Tudo Bom

Brazil Travel Blog

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The beautiful city

Brazil is awesome, though i did not see nearly enough of this place.

I arrived into Rio de Janiero after 28 hours of travel and could not resist the crew from the hostel going to the bar. And then not one night off afterwards, from Irish pubs (embarrassingly), to favela parties to salsa clubs to street parties.

I really liked Rio, it had so many different sides to it.  The rich Ipanema, the poor favelas (slums) everywhere, the beaches, the rock mountains going straight to the sky, the portugese colonial Santa Teresa with its tram winding through the steep streets, Lapa, homeless kids and rich kids, partiers, salsa dancers and the beach bums in brazilian bikinis, fruit stalls on every corner, capoeira and football, a stunning city and the hint of danger that goes along with Rio.

Damn tourists at Christo Redentor

Rio de Janiero has a few must see and do's, though waiting for a clear sunny day was a bit of a challenge. It is well worth the trip up to Christo Redentor for a great, though fleeting view of the city. Also to Açucar do Pao taking 2 cable cars up the mountains and above a high gap for amazing views of Rio stretching up the coast, between steep mountains and across islands and waterways, white sand beaches, highrise buildings. It is such a beautiful city.

Lapa is cool and I kept returning there. Either for salsa at night (still trying not to trip over), the big street parties or the tourist sights. The Lapa Arches and my favourite peice of art (yes suddenly i have an opinion about art too) would be the Lapa stairs I think.

the lapa steps me and amanda
A Chilean loved Rio so much he covered stairs in mosaic tiles, and continues to extend and change this every year. The tiles are sent from all over the world and when he receives a tile e sends you a tile back that he has taken down. (he wants ones for Africa or Darwin Oz area - if you want i can send you the address) We watched him work for a little while. And found the Aussie tile! On Australia Day - note the shirt, a guy at the hostel made about 30 of these for all the Aussies there. "australia day - Rio de Janiero 2008. For we are young and free"

On the weekend the people take over the Lapa streets. With stalls of food and cheap beer, stalls of caipirinhas (dangerous!), no room to move, samba drums playing and dancing on the stairs, buskers everywhere.

lapa me and amanda
And admidst this is the homeless sleeping and the poor kids there sniffing glue from bottles.

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana) .... and Ipanema Beach .... the beach is wide, the water is polluted, the sand is white, there are many a brazilian beach bum stutting past, there are futbol players and volleyballers, walkers, caipirinhi drinkers, lazers, bronzed and brown bodies, brazilian bikinis on people they should not be on.... nice way to spend a day.... just dont swallow the water.

Favelas are slums that thread their way through Rio. The poorest people, often living just a stone throw from the rich Brazilians. They built on land without permission and the slums sometimes get water running down the hill once or twice a day.

amanda me and paul, seeing sunrise on copacabana beach
They illegally tap into the electricity and built their own homes, almost one stacked ontop another up the hill. But the slums (one is the 3rd largest in the world i think) are not as bad as i expected. We only saw a couple of 13yr olds with guns and the gangs will sometimes protect the favela, not just bring in trouble. There are shops and not everything is stolen. It was a bit touristy but an eyeopener too. We even spent one night at a Favela party that a big group of us went to. Hundreds of brazilians packed into a warehouse dancing and shaking it. It was amazing to watch them dance and hitting on each oter (and us). Funny. The guys almost seemed carbon copy with no shirt or white singlet, jeans, and gold necklace. Getting down or thrusting their hips in a female´s direction.
The favela stratching down into Rio
Stealing kisses. And the girls are almost as forward. I saw a line of about 10 people grinding low all against each other. Good dancers, but practiced. We would often see groups of girls or boys all doing the sa,e practiced move to a song (sad when its "who let the dogs out" or some crap). A couple of buttshaking brazilian girls took it on themselves to try and teach us the shake and the set moves. A couple of raised eyebrows, some claps, and serious advice : good but necessario por muchus practica.

Maracana THE futbol stadium. The Brazilians are nuts! Loved it. They must have had 50 songs to dance to, stomp their feet to, yell at the team with, wave their flags to, and support theirs or ridicule the others. The Flamengos won and we all went crazy, definitely got into the spirit of things with the futbol crazed brazilians.

maracana football - supporting (very loudly) the flamengos

Carnival in Salvador - you must go! One of the best parties ever.

Carnival was crazy! The old city, Pelourinho, with it cobblestone streets and colouful old buildings, large beautiful buildings and leafy plazas was gorgeous, covered in carnival decorations. It was alive with people and the vibe was great. Just colourful and vibrant, with the sound of drums always coming from somewhere. I stayed here with Amanda for the first few nights and the first night we stumbled on a capoeira demonstration with hot men kicking, flipping and spinning, followed by a Brazilian band playing funky music and dancing for hours. Plus the capirinhas are deliciously dangerous.

