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Published: March 17th 2009
Day 697 (24.02.09)
As well as the incredible parades happening nightly in the Sambadromo, various areas of Rio host street parties and parades throughout the days of carnaval. We´d heard about a huge street party due to be held in Santa Teresa at 2pm so after a lie-in to sleep off the previous evening´s festivities, a group of us got our glad rags on and headed that way in a couple of cabs.
When we arrived we found that the party we´d heard about had actually occurred at 9am instead and it turned out that the city actually advertises this party at the wrong time (sending out the real time only on the local grapevine) on purpose to try and control the number of people flooding this compact area's streets.
Luckily we managed to find what must have been the party aftermath with a crowd of people in various costumes still dancing to music pumping from a trailer in the pretty cobbled streets of Santa Teresa´s hilltop neighbourhood.
We had a superb time, dancing, drinking some beers from the street vendors and being joined by a group of local drummers to lend some beats to our excellent
When the party broke up we headed down to a much larger street party being held in Lapa and after some dancing, we sat on the grass and people watched as locals and tourists alike enjoyed the last day of carnaval.
That evening a large group from the hostel clubbed together for a feast and Mark, being the gem that he is, cooked up a great dinner for us all. Thankfully it contained plenty of veg to try and go someway towards repairing the damage we all must have done to our bodies over the last few days of partying!
As night rolled around it was time to make the most of the last night of carnaval so with Nick, Marika and Camilla we joined Holly and Ianthe from our dorm and went over to their friends' hostel in Santa Teresa for a few pre-party drinks. Suitably inebriated we headed down to Lapa for one last big night and settled in outside the furniture shop (that well known Lapa haunt!) to dance to some cheesy tunes and sup on some cocktails.
The night almost turned to disaster as Mark lost his precious schmurgle hat, bought
so long ago in Chiang Mai and a truly successful carnaval hat! Thankfully, the day was saved when Camilla managed to locate it in a puddle of we don't like to think what! Back at the hostel just before daylight broke again over Rio and with a newly washed and scrubbed hat Mark went to bed a happy boy!
Day 698 (25.02.09)
With carnaval over it was time to do some hardcore recovering! We slept all morning and then said goodbye to Marika and Camilla (after Marika, a hairdresser, kindly gave Chrissie a much needed and desired haircut!) - thanks girls we had such a great time with you!
Feeling like we are now way too old for five days and nights of celebrations we happily chilled out on the sofa, watched a movie and chatted on our balcony with the excellent friends we´d made from our dorm. Guys - Room 10 rocked our world!
Day 699 (26.02.09)
With our time in Brazil coming to an end we had some plans to make. We were due to be flying from Sao Paulo to Venezuela but recent reports from travellers who´d been had told us that
it would be too exepensive for us to travel there and after some deliberating, as we'd have to pay to change our flights, we opted to swallow the charges and fly directly into Colombia instead and called up the flight company to arrange that.
With one afternoon left in Rio we decided to continue our relaxation and spend it at Ipanema beach so Chrissie could say she was the girl from Ipanema! Joined by Nick, Mark, Ianthe and Holly we hit the sands with the hordes for some sunshine.
It was our last night with our dorm friends so we found a little restaurant around the corner from our hostel and had a lovely dinner out before ending the night in our favourite place, the balcony, with some cocktails and conversation. We had had such a great time in Rio mostly thanks to the people we´d been lucky enough to share our carnaval with.
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