Rio had a special feeling on this trip: it would be the nearest place from home, staying with family, speaking my own language, and living the Carnaval.
It was the feeling of reaching an important milestone mixed with nostalgia...
..But as soon as we were received by our host, Carol, the nostalgia was forgotten and blended into the carioca spirit.
Helena and Carol connected so well as best friends from a long time, and it was not difficult, she was very happy to have us around and to enjoy finally visiting the Rio she never had the opportunity to visit before.
The weather remained covered during most of our stay with mild temperatures good for touring the city. We started by passing through some of the most famous beaches, the Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana and ended up in morro do Leme with some fishermen.
On our way back we were ready for some action. 'Blocos' is the word to define street carnaval, meaning rather huge gatherings of people on streets closed for traffic except for the music truck the huge crowds are following. On top of the truck the local neighborhood band playing famous samba tunes that are amplified on powerful loudspeakers.
The crowd cheers, dances, sings, jumps and of course drinks. A lot!
Or rather frozen Açaí pulp mixed with granola. It's just too good. We became addicted. When will someone import this to Europe?
Next day, and now in the company of the well-humored Rafa (Carol's husband) we also visited some places where most tourists don't usually go and ended up having one of our favorite meals, this time super sized: all-you-can-eat Sushi. It was difficult to stop as it was so delicious. After 3 or 4 trays we were full and shy enough to resist asking for more.
|Carol and Rafa, our great hosts.|
|Rio de Janeiro with the Corcovado over the clouds.|
We were so good at eating it that in the last day we felt obliged to do some exercise. Helena went running with Carol by the beach, and me and Rafa went walking on the calçadão of praia S. Conrado.
In the afternoon we went walking by Copacabana and got stuck in another massive 'bloco'. It was so big that we had no other choice than to stay there and dance with the crowd by the beach as the sun went down. Memorable.
The days in Rio passed so quickly that it was already time to leave and to say goodbye and a Big thanks to our wonderful hosts, a little 'see you soon' as Rio is one of these places that one always feels like going back to, especially now that we have made good friends there!