Rio Carnaval 2015: Sambadrome

I have been dreaming of going to Carnaval in Rio since I was a teenager and finally this year that dream had come true!  It has been so surreal to think that after seeing pictures of Carnaval for so long that I was finally physically in the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro waiting for the parade to start.  Of course we didn’t exactly have the smoothest of starts to the parade.

We took the metro from where we were staying to near the Sambadrome and walked the rest of the way.  On the way there the wind started to pick up and then of course torrential rain started so we sought out shelter under some buildings until the rain eased a little bit. Eventually we made our way to the Sambadrome and to our section and waited undercover until the parades started all the while hoping that the rain would stop soon…. of course it didn’t and then the thunder and lightening started and we knew we were in for a really good night!

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The first samba school parade still went on regardless of the rain and even the rain couldn’t dampen the spirit of the crowd.  The crowds were decked out in ponchos and umbrellas all the while dancing and singing in the rain which was contagious.  Even though you were soaking wet and looked miserable your hips couldn’t help but move to the music and before you knew it you were dancing and signing a song you don’t know the words to.

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Words or pictures can’t describe the atmosphere in the Sambadrome and the parades and floats were just amazing!  If you are in sector 13 you can easily pick up some of the costumes as well as the dancers just leave costumes lying around everywhere in this area after they finish.

Somehow I managed to stay until the last parade which started about 5.30am so I had been awake for over 24hrs by the time I got home but it was well and truly worth it!  Walking back to the metro the streets were filled with discarded costumes, music and dancers were out getting food and celebrating.  Even though the sun was rising, it seemed like the party kept going outside of the Sambadrome.

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Even Wonder Woman has her bad days

I’m flying high above the ocean and watching rainbows flicker through the clouds in the afternoon sun while my mind takes a lazy stroll through my hazy memories of the past few months.
 I have been planning my big 6 month solo adventure through South and Central America for a while and now it is finally happening. My bum is on a plane seat and yet it still doesn’t feel like this is happening. I have spent the last few months on an emotional roller coaster ride stressing about this trip and worried about absolutely everything.  I won’t lie, there are things I would have done differently and things I probably shouldn’t have wasted my money on. I could have saved more and I’m sure I could have packed lighter! I’ve also had people that made me doubt what I’m doing and made me loose confidence in myself. I’m still not even sure if what I’m doing is right. But then along with the criticism I will have a small number of people say how much they admire me and how courageous I am on embarking on such a trip and in those moments of kind words I feel reassured that what I am doing is pretty awesome as silly as that might seem.
As the hours got closer things became harder, instead of months left it’s weeks left and then days and hours (and typical me, I had left everything to the last minute). Leading up to leaving, I have experienced insane lows but also some good highs. I know this will be worth all the blood, sweet and meltdowns once my feet touch foreign land but in the meantime I just have to keep convincing myself that everything is going to be okay.
My mind then wanders to what I could have done without and small things I missed and then occasionally my mind treats me with a flash of what’s in stall for me after this god awful long flight.
Soon all the what if’s won’t matter anyway because my mind will be too occupied with the adventure I will be on and all the stress will be a distant memory.
I will hit the ground running and there will be no turning back.
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