Carnival Carnage at Paracuru CE

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South America » Brazil » Ceará » Fortaleza
February 25th 2012
Published: March 15th 2012
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After the shit time we had in Fiji, I thought going to Brazil would be a great opportunity to spend some time with the old man and generally relax by the pool everyday, but boy was I wrong...

I should have known that walking through the airport of Rio de Janeiro with a brazilian Samba instrument in my hand, just days before the opening ceremony for carnival, was somewhat going to get me attention. The worst thing about it was the fact that I wasn't Brazilian and therefore would not succomb easily to anyone who asked me to sing them a quick song, mainly out of embarrassment at my guitar skills as well as my italian/english/spanish style fucked up portuguese accent that I soooo practiced to try and sound half native; they probably thought I was taking the piss...

I transferred to Fortaleza (north of Brazil), met with the Brazilian half of the family and headed two hours north to Paracuru, the alleged place for the best Carnival in the state of Ceará. One day to go, I could see the excitement building up as bars, restaurants and households stocked up on mammoth amounts of alcohol, the roads were being cleared and ready for what was to become a nightmare for the police who a week earlier had just gone on strike. On the other hand, it was pure bliss for the flocking thousands who had taken the week off to indulge in what is Brazils most famous musical atomic bomb, "Carnaval".

I won't take you through everything I did day to day, I would rather just explain what goes on during a typical day during carnaval in the north. Whilst Rio de Janeiro flocks to the streets with their "escola de Samba" (the famous one they show on telly), Paracuru likes to start early with a bit of foam spraying in the face of passers-by and the occasional toss of talcum powder in the eyeball, whilst famous Axe (a samba style/afro-rhythmic pop music) echoes the streets with the help of the Brazilian invention of the "paredao"; huge speaker systems ran by cars which create what are called "blocos" inviting anyone who's anyone to join and party in front of it. I mean the first day wasnt bad at all, I came back at 6pm already drunk from cheap Caipirinhas looking like one of those shit immitators of a Ceasar statue you occasionally see on Northumberland street, Newcastle. By 9pm we had to be showered and back out to experience the uplifting chaos of Carnaval. The night provided the masses with an uncomparable, but equally as exciting atmosphere as the day. The stage was loaded with enough wattage to send the manically keen audience at the front a few metres back. And then it started. As Brazilian arses flew all over the place, the music took over with fusions of uplifting Samba, Axé, Forro and Brazilian funk; each accompanied with a "different" sexy dance that those amazingly beautiful Braziliennes love to move to.

As carnaval progressed it became heavier and harder to get out of bed the next day, fearing that I may be attacked by 'talc bombs' and foam spray whilst out on the beach buggy just to go and buy some toothpaste. I should have learned from previous events when I went out with my dad during the day just to have a look at the sand dunes to be greeted by a congregated street party who decided to throw the white shit in our faces. I have to say it tastes fucking disgusting!

Every night was a new experience and as I got into the rythym of the Brazilian Carnaval culture I started to enjoy it more and more and soon even I was in there dancing like a tit to "Danza Kuduro" and "Nossa, Nossa". Heres a link of someone doing something similar to what my father (a 60 year old bloke) tried to do but I wont show him trying just to keep his dignity. Ladies and gents use your imagination, this is the Creu;

Anyway I have come away feeling like I have experienced something really special, something I would love everyone to experience. Whether Latin music is your style or not, I will guarantee that spending a week here during carnaval won't dissapoint you.


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