After a very short and wavy boat trip across the bay, we got on a bus that drops us right in the centre of Rio at our hostel in leblon. Sarah didn't enjoy the boat and went a very funny shade of green. But no sick so she is ok.
When we arrived at our hostel we got our bearings around the city and picked up our carnival tickets which was only a few bus/tube stops away. And then in the evening had some drinks and made some new friends at the hostel who we would be seeing all week.
The next day carnival officially started and before the madness decended upon Rio we took a city tour to see all of the major sites in Rio, first stop we saw the Christ the Redeemer, which was pretty big and impressive, it was missing the end of some of its fingers from the statue as it had been struck my lightening a few days earlier. It was very busy and lots of people laying down on the floor taking pictures.
The next stop was the samba drome which we didn't get to see fully as they were preparing it for carnival celebrations in the evening, then we visited the Santa Teresa steps, which were very colorful and here we saw some friends we met in paraty and Ihla Grande, the steps were used in the music video "beautiful" by Snoop Dogg. Then we went to sugar loaf mountain, and from here you can see a 360° view of Rio.
When we got back to the hostel we had a BBQ put on by the hostel with free drinks, Ben ate a chicken heart, which was weird tasting. Then we went out to visit a Blocko, a Blocko is basically a party in the street where people standing on a bus parade through the streets and people dance and drink and be merry. We started off as a big group from the hostel and it ended with just me and sarah dancing in front of the bus as it went along. The only thing we needed to complete the evening was fancy dress. As everyone was dressed up.
The next day was our day to visit the Sambodrome, so we wanted to have a nice relaxing day so we could party at night. We decided to go to Copacobana to do some sitting and people watching however we ended up dancing in a massive Blocko! Carnival is so much fun.
That evening we went to the sambodrome, this is where the big carnival that you see on TV happens. It's basically a long walkway with seats all up the side and can fit 80,000 people! We were prepared this time and dressed in suitable (gharish) attire. The show was amazing; so colourful and extravagant. We danced and attempted to samba until about 4am, and then made our way back to the hostel.
The next day, we were super super tired and slept in until about 2pm. We got some food and then went to meet Edward, Kaiya, Keilah and Chris (people we met in Paraty) in Ipanema and had a few beers. We headed back at about 1 and got an earlyish night.
We were refreshed and revitalized the next day and went to a Beatles mixed with samba Blocko with Julia and Jess (2 girls from our hostel). It was awesome as we knew all of the words! And surprisingly, beatles' songs and samba mix rather well. After a few beers and lots of dancing, all if the girls needed the toilet (of course there was a huge queue for the portaloos) so the hunt began- with a very awkward Ben! We finally found a perfect place and went to go, only to be told by a Guard that it was a WW2 bunker. Oooops! We eventually found some ladies who were helpfully holding a scarf up in a corner and relieved ourselves. The things women have to do!
The next day was the last day of carnival and we still hasn't been to the beach, so we sunbathed and swam for the afternoon and then went to the hostel for the fancy dress party! After lots of drinking and dancing we ended the night with a burger and chips on the beach.
The day after was our last day in Rio so we did some souvenir shopping and then planned to head to the Maracana stadium to watch a game between Fluminense and Firvurgense. Lots of hostel people came too and Ben ended up being the unofficial tour guide! It was great though because the hostel wanted to charge 140 reals and it cost us 40 reals! Bargain! The stadium is where the world cup final will be held and holds 80,000 people. There were only 8,000 people there but Brazilians love football so much that the atmosphere was great!
We loved Rio so much! It was sad to leave! Next to a beach on the other side of Rio to chill for a week before our return to the UK.