Uga Uga Ra Ra!!

Trip Start Feb 07, 2010
Trip End Jul 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
Blue Jungle Hostel, Paraty

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Saturday, February 13, 2010

We are recovering from 4 days of Carnaval in Paraty where we joined in the street parties, danced along the cobbles and slathered ourselves in mud.

Friday night of Carnaval was the tamest but best. I think if we had´ve stayed in Rio for Carnaval, we would have been experiencing sequins, feathers and all manner of extravagant costumes, but in Paraty they are a little more chilled out. Their Carnaval consists of drums, drums and more drums!! Each of the local Blocos (carnaval groups) takes it in turns to parade through the streets over the four nights. The drummers usually follow a small truck blaring out a guitar track and dress in matching t-shirts. At first, the drum beats and the music from the trucks was so fresh and exhilarating, but after a while we realised that, although they have all year to prepare, they like to all stick to the same songs and tunes. After a couple of nights we knew all the tunes! It was still fun though, following the locals through the streets after the drummers. When their favourite songs came on, they would get so excited and scream the words at the tops of their lungs. It was a pretty treacherous path though, as the streets of Paraty are made of huge cobblestones which are very easy to trip over in the dark and the excitement of the samba beat!! The days following the parades, you see people hobbling around with bandages on, casulaties of the parades!

On the Saturday, we joined ´Bloco de Lama´, where locals go to a nearby beach to cover themselves in mud and parade up and down the streets chanting Uga, uga, ra, ra!. What looks like a nice quite beach, holds a dirty secret when the tide goes out. Half the beach is covered in black, hot water and stinky, black mud is exposed. Stepping into the mud to cover yourself in it is the most revolting feeling! It went up to our knees and meant you were completely stuck, having to slide out on your belly. We now know how hippos feel! After a while, when surrounded by hundreds of other muddy people, you start to feel like it´s completely normal to stand around covered head to toe in black, stinky mud supping ice cold cerveja! Our cheap, silver wedding rings that we bought before we came away turned a dark, tanished mud colour. Mine is still an odd shade of poo-brown, but Matthew´s was lost to the mud forever!! It got sucked off in the muddy swamp, never to be seen again!!  Boo!!!

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