I'm up and out of the room by 09:00 with Uttam to join the Colonial Tour - just a drive around Rio looking at famous buildings, churches and pretty back streets, ugly concrete cathedrals and the like. The best part was accidentally finding a Carnival street party full of happy bouncy people, beer and sound systems at 10:30 am. The tour guide crow barred us away with the promise that we'd come back in 10 minutes. She lied. The tour finished 2 hours later back at the hotel. I was quite disappointed at the missed opportunity. It seems my room mates have already noticed that I'm a drinker who's always up for a night out.
Dinner was with Kristina (with beautiful dark Yugoslavian looks, just don't cross her!) and her old friend and side kick (and my room mate) Uttam. I had a mixed salad with Heart of Palm - I'm still all cheesed out. I change into a Sarong skirt and a sleeveless T-Shirt (which soon comes off) and head out to Samba Drome! A purpose built 1 Km long stadium where we're to watch 6 processions dance down the length of it. Each procession encompasses several large floats, 1000s of trained participants in extravagant and very detailed costumes and it takes them 1 hour 20 minutes to dance their way through the drome. We were in stand 13, right at the end of the Drome where we had a great view of the participants passing out with heat exhaustion! Sorry, no - it was an amazing spectacle amidst a truly fantastic party atmosphere. The event itself is HUGE! Both in numbers of spectators and participants. I latch onto another group of friends and unlike most other westerners, we stay on to the end to see last years defending champions, "Viva Isabell", rock on through the finish line at 05:30. It's then back to the hotel for breakfast where they all pass out. I head to the beach for a bit on my own before calling it a night at 09:00.
Posted by Steve Eynon