Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Amigos de meus viajems - De tudo na mundo

With my travels having come to an end (for now) I'd like to thank the amazing friends from around the world that I've made along the way. I hope that we meet again and I hope that you recieve me one day in your respective countries! Until we meet again!

Mis amigo's que hablais español. Muchas gracias por todo! Espero que nos encontramos muchos mas vezes! Quiero visitar ustedes en sus paises. Espero tambien que mi español mejorar y nos hablando solomiento en español!

Meus amigos brasiliero que falar portugues. Tudo Bem? Beleza!! Obrigado por tudo! Eu gosto muito as festas de Rio!!! Muito divertido! Eu lembre sempre nos cantante "Rio esta Bonito!(x2)...Beleza (x8)...Legão(x8)...". Tchau amigos! Uma dia eu quero voltar para Rio! 'Ta Bom!

Friday, September 08, 2006

As Praias de Rio - Brazil

The Place: Stayed in Copacabana a walk away from the beach. From this beach (2nd photo from top) you can see Pão de Açucar (Sugar Loaf) hill (second pic from top) and looking back at the city through the looming buildings, the statue of Cristo Redentor.

A walk away is Rio´s other famous beach, Ipanema (other pics), which has a really great vibe. It´s full of people playing soccer (a frisee´s substitute in Rio), volley ball, and tanning in the sun.

Surfers meet at the point of Ipanema (Posto 7) for some good surfing.

Went surfing about an hour south of Ipanema at a beach called Praianha.

On Sundays and public holidays they close 1 of the 2 traffic lanes that pass the beaches and open this road to pedestrians. You see loads of cyclists and joggers. If you follow the sound of the berimbau you´ll also find some jogos de capoeira.

Strange observation: Was lying on the beach with my shirt over my face. When I peered out I observed 2 mahassive guys clad in bling sitting right next to me. Didn´t take me long to get up and go.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Meeting the Mestre's - Brazil

From top to bottom: Had lunch with Mestre Celso in his house in Cachambi (a good lesson in Portuguese as he speaks no English). Mestre Celso and his group in Cachambi. Mestre King and Mestre Celso in Tijuca (at a Batizado). Student, Contramestre Chicote, Mestre Franho, Mestre Hulk in Vila Isabel. Students, Mestre Hulk and André Lopes in Vila Olympica - Gamboa (scenic favela in back ground).

Monday, September 04, 2006

Capoeira - Brazil

The Place: Rio de Janeiro is home to Mestre Celso of my London capoeira group (run by Prof. Rodrigo). It's also home to Mestre Hulk and Mestre King who attended the London Batizado in May this year.

The Capoeira: Met Mestre Hulk for some capoeira lessons. Working as a phys ed coach at a school for the handicapped (I fitted in so well there), he was kind enough to give me some coaching for an entire day (9 - 5) in between which I played basketball with some of the kids.

They had a party there which I went back for two days later. Met some of the other mestre´s (Mestre Franho and Contramestre Chicote) and we did a capoeira demo for the school.

Went for a 3rd capoeira session outdoors with Mestre Hulk, this time in a really poor area (Gamboa) about an hour busride from Copacabana where he works (Vila Olympica). Met another experienced capoeirista André Luiz Lacé Lopes(68 yrs) whose written 4 books and numerous articles about capoeira. Apparently he chose the capoeira name for Mestre Celso. Was lucky to be given one of his periodicals signed by him. Heard gunshots from the favela next to the sport centre.

Went and joined a jogo de capoeira on Ipanema beach where I met Mestre King. It was a great beach day and a well-attended roda. Loads of kids played aswell, all of whom were brilliant. They played some maculele aswell and danced a bit of samba. Definitely worth seeing capoeira Brazilian style!

Met Mestre Celso in Cachambi (bout an hr from my hostel) where I was lucky to have a lesson and play lots of capoeira. Went together with Mestre Celso and 2 students (Elton and Luiza) to one of Mestre King´s festa´s on saturday where we watched their group play and two students get graded. Witnessed some gravity-defying moves! Ta bom!

Strange observation: It´s amazing that at 66 Mestre Celso still showed me 3 consecutive Meia Lua kicks! A Meia Lua is a quick round kick where you spin, kicking, with one hand on the ground and your head continuously watching the front underneath the kicking leg.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

The Place: The city of Rio is incredible! Muito Lindo! It´s a fast paced city with beautiful people, great beaches and incredible sights.

Some features: The viewpoints from Pão de Açucar (Sugar Loaf) hill and Corcovado (The Christ Statue) are spectacular.

The nightlife here is great. In Lapa they have massive street parties on Friday nights which is chaos but loads of fun. Lotsa samba beats and dancing. Also went to a favela funk party. A favela is the Rio equivalent of a township, run by gangs and drug dealers. Went to the party with a tour group that takes the gringos (tourists) safely into the favela (going alone would be stupid). The party lasted the whole night and was loads of fun. Saw one of the tourists photos afterwards of a guy flashing his loaded magazine at the party.

Eu fui roubado! Had my camera stolen out of my backpack while I was wearing it on a bus. Didnt feel a thing!

Went to watch a soccer match in Maracaná stadium (largest football stadium in the world). Was a great game between Botafogo (a Rio team) and Parana. The vibe was brilliant. Botafogo being the favourites had the crowds going completly crazy singing war cries for Botafogo and booing the opposition.

Took a trip on the Bonte de Santa Teresa which is a tram that crosses the high multi-arched bridge in Lapa (bottom photo). It takes you to interesting museums, vistas, restaurants and architecture on the other side of the bridge. Whats cool is that if you just jump on the side of the tram and stand on the side the ride is free!