Rio part Deux

Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
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Trip End Dec 06, 2008


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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I think the only way to try to explain the tour in the Favela is to just list off some awesome facts about the place. The name of the one we went to is Rocinha Favela which is 1Km square. It has 200,000 people living in it (more than the population of Cork). No other slum in the world is bigger except some in South Africa. There are 350 of them in Rio, smallest being about 4-5 thousand pple. There´s three gangs that run the lot of them, the ADA in the one we went to visit meaning friends of friends, there´s the Red Command and the Third. The entire system of gagns in exactly as in the book Freakanomics by Levitt, (read it), We saw the ´lookouts´, and their stash of flares hanging casually on a wall, smoking a spliff and playing some game on cartons. We walked right by the the ´soldiers´ with their fully loaded guns which were very similar to M16´s. Weren´t allowed to take pictures of either of them, everything else we were. We were brought to the top by the locals as pillion passengers on motorbikes, helmats ha ha, that motor bike ride was nuts like something you~d see in a film. From there we walked right through the entire slum. There´s a system where the houses at the top cost more to rent as the sewage is less hence as we went down to lower ground the sewage got worse. Rats among chickens among people, not a bother. We even called into a shop and ate some food there, chocolate cake for me. There was three schools a medical centre and a nursery for kids in the Fravela we went to. Local kids played music for us on a drum the size of a saucer, a metal drum and a plastic drum and i gota say they banged out some beat. The walkways other than those access ways by bike are about a meter or so wide and the drains and sewers run under or along them. The people were lovely and our guide seemed to be like some local hero there. To try put some sence to us being there I think there must be some agreement with the tour operator and the gangs. The leader of the gang in the Rocinha is about 29 and makes supposidly 1.5 million reais in a month some of which goes back into buying more crack and cocane and some to bribe the police. It was one of the more crazy experiences I´ve ever had. Normal people that live there are common workers in the city in general. The only crime that happens is between rival gangs. Mugging and robbery and crime in general are not allowed by the gangs in the Favelas in general. The film ´The Cily of God´ was made in a Favela here in Rio, it goes into another few of them too. The thing about that one is that that the area is very flat as opposed to the one we went to.
Later on that day we took the cable car to the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Spectacular views from the top and we were there when it got dark too so some pretty cool pics which I´ll try get uploaded soon. As ye can tell things are pretty hectic at the moment and trying to fit in a bit of time on the net is tough.
Went to another all you can eat in Ipenama again yesterday, a meat place, and I gota say it made that pizza place look like chicken feed. They arrived with the most beautiful tender juicy joints of lamb, pork, beef and horse meat on skewers. Sliced it right in fromt of you into your plate as much as you could possibly want. Chicken, sausage, ribs, all the fish you´d care to name and lovely salad. They give you chips and if you don´t have them eaten in 5 minutes they replace them with hot ones. It was absolutely divine i was fit to keel over hoof in the air and kalve at the end of it.
Went to a pub called Shenanigans after that but sur I was good for nothing except the leaba. Twasn´t much good there anyway so if yer about these parts i´d give it a miss. There´s another pub called the irish pub, didn´t try that gaff tho.
Meeting loads of paddys in the hostels, some at the start of their trips and others nearly finished.
Overall I have to say my first taste of Brazil is unreal. Rio is some spot and could have spent a week or two there easily. I could have easily got used to the swimming in the mornings the fabulous fruit for breakfast the manic exciting life style and the savage clubs.
five stars to Rio.
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