Monday, 7 March 2011


The time to say "Farewell Meat!" is upon us and it is celebrated everywhere here and not, as the world thinks, just in Rio de Janeiro. Indeed, many a Carioca escapes from Rio at Carnaval (leaving it to the tourists to watch the Samba Princesses shakin' it) and ends up in one of Brazil's Sleepy Hollows.

Last night there was a parade along the seafront here and I was approached by a fellow in head-to-foot body paint (who looked like the witch doctor out of Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines) and he wanted one of the bottles of beer that I was carrying home. I refused and went on but he persisted and then, above all the noise (and do Brazilians do noise!), he said "You don't recognize me?" and I confirmed this. He then explained that he was the horseman who cleared away some dead coconut and banana leaves for me last week - in fact someone that I have known for nearly five years. He seemed tickled pink at my Gringo confusion and consternation and, needless to say, he got his beer.

The picture today is of the church of Our Lady of Nazareth at the end of the road.

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