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Samba night with a twist

May 18th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 16-Brazil

By night, Rio de Janeiro’s Lapa district has a reputation. On Friday and Saturday – after 11pm to be exact – the artisan neighbourhood descends into a denizen of sex, drugs and samba (Lonely Planet).

Yes, it was samba and Caipirinhas all the way.  Being rather cautious, and avoiding the large and sometimes dangerous crowds, we ventured out a Wednesday rather than the Friday or Saturday night.  We had a fantastic time and met some fabulous and amazing people.  We did have a dance but sadly have no photos to prove it. 

While in Rio we’ve been out most nights and rather mery on occasions but sadly had no camera with us to take photos of our good times.  When we went to Lapa we through caution to the wind and risked taking our old camera and if it was nicked so be it.  Little did we expect anything would happen…

We got a taxi from Lapa back to Copacabana which pulled up outside a burger joint one block from our hostel.  As I was paying the fare, some dude tried to yank Sam’s handbag off.  I shouted at him and ran over by which time three guys pounced on me and I got a puck in the mouth which split my lip.  Sam managed to hold onto her handbag and while I was fighting these guys off I managed to grab and pull her into the restaurant.  Just as we made it inside another came brandishing a knife…

The bastards stood outside laughing in at us.  Thankfully, and apart from a swollen cut lip, we were ok.  Unbelievably, these guys were aged between 10 and 25.  I’d like to say that I beat the shit out of at least one of them but I didn’t, my eyes were focused on Sam and all I wanted to do was get her inside – no time or place to be a hero – get away from the situation.  After I cleaned up my lip, the manager escorted us to a cab for a one block ride back to our hostel. 

Whatever good things people say about Rio, including us, it really is a dangerous dangerous place to visit.  These street people are so poor they will go to great lengths to acquire money for food and that includes sticking a knife in somebody – harsh but true.  The ironic thing is, we had left the so called dangerous area and were back in the not so dangerous part of Rio.  Thankfully only one day before we had back into peaceful Argentina.

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