Her name is Rio and she dances in the sand ... and on the streets

Rio de Janeiro Travel Blog

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Street bloco on Ipanema
Our first night in Rio we went along watch the final carnaval rehearsal of Beija Flor, one of the largest contemporary samba schools in the city. The school was located in one of the many favelas that enclose the cities hills and filled with locals who were all getting in the spirit. We arrived at 11pm and the party didn’t even start to get going until 2am. There were men, women and children of all ages and social backgrounds lining the school’s performance area, each in costume and each smiling and dancing with such joy you couldn’t help but join in. The band playing, the dancers dancing and the whole electric atmosphere really made an impression and despite the fact I won’t be here for carnaval I certainly got a sense of what it would be like.
With Raphael and Isla - the two lovely Brasilians that took me under their wing
The greatest show on earth for sure.

You don’t move and you sweat in Rio. It just has a habit of pouring off of you. So in the lead up to Carnaval, the hottest time of the year in more ways than one, street parties take place all through the city to get everyone in the spirit. From the Saturday preceding Carnaval “blocos” make their way through the streets calling to the crowds to follow them and dance through the streets. The great thing is a) they’re free, b) the music and atmosphere is amazing c) they often take place along the beach roads which means when the heat gets too much you can run onto the beach and have a quick dip and then re-join the party. They’ve thought this through!

I joined such a Bloco to see what the fuss was about and met two great locals who took me under their wing for the day and explained the Carnaval ways and made sure I wasn’t harassed too much. It was all going swimmingly until I quite literally ran into a bricks**t house and possibly broke my middle toe. I was about to give him a piece of my mind when I looked up and saw the size of him and simply hobbled away. It’s black and blue and rather unattractive but I think it’s ok. I’m still dancing anyway!
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Street bloco on Ipanema
Street bloco on Ipanema
With Raphael and Isla - the two lo…
With Raphael and Isla - the two l…
Rio de Janeiro Hostels review
Amazing staff - Fernanda rocks! The place is clean, well located and has great activities. A great bar to meet people and the breakfast is great. B… read entire review