For the past few weeks we have been coming to the yacht club almost every day. It is the absolute best place to cool down =) Sometimes we get so cold we all have to donn jerseys and look strange carrying them on our arm from boat to club and vise versa.
We haven’t been able to do much sight-seeing as Carnaval rates aren’t too well suited for a family made up of six. We have been using the public transport in the form of busses. These facinate me – I have never before had the opportunity to ride in a bus, so the way they work are truly a wondrous experience.
We have assembled our other dingy, Conditioner. (We have one rubber duck called ‘Shampoo’ and one called ‘Conditioner’.) To do this we had to tow the whole lot (consisting of planks, rubber, some rope . . . more rubber) to shore with Shampoo and our mini 2.5 horse-power engine. =D Once succesfully assembled, we had to mount the 40 horse-power engine on Conditioner. This took some doing. We used the mizzen sail’s boom* as a crane, and did a lot of tricky maneuvring to get it in position. Conditioner worked really well, until the starboard pontoon insisted on deflating as soon as our backs were turned. In Cape Town, this kind of happening would have been ‘sorted out’ by someone. Here, that someone was definitely going to be us. We hauled Conditioner out onto the ramp, and went to work looking for the hole and so on. It took us about 4 hours to get glue, find the hole, patch it, and glue some other parts of the duck that didn’t agree with us on where they should be. So far it seems as if we have been succesful.
Last Saturday we went to see the ‘Parade of the Champions’. After a week of Carnaval, the champions get to parade again in all their splendour. Since Carnaval is technically over, the seats are a little cheaper =) The parades take place in the ‘Sambódromo’. Every parade takes about an hour, and there were six – we were not planning on staying until 5 in the morning, so we only watched three. Each parade has a different theme, (all their floats and costumes are according to this theme) name and song. The song is sung over and over and over and over agian while the parade goes by, and all dances (if any specific are choreographed) are to this rythm. There are always flag bearers, whirling girls, and the main samba girls. There are about . . . I think there are about 7-8 floats per parade, but I could be wrong. Anyway – the colours, detail, music . . . everything was awesome ^_^
Every parade was started with a 10 minute display of fireworks (which were really awesome, as I count these to be my first ”real” fireworks.) The three themes that we saw were basically: Nelson Mandela, and the whole story of slaves etc; the second was in summary ‘yay Brazil and Samba’. It was really good, though; third was a honour to the swiss. =) They were all awesome.
Even though we only stayed for three, we only got to bed at 3:30. For the first time in a few years I was able to sleep till noon the next day! =P
Now that Carnaval is over, we hope to be able to get around to doing some of the really touristy stuff – go see the “Christ the Redeemer” statue, go up Sugarloaf Mountain in the cable car, and visit the museums.
Can’t think of anything specific to add right now, so . . . adeus Até a próxima vez.;)
*We shall hopefully soon update the ‘terms’ blog, but in the meantime: The mizzen sail is the aft mast. The foreward mast is the main, and the boom is the bottom pole that runs perpendicular to the masts.