The Greatest Show on Earth

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February 23rd 2009
Published: March 13th 2009
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Day 695 (22.02.09)

Today was the day for us to experience all the colour, grandeur and true spectacle of the Carnaval in Rio as we had tickets to the main parade in the Sambadromo.

But before we could make it out for the start at 9pm, we still had to drag ourselves out of bed following our previous Carnaval celebrations. Making it up for a spot of brekkie before falling back into bed for a couple of hours we eventually made it outside for a trip to the hippy market in Ipanema where amongst the local artists dsiplaying their work we found a guy whose work we fell in love with. After a while of debating whether we had room for yet another painting we went to ask the artist its cost. Unfortunately just as we were about to ask we saw it being unpinned having just been bought by another chap. Fate had obviously intervened saving us some money for our travelling!

With another quiet afternoon for us to recharge our batteries a little more we had dinner and made our way out to our evening of glitz and glamour.

With a little misunderstanding with the taxi driver who dropped us on the wrong side of the arena, we walked around and found a great place to sit and waited for the action to start.

As the first parade began further down the stands we could here the music and see the people in the early stands dancing, waving and flashing their cameras wildly! After around 25 minutes the parade reached us with feathers flying, glitters sparkling and huge extravagant costumes in every colour under the sun dancing their way past us. We could tell the evening was going to be absolutely incredible. With so much music and dancing, elaborate costumes and amazing floats it was an unforgettable show. The entertainment was split into 6 separate parades which were hosted by 6 different samba schools. With each lasting about an hour and a half and with spots of entertainment and spectacular fireworks lighting up the night sky in the intervals we were still dancing in the terrace watching the parade as the sun rose over head.

At around 6am the show finished and grabbing a taxi we got back to the hostel and passed out in bed.

Day 696 (23.02.09)

Waking at around 2:30 in the afternoon we had a relaxing early afternoon before joining a street party in Botafogo near our hostel for a couple of hours. We followed the van and danced along with hundreds of others with the music blaring before managing to get in front of it to where there was a large group of people with varying sizes of drum beating out some throbbing samba rhythms.

With nothing really planned for the evening we went over to the Sambadromo the see if there were any last minute tickets going spare from touts, unfortunately finding them a little expensive. However it didnt turn out to be a completely wasted journey as we found a little spot where the participants of the carnival were coming out of the stadium and dumping off any costumes that were broken. We had a hilarious hour or so as we were able to try on loads of the costumes.

After spending a while messing around in what was turning out to be a giant Carnaval costume jumble sale we went back at 3:30am for a relatively early night!

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13th March 2009

Greatest show on earth: confirmed
I was initiallly sceptical of the title of the page, however the first picture confirmed that this is, in fact, the greatest show on earth. good work haywards!

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