixed together too with no trouble. So then it was bye to Rio and nice hotel, and hello to youth hostels and camping................
There are more photos below