We survived our 3rd year of Carnaval here in Brazil.
It was a long, blistering week. We attended the parade last Monday night. In contrast to other years, we only stayed for half of the parade this year. Instead of crawling into bed at 7:30 am, we were tucked in at a much more respectable hour this year: 3 am. We were totally refreshed the next day, comparatively speaking.
Another difference was that this year, we didn't have front row seats; we had 2nd row seats. Having front row seats that last two years kind-of made me a Carnaval snob. Since I don't drink* (ever) and I only attempt to fake samba occasionally, taking pictures is what I really enjoy doing at the parade and it was much harder from the second row. After a few frustrating minutes of getting other people's heads in my shots, I handed over the camera to Gaupo who's a good 10 inches taller than me. (Here are the Carnaval posts from 2009, and 2008. Just in case you're interested.)
*That reminds me of a random story from the evening. We shared our box with a customer of Guapo's company. As she was opening her second beer for the evening, she offered me one and I declined; she looked at me oddly and asked if I ever drank and I said, "no" and she said, "Never?" and I said, "Never." Then she said, "Me neither," and continued to drink her beer. ???
These were the people who were sitting in my seat (the nerve!):
I love seeing the happy, festive participants all decked out in their amazing carnaval costumes. Here are some of my favorite shots of the night (that Gaupo took while I was feeling serious pressure to bust a move since I wasn't hiding behind the camera):
"Have faith, buy your spot in paradise":
Awesome street sweeper/samba dancer:
Everyone got really excited about this famous woman, we have no clue who she is. Fabiola?
My least favorite float of the night:
The dancers were "pregnant" with plastic fetuses:
This girl's platform wasn't secure, so she chose to just sit down for her own safety. This was, of course, totally unacceptable. (does she not know that you must be samba-ing and singing the entire 80 minutes?)
As the float was approached the final judges' station, this guy went out on the float and basically forced her to stand up and dance.
Oh, the sacrifices people make for Carnaval.
This lady's name is Maria das Dores Rodrigues, she was the flag bearer of the first championship of her samba school, Portela, in 1935. 1935. Can you believe that? 75 years ago?