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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Brazil - 9 February, 2002



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Marriott Hotel, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro S2258.360' W04311.113' 5 m
Ipanema . . . 3 km (by taxi)
Finish Marriott Hotel, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro S2258.360' W04311.113' 5 m 3 km (by taxi)

Leg 2 Total:

12,005 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km


771 km

Grand Total:

21,786 km


Weather: Cloudy, occasional rain and hot.



Today is a bit of a quiet day (at least by Carnival standards).  We get out of bed briefly to go and have breakfast in the lounge, and then head straight back to bed for a nap.  We sleep until around 1 PM and then head out.  We have some errands to run.  First we do some shopping (still looking for some other outfits for other balls), then go to the internet cafe and then finally go to the cambio to exchange money for the rest of our time in Rio.


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Back at the hotel we grill the concierge for information on Carnival - they are very helpful and we get a good feel for what we are going to do over the next four or so days.  After a quick refreshing drink in the lounge, we head out with Paolo to Ipanema to one of the other famous carnival events - the Banda de Ipanema "Bands and Blocks" (Bandas e Blocos) parties.  This one has a gay focus and everyone goes to see the costumes.


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We are there for about two and a half hours and the on and off rain does not dampen anyone's enthusiasm or fun.  We are there before the actual procession begins, and the music is blaring and people are milling around and dancing to the samba music.  The Bandas e Blocos are the way Carnival were originally celebrated.  This is the street Carnival and where the every day person gets to participate in Carnival.


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We mingle in the crowd and even though it is packed and the people may appear to be threatening, at no time do we feel uncomfortable or scared for our safety.  Everyone is here to have fun.  More and more people appear in costumes - most gays.  The costumes are often fantastic and not too infrequently outrageous.  Parents have even brought their young children, often dressed up in the beaded bikinis.  It was also a family outing!


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They loved to have their pictures taken and would love it if we would pose with them.  After some time, the group formed into a procession and slowly marched through the streets, dancing to the samba music blaring from the truck that followed at the end.  You could just watch from the side of the street, or you could join in the procession.


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One scary moment was when a large man dressed in some crazy outfit came up to Lars and said that he knew him.  Lars did not know what to say and Jacqui asked him where he/she knew Lars.  In the end, it turns out that he/she was at one of the shops that we had been to yesterday where we had been looking for some costumes for us to wear.


We get back to the hotel at around 7 PM and head up to the lounge for something to eat and drink.  There are enough snacks to make a meal!!  We have a couple of drinks and spend some time getting to know the staff working there better.  We showed them some of the pictures and the guy working there knew some of the men in the photos!


We spend the rest of the evening walking along the main drag in Copacabana watching the people passing along and browsing through the items for sale in the many stalls.  We continue to look for the outfit for Lars, but no luck.  Every once in a while, a vehicle would slowly pass, blaring out music with people dancing around it.


We decide to make it a relatively early night (tomorrow we are going to church!).


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