The scenarium is amazing!
24.09.2013 - 25.09.2013 20 °C
Yesterday we went on a favela tour with Rio adventures. We booked for hang gliding but there was too much mist. Our tour guide picked us up from Copacabana palace wearing his tour tshirt and took us in his car for a drive around to see if it was clear to go hang gliding. He said that it would be clear enough to go and I was quite excited because I had been building it up in my head all morning. It wasn't clear enough so we went to Rocinha favela which is one of the safer favelas to go to because of the huge police presence, and because of the work that the government are doing to the favela. We were told that the favela used to be a farm and the workers would live there, but over time the farm has gone and more and more families have come to live here and build their homes in the hills. When we entered we firstly saw police with guns around a few little shops and lots of motorbikes passing us. There were cables as far as the eye can see all wrapped around each other and completely exposed, where people hook up their own phone lines and cable TV. We learnt about how different favelas will fight each other and how there is constant conflict between the drug dealers. We also saw what the government had done around the area-for example an outdoor gym full of free equipment and some low income housing at the top of the favela. Lots of the information seemed strange to hear. For example, none of these people own their home, they just have paper proof that they occupy the residence. Sometimes the favela can run out of running water for up to two days, and basically the majority of people living there are very poor,but the favela itself can turn over millions because of all the drugs sold from it. Everywhere is squashed together and seems quite dirty (litter everywhere, dog faeces and mud cover the streets so you have to watch your step) and yet we walked by some businesses which I would consider luxury, like a nail technician, hairdressers and pet shops. Some of the houses started as one floor, and the tenant has built his way up. What also was strange to me is that people would paint their houses and graffiti when they don't have money for glass windows! It's odd, but the people there are a community and I was glad to have the opportunity to see inside.
We didn't hang glide. We spent around two hours waiting for the mist to clear, and then a thunderstorm rolled in over the waves so we were forced to give up and go home. It was disappointing but the day was saved when we went to Rio Scenarium. Located in Lapa, downtown, is this incredible, beautifully unique samba club. We took a taxi there after reading a few good reviews and it did not disappoint. There was live music played by a band on stage directly on front of us, with a variety of different singers coming up on stage for each song. Wehad the best seats in the house. We did not have to line up as we were told we might have to, and there was no need to leave the table as drinks were served to us at the table. On our way in, we were given cards with our names on and everything we bought was written on there so that we could be billed at the end. Brad and I were starving, so we ordered some food which came out quite quickly and was fresh and delicious. We had cheese balls for a starter with a spicy sauce, then brad had spaghetti and prawns while I had pasta with pesto, cheese and cherry tomato sauce. Mine was oily but that's how I like it anyway so I was happy. Dessert was heaven! We ordered chocolate brownies with ice cream and chocolate sauce and it was perfect. Plus, a young couple had started to dance in front of us so we had a bit of a show! The music was picking up, and a lady singer started belting out a song while this couple twisted and turned, perfectly synchronised. The live music blew us away even though we couldn't understand the lyrics. There was an older couple showing off later, and we couldn't help but stare. They were so perfectly in time with eachother and the movements were so quick. He was shaking his behind like a mad man and she was going for gold too! So we definitely want to learn to samba now! We didn't dance because we were too bloated from the beers, and we left at around ten, but it was a really different night to anything we have done before and we enjoyed it thoroughly. If you go anywhere in Rio for a night out the Scenarium is a must.