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  • Day75

    Lapa

    February 11, 2016 in Brazil ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

    Lapa is an area of the city that is popular for its swanky bars and international restaurants although the diversity is crazy as the poverty here is immense. The arches that stretch the length of the area are filled with homeless people sleeping under them , and as another bloco starts the police prescence grows. We have been told we should go to the Lapa steps so i ask directions and get told to follow the road to the left of the Arch
    With a lot of anticipation we head that way but we're very aware that we stick out like a sore thumb, and for one of the first times since being here i feel slighly anxious. The road takes us down a little cobbled street , once again smothered in poverty , but we push on as the sun will soon be setting and i dont want to be here with tourist tatooed on my head when it gets dark.
    We stumble across the steps and make our accent up them. They are so beautiful , all individual tiles from all over the world accumalated with big blocks of mosaics . truly beautiful. Ok so ive done that now lets get out of here!!!
    We decide to try and find some international food, im really missing spicy as all i seem to be eating is rice beans and meat, i know i shouldnt complain but i could kill for a chinese or Thai food. we cross the square and stumble across a parade that is mainly children and teenagers , the costumes and the atmosphere is once again brilliant and even though the parade is actually finishing we take a seat on the steps of an old building and embrace it, opting for a bbqd sausage of a street seller. The results are announced of this local competition and everything goes wild fireworks are literally set of in the middle of the crowds and the music plays on.
    Still feeling the effects of yesterday we stroll back towards the metro when we are surrounded by a huge group of these people who just want us to dance and as we try to leave they surround us more. I am very aware at this point that we could be getting targeted and its a shame as really i should be enjoying every minute but the warnings of people along the way make you paranoid.... they actually only wanted to dance with the 'gringos" and we both came out with all our belongings and no knife wounds. To be honest we have heard a couple of bad stories , but theses are of people who have let there guards down and have been sitting on beaches late at night, so i think if you keep your wits about you , you generally are fine. We head back towards the hostel stopping off for a slice of pizza and fruit juice before another early night to catch up on my beauty sleep.
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