Day 5 - Being in Carnaval

Trip Start Feb 15, 2012
Trip End May 22, 2012

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sleep in past breakfast. Manage to wake up around 11. Decide to go buy booze for the night - a litre bottle of vodka R$9 soooo cheap! Then down to Copacabana for a bake. There`s a Samba bus going down the road, with a singer and all, everyone is following it dancing and singing, huge crowds - watch for a bit but then go down to the beach. Hire a beach chair for R$4 and lie in the sun, its nothing like australian sun... definately no burn aha so far so good! even sweet tan lines :)

After the beach we head back as i have to pick up my costume for my samba school - Imperio da Taquile. tbe theme is utopia. Catch the subway as it is the fastest route. get to the station and there is a HUGE queue. people singing and dressed up, drinking, kissing so passionate as if no one is around. literal suck face no word of a lie. finally get to the front we wanted to buy a return but of course had no idea what we were saying so we paid R$3.10 for a oneway. Make it through the crowd onto the train have to go on the zona norte to cineladia. when we get iff its quite crowded again. walk up to the street and its a bloco. even bigger than the night before. Walk the wrong away hoping it was away from the bloco but ask a local and he tells us its two blocks away which is through the bloco... push our way through mostly masks and hats but see some freaky costumes - guys spray painted black with dreaded hair and animal skulls kinda like cave men. again with the grabbing and kiss mes. bon fully got latched onto by some huge guy. we then had to turn left at the end and go through another 2 blocks of blocos. this street had live samba music. seems everyone knows the words. make it down to the street and have no idea where this place is. walk through yet another bloco to the end can´t find the ´hotel´ walk back and manage to find it - thank gosh! Walk into the costume room and meet to nice guys, Allen (UK) and Dylan (US). Dylans costume is amazing, huge feather wings. Manage to finally get someone to get mine, the hat is amazing... a pirate hat atopped with an octopus. Thought it would be a bit more revealing but happy anyway. Dylan is in the same school as me ´Imperio daTijuca´ ( )( so we organise to meet up and go together.

We catch the bus back with Dylan and Allen, no-one was really on it, then we go through lapa and the bus fills up, they are CRAZY all full on singing and banging the roof, floor etc Dylan managed to get his huge wings onby hanging them on the window ledge, finally have to get off and it was not fun trying to get through a crowded bus with the costumes in plastic bags, Dylan got stuck on whilst they were chanting ´gringo`at him but managed to get off across the road. Get back to the hostel and have a kip. Bonnie wakes me up at 8 and i realise i have to meet Dylan at his hostel at 9 whoops aha. put make up on and get bon to curl my hair.

Catch a cab outside and direct him to dylans hostel, the guy is adament on not letting Dylans wings in, but we manage to get them in diagonally from the front making sure theyre not blocking his side mirror as he wanted that clear. Make it closer to the sambódromo and there are people everywhere! Our cab drops us off and we walk to the school entrance. Go down to the end of the first lot and wait awhile then someone tells us our school is after this on so head down the second lot. Seems our school isnt inside yet but the gates they are waiting at are fully blocked with people. so wait it out. Each group of our school starts coming in, in order with the floats - its amazing! you can tell the theme is fantasy type. the costumes are out of this world. Dylan finds his group and after awhile i see mine. i get into the group and manage to find not only english speaking people but Australians! We walk for a bit with our group until we stop. Waiting for what seems like forever and they tell us we have to stay in groups of 8 with an arms with around us. Sit down and see fireworks think its for our school start but its for the school before us! By this time we had been waiting around for 2 hours (10 till midnight) FINALLy its our turn. we have to hold hands to walk on, supposably we were told not to dance but EVERYONE is dancing so we join in. We´re up the front of our group so we get to see alot! the people in front are all actual samba school people as they are all dancing coordinated.

Walking through the 
sambódromo was AMAZING to say the least the crowd, atmosphere, just everything is unexplainable. we have to `sing´our samba schools song which we just mime and sing random things to make it look like it as its a competition! it takes 90 minutes for our school to pass through the entire stadium. which is purpose built for carnaval. seems like along time especially when you don´t know the words to the song and its on repeat the whole time. There are judges at 3 points around 8-10 for each critera.

 Afterwards we manage to get photos of more costumes. Because it was a competition we couldnt take any while we were parading. Even though it cost me AUD$380 i wouldnt change it for anything. and will hold this memory of actually being apart of carnaval 2012 for the rest of my life :) <3
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