Despite reaching my early 30’s with a lacklustre career, no assests, no boyfriend, a dismal bank account, no fixed address, and no direction in life, I have decided to move even further away from something that resembles a successful person by taking yet another 6-12 months out of real life to travel around South and Central America.
I’m travelling with Simone and we kicked off the trip in our usual sensible and subdued manner by heading to the worlds’s biggest party, Rio Carnival.
The whole thing was insane. Carnivale is non-stop parties day and night. As well as the famous parades, there is live music, colour, costumes and parties all over town. We went to one party in the park that had a band singing Beatles songs Samba style. People of all ages dressed up in costumes, singing, dancing and drinking a lot of beer.
The streets were packed with people every night. When you have tens of thousands of people in the street drinking, you have tens of thousands of people needing a wee. There were port-a-loos, but they got pretty vile pretty quick so most dudes seemed to just opt to wee against a wall somewhere. Every night the streets were filled with streams of piss and they stunk. As I walked along bits of liquid would flick up off my thongs and hit my ankles. I like to think it was just someone’s spilt beer, but in reality I don’t think there was a night that I went home without someone else’s wee splashed up my lower calves.
I’ve had all my shots so I’m sure it’s fine.
The high-light and most famous part of Carnival are the incredible parades. Rather than watch one Simone and I decided to march in one. Anyone can join, you just need to buy a costume from a samba school and you become a member of that samba school for the night and can march along with them.
We had a song we had to sing and dance along to but all the words were in Portuguese and I have no idea how to samba so I just opened and closed my mouth, pretending to sing and shook my hips and banged on my bongo drum.
After the parade we headed back to the street parties and kicked on. We were still awake when the sun came up and ended up partying until 1030am.
I make myself sound like such a rager. To be honest, I partied until about 8:00am then dragged my feet and dreamt of bed while everyone partied around me. At one point I fell asleep in McDonalds.
I’ve heard Carnival has a bit of a wrap for being dangerous but the biggest drama I had was when some dude yelled “Happy Carnival!!!” then tried to pash me by opening his entire mouth onto my face. I tried to push him away and ended up with his teeth and spit wiping across my nose. Thanks mate. Other than that it was all cool, and everyone was friendly.
It was full on and by our final night we were both exhausted and a little bit partied out. We already had tickets to the gay ball though, so like the troopers we are we got dressed up in our sparkly wigs and headed to yet another party. I’m glad we did, seeing some of the costumes alone was worth it and the ball ticket included food and an open bar so we couldn’t let that go to waste.
It was two very exhausted and hungover girls that got on a flight the next day. It was epic and amazing but by the end I just wanted a quiet room, a massive nap and something non-alcoholic to drink.