Day 1 – Wed 6th:
Oops, Keir nearly missed the plane due to an recalcitrant money exchanger – first way around the world is running J.
After a day of travelling and boredom in Sao Paulo airport, we finally arrive in Olinda. I am desperate for a caipirnha, but Keir falls asleep. I decide I am not mean enough to wake him up just to find me a drink…
Day 3 – Fri 8th:
Spent a couple of hours being entertained by the camp boys opposite, each of whom appears randomly, every 15 minutes or so, with a different fancy dress. I am a bit jealous, we are at the biggest fancy dress party ever and neither of us has a single outfit to cobble together. Well, maybe just me – Keir seemed keen on going out in his pants and sunglasses – maybe those boys will lend me something if I loan him out?
They clearly possess a fancy dress wardrobe that effortlessly outstrips my own… (Which is no mean feat having spent the last few weeks packing it all away for Tracey into storage!)
Those boys even out camp Dougy, Kirky & Matt… & that’s going some!
Olinda is divided into different areas called Blocos & had fun finding some blocos and following them around. Each Blocos puts on a parade consisting of musicians (think drums & brass section), whirling dancing dervishes & huge 15’ dolls.
It’s bloody hot; those poor bastards inside the big dolls must be roasting.
Day 4 –Sat 9th:
2 days into carnival and already I am sick, I guess the high alcohol content in a caipirinha is not high enough to kill the bacteria in the ice… Bugger; I am going to have to find something else to drink.
Fortunately the beer is ice free but ice cold… chilling out & taking it easy dipping in & out of the carnival – it’s relentless.
The streets are rammed and the Midnight Man has not appeared yet, apparently that starts the carnival proper… the fact that it’s 11 O’clock & the midnight man is quite punctual might explain that…
Day 5 – Sun 10th:
Ah, trumpets at 6:15 in the morning, perfect. Luckily I have earplugs. Am I being curmudgeonly?
Surely they realise Tracey doesn’t rise until the sun’s over the yardarm… must have a word with these rum johnnies…
Amazingly the streets are clean again, ready for another day of carnival. The atmosphere is really amazing and everyone is in a good mood, despite their presumed hangovers. I am not hungover, still a bit ill, but definitely better than in Morocco!
I thought it was busy yesterday, but things have definitely ramped up; lots more of the big dolls on parade and you really cannot move in the street today… Obviously an ideal moment to run out of cash and take an unsuccessful trip to the ATM! 30 minutes to do a 10 minute walk, now wringing with sweat and down to 12 Reais, lucky I am still not feeling well enough to eat properly as we can only afford corn on the cob ;).
In true sympathetic spirit, Keir agrees not to spend our last few pennies on beer. (Not how I remember it… could anyone see me willingly agree to that…?!)
Day 6 – Mon 11th
Post breakfast meeting with Obama, Che Guevara, Freddy Krueger, Michael Jackson and Chucky – supposedly all figures important to Brazil in some cultural way..?!?
30 different Giant dolls all collected together at the top of a vertical, heartbreak, hill for an early parade.
Keir felt more diminutive than usual. (I know how Frazek feels now…!)
Managed a quick lift on a dump truck – another of the 80 ways ticked off
More pictures: Olinda, Brazil