November 4, 2010 in Brazil, South America , , ,

It’s my last day in Rio and I’ve decided to spend it in Santa Teresa and Lapa. First I need to buy a ticket for a bus to Bolivia’s border on Novo Rio. In terminal’s information point I got directions to Santa Teresa, suburb located on one of Rio’s hills with a great vie on favelas and the rest of the city.

It’s a traffic hour so streets are blocked. It takes me over an hour to get there. Bus takes me all the way to the end of Santa Teresa. I ask one girl if it’s OK for me to walk by myself down the hill, she answers “NO”. Anyway, I decide to do so.

I can see other hills covered with favela’s houses. Different suburbs have different colors – green, yellow or none. There are times when I’m the only one on the street – not a good sign.

I meet two young girls and ask them for direction to the bus that can take me to Praca Xv. That’s where my real journey starts.

They say a lot, I don’t really understand. They try to say the same things slowly, I got like 20% of it. They repeat over and over again but it doesn’t make me understand more. They ask me to follow them so I do. We meet police boys sitting in a small golf car (don’t remember the name), they show me the way to the spanish stairs but also advise me not to go there by myself cause last month one german girl was killed over there. Police says I do go. I meet girls again, they talk and they talk and take me to the mother of one of them. She does just the same – speaks and speaks in Portuguese. Then we meet another couple of policemen. They take me to the first ones and on the end we decide that one of them will escort me to the proper bus stop. He tries his best but has no idea which bus is a proper one so he asks everyone around. Someone advises me to run through the highway and my guard agrees with him. What can I do, I run. When I got stuck somewhere in the middle I’ve noticed my bus and stopped it in the middle of the street. And you know what, driver was more than happy to help me. Rio is so cool!

In the evening we came back with Miriam and Blanca to Lapa for an art festival. Brazilians know how to rock and how to create.

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