Bespolka Home Page Brazil 2002 Home South America 2001/02
Previous Day Carnival Summary Next Day


The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Brazil - 12 February, 2002



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Marriott Hotel, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro S2258.360' W04311.113' 5 m
Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches . . . 8 km (by foot)
Marriott Hotel, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro S2258.360' W04311.113' 5 m .
Scala Club, Ipanema . . . 6 km (by taxi)
Finish Marriott Hotel, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro S2258.360' W04311.113' 5 m 6 km (by taxi)

Leg 2 Total:

12,140 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km


771 km

Grand Total:

21,921 km


Weather: Clear, sunny, very hot and humid.



Today we have a bit of a sleep-in until just before 11 AM.  The Marriott has set up a special breakfast room down in the ball room for the late risers during Carnival - it is very nice and we take advantage of it.  After a lengthy breakfast, we get ready and then head out.  We have a few errands to take care of, including going to the internet cafe to check on some emails.  We then go back to the hotel and pack our bags in preparation for our departure tomorrow.


Brazil02_Rio5_Coca02_Beach_C399_Web.jpg (91284 bytes)

Finally, we are ready to go out and hit the beaches.  Today we head out to the beach and turn right, south towards Ipanema.  The sand is hot and we have to wear our sandals all the way down to the waters edge, where the sand is cooler and we can take them off.  We walk the full length of the beach, taking in the many sights and sounds along the way.  It seems even more crowded then yesterday.  It just seems to be teeming with hot, dark, almost naked bodies.  This is Rio and her beaches.


Brazil02_Rio5_Ipanema01_Beach_C400_Web.jpg (95351 bytes)

Once we reach the rocky outcrop, we bypass it and then head back to the water at the other famous Rio beach - Ipanema.  We then spend some time strolling along this beach.  While it may be hard to believe, the people seem even more beautiful on this beach.  We are told later that Ipanema has a younger crowd than Copacabana.  We take our towels out of our bag and stretch it out on the sand and just relax, watching all the people go by.


After a while, we head back to Copacabana beach, where we take another short nap at the Marriott spot.  After our short rest, it is back to the hotel, a shower and then back up to the lounge for our last round of drinks complimentary of the Marriott with a view over Copacabana Beach.  We have a chat with our friends there, and make the final arrangements for meeting up that evening - we will meet them at 11:30 PM (nothing starts early here at night).


Back down in our room we finish packing our bags, shower, have a short rest and then get dressed for the Gay Ball at Scala.  We head out of the hotel and meet up with our friends - they have brought along another friend, so with Paolo it is six of us.  We grab two taxis and head off to Ipanema.  We have to be dropped off at the end of the street as the street itself where Scala is on has been closed off.  We soon discover why after buying our tickets from scalpers at the end of the street.


In order to get to the Scala club, you had to walk through a gauntlet of people that had formed a walkway at least 100 meters long.  Now we know what the actors at the Oscars feel like.  Everyone has come, including the TV cameras, to see the costumes that the people wear to this ball - one of the most famous of the Carnival balls.  We cannot really see too much with all the camera flashes and the bright TV lights, but in the end we make it safely to the entrance to the Club.


Brazil02_Rio5_GayBall06_Jac_C407_Web.jpg (116404 bytes)

Once in side, we have a great time.  This is much better than the Red and Black Ball.  People seem to be here more to just have a good time and not to bother others.  Everyone is more friendly.  There is none of the groping.  We end up on the dance floor and spend quite a bit of time dancing as a group to the samba music being pumped out by the live band.


Brazil02_Rio5_GayBall05_Lars_C406_Web.jpg (105048 bytes)

In between, we take breaks to go and admire and take pictures of the many costumes that the people are wearing (they love it when we want to pose with them).  They are amazing and it is just so much fun to watch the people go by.  It is one big parade.


Brazil02_Rio5_GayBall03_C404_Web.jpg (89203 bytes)

Some of the people are wearing barely anything other than some glitter and some tassels ...


Brazil02_Rio5_GayBall01_C402_Web.jpg (132444 bytes)

... while others had quite elaborate, and patriotic, costumes.


Brazil02_Rio5_GayBall09_C410_Web.jpg (96506 bytes)

They also had a Miss Gay Ball contest and the finalists were in general quite stunning.  We had a older tourist standing next to us and he leaned over and asked if any of them were men - he was shocked when we told him that they were all men.  He shock his head and went off to tell his wife (not sure whether it was in awe or disgust).


We end up leaving at around 2:30 AM.  We are hot and exhausted from all the dancing.  We also have to get up early in the morning to meet the truck for our departure from Rio.  As we are leaving, there are still people arriving.  Some are being interviewed for TV.  We grab some taxis and head back to the hotel.  Back at the hotel we switch on the TV and find that the whole ball is being shown live on TV (hope we did not do anything too silly!!!).  It is fun to see it both from the inside and from the perspective of the TV cameras.  It is then off to bed.


Previous Day Carnival Summary Next Day
Bespolka Home Page Brazil 2002 Home South America 2001/02

Copyright 2002