Faux Pas

Fashion. Travel. Food. Bridget. Gin.

Rocinha Favela

By Wednesday, July 29, 2015

We woke up fresh as a daisy on Monday morning and I did a little cry of joy that I was waking up in Rio and not having to go to work. That really is one of life's little pleasures.

It was still cloudy outside (so emotional right now) so we decided to go and look around the largest favela in Rio, Rocinha. I thought it was a bit harsh paying money to go and see where the less well off live for our personal enjoyment, but we were told the money we paid went towards their community which is great. I felt happy to be a tourist again after that. We got a bus to the top of the favela and walked right down to the bottom, talking to people and learning about their lives as we went.

We saw some absolutely gorgeous sights from above the city and also some very eye opening sights. They don't all have electricity, so take it upon themselves to wire their own houses up to pylons and the result is terrifying and probably the most unsafe thing I've seen. Very scary.

I learnt an interesting fact about favelas too, because I'm all about the culture, me. If the son/daughter of a family start their own family, they don't move out into a new abode; they actually build a house on top of their parents house. No escaping the parents. Bad times, bad times.

When we were walking through the favela and down the steep, windey steps to the bottom, it was mind blowing to look up and see the houses piled high on of top of each other in a never ending health and safety nightmare. If one fell down, the whole place would fall down in an enormous domino effect.

We strolled past houses upon houses all painted in different colours and all condensed into the smallest of spaces, and came across these 3 guys dancing and singing so we stopped to watch. They were doing a local dance which was some sort of breakdancing, martial arts, singsong mash up and was rather impressive. They were incredibly strong and tried to get us involved which ended terribly. We were flayling all over the place and nearly got kicked in the face several times whilst sweating profusely; which I blame on the sun coming out rather than the stress of the situation. It was definitely the stress of the situation.

After nearly being knocked out and bent in ways we don't bend, we finished off our walk and met a few more locals along the way. One man had dressed his dog up in clothes, sunglasses and a hat and I'm still not really sure why. Weirdo. 

The favelas aren't half as dangerous anymore as they used to be, as there is a strong police presence around which has stopped gun crime. I didn't feel particularly at risk at all, but people used to get shot all the time when the police first showed up, including children, but this has stopped now all together. Thankfully I lived to tell the tale!

That afternoon we decided to go and sit with a cocktail on Ipanema Beach and watch the surfers doing their thaaang. I have a new found appreciation for Brazilian men. Especially the ones running around topless with their surfboards. I can't even. Dribbling. 

After the surfers had disappeared and we'd been offered drugs and massages aplenty, we decided to do one back to the hostel for more drinks and a game of cards against humanity with everyone. There's a total hottie who works at the hostel who was also joining in the fun. His brother came by and he literally has the coolest name I've ever met.... RODRIGO RODRIGUEZ! Come on now, best name ever. This is now my future child's name. 

Tomorrow we go to Ilha Grande to chase the sun and explore some stunning beaches, bitches. Over and out.