Brasilien 2017: Zofias rejseberetning

Cariocas are people lucky to be from Rio. During our trip, I also tried to feel and enjoy this luxury for fifteen unforgettable days.

We arrived in the middle of the Brazilian summer and our life was happening largely in the surroundings of Copacabana. Lukewarm Atlantic was calling every morning through our apartment window. There was however not much time for lazy tanning on the beach. First week was dedicated to the Batizado/Troca de corda event.

Two trainings a day and numerous rodas kept us hiper and squeezed litres of sweat. The highlights were beach trainings starting at seven in the morning. Our muscles will long not forget the kilometres walked in ocean along the shore, hundreds of kicks performed in water and thousands of crunches on sand.

The culmination of the event was at the weekend ceremonies of baptising new students, changing belts and conferring the master title (formatura). They lasted several hours with no break and with endless energy. There are no words to describe the vibe created by Mestre Toni Vargas and realised by all Mestres, graduados and students present at the Academy of Mestre Peixinho. This year Grupo Senzala gained a new Mestra and so the emphasis of the event relied on women in Capoeira.

Besides Capoeira, we tried to use every free moment to explore Rio. We visited Centre and Lapa district and spent most of the time there for walking beautiful Santa Teresa neighbourhood that, in contrast to the urbanistic developed surrounding, gave us a relaxing scent of colonial atmosphere. Nevertheless, we definitely experienced deeper contrast by walking indigent, colourful and chaotic backstreets of the Babilônia, Chapeu Mangueira and Vidigal favelas.

The city of God revealed amazing nature to us. We were admiring it during our hikes on Corcovado (a peak located in the tropical rain forest of Tijuca national park with Christ the Redeemer statue at the top), Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers/ beautiful pair of mountains, situated at the end of Leblon beach, which make one of Rio’s most iconic views) and Morro da Babilônia (Babylonian hill ecological reserve with Atlantic rainforest). From the top of these mountains we experienced truly breathtaking panorama of Rio. Moreover, in our sailing/snorkelling trip in Rio surrounding, we enjoyed a beautiful view of the beaches and mountains from water perspective as well as the amazing lively “big blue”, beneath the water.

Besides, we could not miss Samba while being in Rio. We were lucky enough to participate in the rehearsal of one of the most famous Samba school “Acadêmicos do Salgueiro”, the nine-time champion of the Rio Carnival. We listened to Samba concerts and most importantly had many occasions to shake our European flesh to the rhythm. There, every gathering ends up with guitar, singing and dancing!

Rio is a fascinating city with warmhearted, full-of-energy people. A truly amazing trip… Dear Rio, até breve!!!

– Zofia, orangebælte på voksenholdet