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January 30th,  2008

Rio de Janeiro Carnaval 2008



This is my second trip to the carnival as I have contemplated after the first visit in 2005 with some friends. It is always that by the time you are ready for the next trip, it trickles down to a very few who will finally join you for the projected trip. My cousin and best friend from Paris ended up joining me for this 2008 trip. A month before the trip her brother which also my cousin also in France came to join us. They flew from Charles De Gaulle straight to GIG, Rio while I have to transfer at New York, Sao Paulo then to Rio.

When I boarded another plane in New York I placed a call to my friend in Montreal, and after I hang up the person who sat in front of me showed his face between the 2 seats and asked me in French if it bothers me if he lowers his seat down a little bit during the flight. It was a start of communication of a friendship.  Daniel is his name, living in Sao Paulo. He studies at the University in Montreal on his way home for few weeks. He invited me to drop by if I have a chance to visit Sao Paulo during my stay in Rio. We will touch base once we will be back in Montreal. I continue my trip to Rio and while waiting for my cousins and a friend in GIG I made friend with Alfred from LA who is waiting for his friend that will be coming from Chile.

Daniel Cavalheiro

Alfred Carew

Daniel & I at JFK, NY

Alfred & I at GIG, Rio


The waiting seems forever but finally the "French Alliance" arrived. We took a taxi to our rented apartment in Copacabana. Remember Serge, the fellow I meet in Rio in 2005, well he is now in Real State business in Rio associated with his partner Ricardo. ( Read more here )


Ricardo Neri

This year I rented an apartment from a friend I met during my previous Carnival in 2005... 
( Read more here )

Our stay in Rio was so pleasant but time flew so fast that we didn't have to much time to accomplish anything. I was planning to fly to Iguazu Falls but we never had that chance. The pre-carnival street parade in Central was fun. While I walked in the crowd with my camera, the Rio TV reporter saw me and asked for an interview. This is funny because in Montreal I am the one asking interviews to be published on my Montreal Festival Webcast.  I have no choice but to accept the invitation. He is Nicky of Rio TV News and the fun begins. A reporter asked me about my impressions of Brazilians.  They are very warm people, very friendly and understanding.  Two thumbs up- they are a bunch of friendliest, hospitable and accommodating folks on earth.

After the street parade we met one family who welcomed us into their group. One more occasion and opportunity to meet the local Cariocas. I kept their contact so we can touch base via Internet.

Priscylla Malaquias


Read more on Street Parade and view Video
 ( Read more & View  Video here 

A small incident came to us when we took a cab (taxi) to Bara shopping center. My friend brought 2 cellular with her. One is for her to use so she can get calls from Paris and the second one, so she can place a call to local numbers with a SIM card.  When I answered a call I must have left it on the seat while I was busy taping or I might have put it in my pocket. I don't remember. Only later on during the day when I realized I don't have the phone with me. We used the second cell. The phone was placing a call from Paris to the lost phone. Someone answered in Portuguese. I tried to explain the situation but at the other end the person doesn't speak English. I called Ricardo to help. We gave appointment at our apartment. Shortly after we gathered together and Ricardo tried to call the number again but there was no one answering. He asked me if I have recorded the Taxi driver name and license but I did not.  Just by reading his facial expression I knew that this story ended there because according to Ricardo, it is very rare that someone will return the phone. Well in Montreal, I lost my Treo once and the person called my office number and left a message for me to pickup the phone. It's a shame because it is a very recent phone that my friend has. I tried to order online, the same one I lost to be sent to my friend but she hesitated me not to do it. Well I will see whether I can solve this little inconvenience although it did not ruin our trip at all.

The trip to Ilha Grande is the second best in this journey. The hereby video will tell you. Enjoy the video. In that trip I have another occasion to make friends with the tour guide.


Ilha Grande Tour is one of the tours you don't want to miss if you are going to Rio de Janeiro for vacation ... 
( Read more & View Video here 

Just the 1st day on YouTube    Views: 7,830
Rate: 4/5    Favourited: 1 time    Honours: 6    Links: 5

Ricardo Ribeiro

Our Ilha Grande tour guide

Now the parade in the Sambadrome. It is great but it is some sort of "Dejΰ Vu" for me. First my cousin left, then later on my other cousin and her friends fell asleep because of the six hours advance in comparison with Paris time. In Paris, it is already morning, but Brazil is still in the wee hours of the morning. The parade is halfway finished. They wanted to leave but finally decided to stay and close their eye.  I insisted for them to leave but they didn't want. I have to lie by telling that I ran out of batteries. My friend read my mind by asking if I lied to her but we decided to leave after all. There were 2 schools left to complete the parade. Leaving earlier will give me an opportunity for me to tape the behind the scenes. My friend occasionally take pictures with the carnivalers in costumes so it is a happy decision for all of us. We took a cab back to our apartment. I noticed at that time no drivers stopped at the red light even just in front of the police cruiser. I'm wondering if it is customary for Rio drivers to ignore red lights at certain time of the evening- like early morning.

  • Sugar Loaf at sunset & Rio de Janeiro Helicopter Tour...
    ( View  Video here 
  • Here is the Botanical Video. It is a serene place to stroll around... 
    ( View  Video here  )
  • We also visited the Corcovado Christ statue but by taxi this time. I took the lift in 2005. Different way to go up there...
    ( Read more & View  Video here  )
  • $ Tips - Do not carry excessive cash when you travel in Rio...
     ( Read more )
  • Tourists transportation - Hire a driver...
    ( Read more )


Bijou Box -Ipanema


Bijou Box

Here is the place I got the feather hat for my "web cast reporter".  The Bijou Box in Ipanema.  When I went there in 2005 it was close for the Carnival Holidays. I only got it the last day before I took my plane. It is the same this time. We went there and found out it was close during the carnival. In fact this time happened exactly like before which means that my friend got it few hours before she flew out of Rio. She bought her mask for our next carnival trip. Yap! you guess right, we decided to register for the Venice Carnival next year. Well one more time you are invited to join me, my friend and my cousins to the Venice Carnival that will be held in February 2009. I will be sending you information in details about that Venice Carnival in a next couple of months for your early planning should you decide to join us.



Rio 2008 Index

Street Parade  •  Sambadrome Parade  •  Get in & out Sambadrome

Ilha Grande  •  Sugar Loaf  •  Corcovado by taxi  •  Botanical Garden

Apartment/Flat  •  Tourists transportation  •  $ Tips

Rio 2005 Index  •  Venice Carnival 2009  •  Guestbook

Penthouse vacation



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