Les Trois Escargots

A growing family of snails.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Carnival in Recife, Brazil

Carnival in Recife, a rough town in the north of Brazil, promised to be something different - the temperature seemed higher, the prices doubled and a frenzy swept the place. We didn't know what to expect.

Against the odds, we had managed to meet Solenn, a friend of Albane's, with her boyfriend, David, and their friend Stephan, a French lorry driver. Carnival brought a certain pattern to our activities - we would eat, sleep and relax until 4pm before taking the bus to the centre of old Recife. From then on, it was a matter of eating (sticks of cheese melted over charcoal and skewers of chicken and beef), drinking (cold beer and lethal caiparinha) and following the music.

There were a number of stages around the centre with different themes - African, Fantasy, Electonica - and groups of drum-beating musicans marched through the streets sucking in dancers and groupies along the way.

We managed three days (well, nights) and enjoyed seeing this famous part of Brazilian life, but we missed the floats and gala shows of Rio de Janeiro, though we could see them on the TV. I guess that our expectations had been shaped by the Rio image and we had not expected what was in effect a huge street festival. We left Recife at 2 in the morning on a flight to Rio from where we would take two more planes and a couple of buses to reach northern Peru three long days later.

Thanks for the photos, Stephane.


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