A day in the largest Favela in Rio
Trip Start May 10, 2011
162Trip End Apr 15, 2012
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The Favela Tour
(there is a couple of videos uploaded too)
So we get picked up from the hostel and head to the Rocinha Favela, the biggest in Rio, its estimated somewhere between 150,000 and 300,00 people live here
Some of the houses are 3 or 4 stories high, and most have running water and cable TV, there are schools, a post office and a hospital and plenty of shops, banks, barbers everything a normal town would have.
Unexpected "moto" taxi up ..
Once we got out the van we realised we had to take a moto taxi to get to the top - neither me or Marc are big fans of motorbikes but we couldn't really say no, so needless to say I was on the first taxi and off we went - girls were allowed to hang onto the drivers but men had to hold onto the back of the bike as the drivers had complained haha too funny. The drive up was great I love being on the back of a bike even though its scary, we nipped in and out of the traffic as we climed higher up the hill, passing all the shops and the daily goings on of the favela.
We spent the next 3 hours walking back to the bottom of the favela, we got to see an Art gallery where they were selling paintings made by the people who lived there, they were amazing but soo expensive its a shame cause only one person bought one of the smallest paintings and that was £20, I am sure if they charged less they would make more money
Anyway we stopped for some lunch and bought some bracelets, so many of the people there have some way of earning money - although a lot of the houses look bad from the outside - inside were big TV's, and huge fridge freezers, goodness knows how they carried them up the small alleyways through the slums.
We met a group of young kids who played music using just old paint cans - they were amazing - the wee kid dancing was so lovely - but they were excellent with just some old tin cans.
Recent Police Control
Until Nov 2011 basically these places were run by drug lords and ex military and you had to live by their rules for example pay them extra tax each month for "protection" - this changed in Nov when the Police gave 2 weeks notice that they would be coming in and sure enough they did with all sorts of armour - see the article on bbc below.
From what I gather full order is not yet fully in control but things are improving
It was a really good day out to see this, and this was definitely in a bit better state than the slum we seen in Mumbai so I guess we kinda knew what to expect to see - but if in Rio its defo worth going on the tour.
Cost of the tour - £23 each