19.2.12 - 21.2.12 30 °C
Our last full day in Rio today
Carnivale was unbelievable! In my blog about Iguazu Falls I think I said that the only problem is no waterfall can ever compare to them. Now I have to say the same about Carnivale versus any other parade! The Sambadrome is huge and all the different samba schools have 1 hour and 20 minutes to parade down the centre of the stadium (which has got to be about 700m long). They have all kinds of different floats with people dancing on them and around them, the costumes are amazing, a sea of colours. Its a visual overload. We were there from 9ish to 5.30am and it still hadnt finished. Of course getting home was like anything where thousands of people are trying to do the same thing but we finally made it back to our beds by 7am. Actually the delay was good because it meant we saw an amazing sunrise out of the bus window on our way home!
We forced ourselves up 4 hours later so as not to waste the day and went with Renato and his wife to a block party where a band were playing Beatles songs to the beat of the samba. It would have been fantastic but unfortunately their sound system wasnt working so that was a shame. Then we all had a delicious seafood lunch/dinner.
On our way home we happened upon another block party, this time it was more of the traditional type which Terry remembered from 17 years ago. There was a truck at the beginning with people singing and dancing on the top of it and all the crowd follows the truck, singing and dancing behind. Terry joined in while I went to Ipanema beach to see the sunset.
This morning we got up at 6.30am, saw another amazing sunrise from our hostel window and then met Renato for another great bike ride, this time around a bay as well as the beach. As I said to him, there is no excuse for anyone in Rio to be fat because their walking/bike tracks are everywhere and you can ride for miles along the beaches etc.
Then we went to the beach where we hired an umbrella and two chairs (as everyone does) and people watched for 3 hours. I tried to go in the water but it was just way too cold. Terry did but even he took a while to get in and didnt stay in for long. He said that was because it was too polluted as well as his toes going numb! So if you count the pollution into the beach factor, maybe the beaches here arent as good as ours after all. Hey, Rio has to have some flaws! (sorry Renato!)
So, this is my last posting from Rio. We are going to try the steak tonight as we havent yet had meat in Brazil. Tomorrow it is packing our packs and flying to Chile via Buenos Aires where we have one final full day in Santiago before flying home .