Rio Carnival Day 2018 – Day 2, Bloco-ing from Centro to Ipanema

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Rio gets a hell of a lot easier if you accept the obvious socioeconomic gaps, if you realize you can’t magically fix the issue, if you understand the Carioca beach culture and if you’re prepared for the only form of anarchy you’ll probably be lucky to experience—Carnival.

On day 2 of Carnival, there were no less than 75 blocos scheduled all over the city. And these gatherings draw a crowd, from a few thousands to several hundreds of thousands. The point of all that? Dressing up, drinking, taking over the city.

We didn’t get much sleep after the night at the Sambódromo and Saturday started with a chore—we had to change hotel. Ours was booked, so by chance we found another place for the weekend. It’s overpriced because Carnival and it looks like a jail but hey, we have a place to stay. Sleeping in the street wasn’t a tempting option.

The new hotel is two streets down the first hotel in Catete but by the time we arrived, we were already dripping in sweat. One of the hot days in Rio, 35ºC, feels like 42ºC.

We dropped off the bags and headed to Centro, where the giant Cordão da Bola Preta had been partying since 8 a.m. Downtown Rio, one million people were hanging out, dressed in cavemen, minions, unicorns, police officers or Super Mario.

From Centro, I walked to Botafogo while the guys took the subway. We met at the mall—an easy bathroom stop—and checked out the Bloco do Barbas.

“I think I know why they’re called blocos,” I joked. “They just block an entire neighbourhood!”

We got out of there and jump in a bus to Ipanema, where the famous Banda de Ipanema bloco was going on. The bus wasn’t moving—see joke above—and passengers started singing and banging on the roof and doors, improvising a bus bloco.

Carnaval,” Mark shrugged.

He says it in perfect Portuguese because he heard it so many times—everything weird is “e Carnaval, ta!”

By the time we got off and walked to the epicentre of the giant Ipanema bloco, I was dead. It was close to 6 p.m. and we had covered four or five neighbourhoods and walked our way through millions of people.

It took me two hours to go back to Catete. The guys weren’t much faster, the subway was apparently stuck for twenty minutes at each station.

I feel like I’ve been stuck in the tumbler of a washing machine. I’m sweaty, I have glitter all over and I’m exhausted.

And tomorrow? We expect pretty much the same.

The long, long, long list of blocos the tourist info keeps – This is page 1 of 14!

Mark and Feng glittering me in Cinelândia

Yes, Mark, it stuck just fine to your sweaty skin

Cinelândia

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Cordão da Bola Preta in Centro

Botafogo

Bloco do Barbas, Botafogo

Bloco do Barbas, Botafogo

Bloco do Barbas, Botafogo

Bloco do Barbas, Botafogo

Bloco do Barbas, Botafogo

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema (where he fish market pretty much just sell beer that day)

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

Banda de Ipanema, Ipanema

The aftermath of a bloco in Botafogo

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

2 Comments

  1. Looks like a fun time. Nobody looks really wasted. Are they allowed to drink alcohol in the street? The guys in the police hats remind me of The Village People singing YMCA.

    Our Environment Canada weather warning should help to cool you off:

    Regina, SK
    EXTREME COLD WARNING IN EFFECT
    Current Conditions
    Observed at:
    Regina Int’l Airport
    Date:
    11:00 PM CST Sunday 11 February 2018
    Condition:
    Clear
    Temperature:
    -30.2°C
    Dew point:
    -33.3°C
    Humidity:
    75%
    Wind:
    W 13 km/h
    Wind Chill:
    -41
    Visibility:
    24 km

    I remember that Frank Sinatra song “The Girl From Impanema” and I always wondered where it was. He might have had more luck if he had tried to talking to her instead of just looking at her.

    Tall and tan and young and lovely
    The girl from Ipanema goes walking and
    When she passes, each one she passes goes “ah”
    When she walks, she’s like a samba
    That swings so cool and sways so gentle that
    When she passes, each one she passes goes
    But I watch her so sadly
    How can I tell her, “I love you?”
    Yes, I would give my heart gladly
    But each day, when she walks to the sea
    She looks straight ahead, not at me
    Tall and tan and young and lovely
    The girl from Ipanema goes walking and
    When she passes, I smile but she doesn’t see, doesn’t see
    Olha que coisa mais linda mais cheia de graça
    ela menina que vem e que passa
    Num doce balanço a caminho do mar
    Moça do corpo dourado do sol de ipanema
    O seu balançado mais que um poema
    a coisa mais linda que eu já vi passar..
    But I watch her so sadly
    Porque tudo to triste
    Yes, I would give my heart gladly
    But each day, when she walks to the sea
    She looks straight ahead, not at me
    Tall and tan and young and lovely
    The girl from ipanema goes walking
    And when she passes, I smile but she doesn’t see
    Por causa do amor
    She just doesn’t see
    Nem olha para mim
    She never sees me
    Por causa do amor

    • Drinking in the street is pretty much encouraged during Carnival. As most of the booze is homemade…! I have the song stuck in my head now 😆

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