The samba has been danced, the caipirinhas have been drunk, and Rio de Janeiro is suffering a collective hangover as the city and its residents attempt to recover from the frenzied partying of Rio Carnival 2011.
And while die-hard partiers can still find the odd street party taking place in the city this weekend, they will be slightly lacklustre affairs in comparison with the riotous festivities that have taken place not only during carnival, but throughout the entire summer season.
As Carnival has fallen late in the year (it usually takes place in February but is a moveable festa based around the days of lent and Easter), the end of this year’s celebration have coincided with the end of summertime in Rio, and the city is shifting into a more relaxed gear as autumn approaches.
Fear not, sun lovers, autumn and winter in Rio are not exactly chilly affairs, and there are still plenty of warm, sunny beach days even during the ‘winter’ months of May, June and July. In fact, given the rainy skies that hovered over the carnival festivities, the onset of cooler, drier weather can even be seen as a good thing.
Not only this, but the end of the peak season means less tourists, quieter beaches, cheaper flights and hotels in Rio, and even better deals on drinks as bars and street vendors compete to win the custom of a diminished number of punters.
Not convinced? Still not prepared to hang up the dancing shoes just yet? Fear not, this is Rio de Janeiro, and the party spirit never really sleeps here. For starters, the Samba School Winners Parade takes place on Saturday at the Sambodromo – offering a chance to see this year’s champions Beija-Flor de Nilopolis show off the costumes, moves and more that helped them storm to victory for the 6th time in 10 yearswith their tribute to Brazilian singer Roberto Carlos. Along with the winners, the five runners up – Unidos da Tijuca, Mangueira, Vila Isabel, Salgueiro and Imperatriz Leopoldinense – will showcase their sets once again, to the delight of the gathered throng. While tickets are scarce, it may be possible to pick some up from touts on the night (the event starts at 8pm, but get their earlier for a chance of scoring tickets), or even in advance if you are prepared to pay up to r$500.
And the party continues in always-buzzing Lapa, and tomorrow (Friday) it is possible to catch the slavishly-worshipped bloco (street party) street samba group Monobloco at Fundicao Progresso, although, with tickets costing R$70, this may not be the party option of choice for anybody who has overspent over the last week of partying.
For budget-friendly boozy shenanigans, the weekly Lapa Street Party will be in full swing tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday – provided the rain holds off.