Carnaval Paraty - Bloco da Lama

Trip Start Dec 11, 2008
Trip End Apr 30, 2009

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Where I stayed
Family Hostal

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Sunday, February 22, 2009

When it comes down to where we want to spend the Brazilian Carnaval, we had a few choices. Salvador for its street parties. Rio de Janeiro for its Samba Schools. For the most part we were looking for something truly special and original and not too chaotic nor expensive, and with a help of a internet cafe owner in La Paloma, Uruguay (who happens to be Brazilian), we finally decided to discover the true Brazilian Carnaval in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro.

Paraty is an old colonial town situated perfectly in between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, on the lush Brazilian coast with beautiful beaches and islands around it. Our flight from Porto Alegre to Rio was on time, then a quick transfer to the bus station and we got the first bus at 2pm headed to Paraty. The road was jammed and it took two hours longer than the suggest 4 hours to get to Paraty from Rio. When we finally arrived at 8pm, it was dark, and the party had already started on the night before the official celebration was to begin. We checked in at a nice family run pousada / hostal (there are hundreds of pousadas in Paraty all with good vibes) for the 6 days of Carnaval.

The first night at exactly midnight, the drums started beating, and the street party has started. People dancing, drinking and singing, having a great time, and we were so excited that we have found a good Carnaval me and Juliette didn´t hesitate to blend in with the street party. Paraty is where Brazilian comes to play (judging by everyone here speaks Portuguese instead of English), since it is located only a few hours from both Rio and Sao Paolo, the number of foreign visitors are almost none during Carnaval, the town is mostly Brazilian (from Rio and Sao Paolo of course).

We danced among the Baterias (drummers) and marched through the cobblestone streets. It is a safe party, a fun party and free party, which is what Carnaval is suppose to be. I can imagine the Paraty street Carnaval is what Rio Carnaval was like in the 60s or 70s before the Sambadromo. The Baterias of Paraty are local high school boys doing their magic after midnight (who during the day works at the supermarket or internet cafe), unlike Rio Samba schools who are professionally trained year long. The street party (even though beer and Smirnoff ice is flowing) is safe and secure and free spirited, which probably cannot be said for both Rio or Salvador.

The next morning comes the famous Paraty Carnaval treat. Everyone headed to the nearby beach and cover themselves in mud and party starts again. The ´Bloco da Lama´ translation: mud people or cavemen, is a long tradition in Paraty. Me and Juliette did the full experience of course.

More to come....
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starlagurl on

Glad to hear you weren't too overwhelmed with Carnaval. It's great to get off the beaten track sometimes.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

panf007 on

Re: Cool
Thanks, wish you all the best.

I did attend the parade of Champions in Rio Sambadromo on Sat. as well. Pix coming up...

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