23rd of February 2003 – Day 5 (contd) / Day 6
I went to the Maracana stadium – a local derby – two of Rios teams from the premier division – Botafog VS Fluminense. Fantastic statium with a capacity of 110,000, and location of the World Cup in 1950 and Pele´s 1,000 goal in 1969. Good game with the fameous Souza Farias Romario, scoring twice for FLU in their 5-0 win. All goals were scored in the second half. Tickets for the game were 10R, but I went with the hostel group which was 40R (all inclusive) plus 3 off-duty policement for protection as we were 10 rows under the hardcore FLU supporters. There were about 15 of us gringos, It was great, except there was crowd trouble behind us. Some guy threw a slap, and within seconds, about 40-50 gusy rushed throught us to get to the scene. Slaps were traded between these guys against 2/3 others for about a minute. Beacuse there was only 1 cop, the situtation could not be contained until reinforcements came about a minute later. All this was taking place about 10 rows behind us to the right. There were some pretty scared gringos, ready to depart, but things settled down again as FLU scored. Some pics below. Met a guy from Emily (Tipparary) at the match. He is a Irish Soldier staioned in the Sahara. His sunglaases were nicked from him the day before. He had great things to say about the Thatch disco in Emily. Alot of crowd trouble down at the San Paulo home game as well.. seems soccer violence is quite prevalnt.
Went to a beach party after on the main Ipanema road. Cant get my head around it as a westener (or just ben Irish). One big artic truck with a massive sound system. Maybe 30 guys with drums walking ahead of the group. Then we have about 1m people on both sides in front and behind this truck, dancing, partying and singing. I ask myself WHY. Imagine 1m Irish people following the chieftans on a truck down O; Connell street , dancing. Hmm, it simply does not exist in our DNA.
24th of February 2003 – Day 6
Went on the favela tour. Website here. It was really interesting. Cost 55R. Hostel pick-up at 9.00am. Introduction comments about the context of favelas in Rio city and Brazilian society. Arriving in Rocinha, welcoming, explanation about the architecture, public services, carnival, etc. Guide explained that 2m out of the 10m in Rio live in the various 600 favelas in Rio.
Going to a local terrace, pause for pictures of a breathtaking view over Rio, talks about the security. Rocinha is the biggest favelas in Rio (pop 160,000). We drove down through the “Estrada da G?vea”, a former F1 race track.
Went to Vila Canoas, visiting the “Para Ti” community school. All together very good and safe. Guide explained that no cops come in to the favelas but the drug barons provide security, the infrastructure, the hospitals etc out of their pocket. There are very strict rules: no stealoing, rape, murder etc. If you commit a crime against your local community (including tourists) while int he favela you get shot dead. If you dicide to rob a tourist outside the favela, well thats no problem. Therefore the guide said tourists could visit alone, but if some kid got tempted, robbed you (assuming U didnt know the rule), you could go the drug and have him shot.