Then i moved to an apartment in Barra with other Aussies - Paul, Pete, Christian and Lisa, which was where the party really was.

Who needs carnival? In the end there was a really good group of about 25 poms and aussies, continually finding each other on the street and having a great time. Barra is where the main route started, a main road along the waters edge which every night we danced about 5km down following floats, then at 2or3am headed back found another slow moving truck and danced back down the road. Or watched from rooftops as the color and spectacle went past. Danced to all the local drums, shaked our hips, spun in circles and jumped around for hours at a time. Carnival also had familiar music, we danced to tiesto and david guetta and fat boy slim. With these trucks you could either be "popcorn" dancing and jumping around outside, or pay too much money for a tshirt that allows you under the rope to dance next to the trucks.
aussies and poms ready for fatboy slim
 The last night was the best. After some of these DJs we partied til 10am in an empty pool dancing and watching the sunrise, cooling under the cool shower then dancing in the sun again.

Then we would lay on the beach all day watching the brazilian bodies and bikinis go past. Some ugly, a Fabio poser with a tottoo of himself on his shoulder, some ladies in the g-string bottoms that really should not be seen in such skimpy things, fat men in little shorts, but then the beautiful brazilians to make it all worthwhile.

carnival - so ... crazy... and unbelievably fun!

the only thing about carnival is it is stressful. so many people to push through and press against you, pick pockets everywhere, and way too many boys trying to pash rape you! but i have perfected the art of bitch.

carnival pelourinho
... i was never pash raped - not really, but i really dont know how i got those beads....???
Amanda was getting pash raped and i turned around and kicked the guy in the leg for her, then tried to throw my water on him, but the lid was on, so i took the time, took the lid off and threw the water at him then. tho amanda still got a blood blister on her lip from the pashrape!
i dragged many a boy off friends. oh, and i punched someone! yes lil' ol' me! i was pushing thru the crowd and he grabbed my face and his lip touched mine, then i uppercut and punched him on the jaw, turned and kept walking ... lol!
And i have perfected the guatemalan finger...  this is from Mike and Guatemala. a local guy tried to pick up a local girl and she turned to him, looked him up and down with disgust and, keeping her hand still she wagged her index finger back and forth in an "even if hell freezed over" manner.
pete and me in pria do forte
awesome! loved it!

We needed serious detox afterwards, so 11 of us escaped to the beach at Praia do Forte. Not the little ebach town we thought with sandy streets, but still lovely none-the-less, but extremely touristy. But when you just want to cook good meals, lay by the pool and relax on the beach it was perfect. Even made it to a turtle sanctuary to see the little babies getting dug up out of the sand. I think it would be a traumatic experience to be patted by me in the first moments of your life above ground, the poor little bub.

Unfortunately, not all was peachy in the land of the brazilian bikini. After leaving salvador about 15 of us discovered the ATM we had used was dodgy and i had $3000+ mysteriously gone from my account.

aussies and poms
bastards!!!  so please let me know if you want to make a donation to my cause.... it is worthy and will make you feel good. you can sponsor a day or 2? "this day is bought to you by..."

And Brazil... It was hard coming here from spanish speaking countries to have to deal with portugese, especially with food. My first night i ordered pasta com ricota and got bread with a bowl of ricotta. apparently pasta is not pasta. It is embarrassing having to ask what is chicken, but otherwise thinking ''i´ll try this one'', then having to spit it out and try something else. Some awesome food along the way tho. açai is a fruit that gives and awesome energy burst with granola and yoghurt, little ladies in massive hoop dresses in bahia sell maize cakes, deepfried in palmoil and full of prawns, salsas, and salads.

traditional dress salvador
You buy cheese on a stick from a guy walking around on the beach with a charcoal pot which he cooks it over, or another guy who has prawns you eat shell and all.

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The beautiful city
The beautiful city
Damn tourists at Christo Redentor
Damn tourists at Christo Redentor
the lapa steps 
me and amanda
the lapa steps me and amanda
lapa
me and amanda
lapa me and amanda
amanda me and paul, seeing sunrise…
amanda me and paul, seeing sunris…
The favela stratching down into Rio
The favela stratching down into Rio
maracana football - supporting (ve…
maracana football - supporting (v…
aussies and poms ready for fatboy …
aussies and poms ready for fatboy…
carnival pelourinho
carnival pelourinho
pete and me in pria do forte
pete and me in pria do forte
aussies and poms
aussies and poms
traditional dress salvador
traditional dress salvador
the tshirts for the blocos
the tshirts for the blocos
australia day (note the tshirt ´a…
australia day (note the tshirt ´…
brazil!
brazil!
awesome grafitti throughout the ci…
awesome grafitti throughout the c…
christo redentor
christo redentor
me and lisa, praia do forte
me and lisa, praia do forte