YY in Brazil – Rio de Janeiro – Favela Rocinha – Day 4

6 Nov 2012
I am always fascinated about the favelas in Rio, mostly because they look really nice and cool in movies. The very concentrated colourful little houses located in the hills in Rio form a great picture. Even after watching the City of God and reading about it. I still didn’t have much fear about the favelas, I mean thousands of ordinary people live in there.

There were only 8 of us in the tour, our tour guide spoke very good English. We went to the largest Favela in Rio (also the largest in Brazil), Favela Rocinha! where many movies including fast five was shot. It’s built on a very steep hillside and overlooking some very expensive development and nice beaches. The contrast was interesting.

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Our van dropped us off at the bottom of the hill and we took a motor taxi to the top. It’s probably one of scariest ride of my life even I was wearing a helmet. We went on the only main road in the favela, it’s steep, winded and very busy. The driver took us through every little gap he could possibly find, between cars and people. I didnt remember what i saw to be honest, as it all happened to fast. My eyes were so busy looking around trying to catch everything we passed by, my hands were holding the handle real tight. I felt like I just watched a show expect that I was right there. The motor bike ride made the beginning of our favela tour very exciting and frightening at the same time.

The first view of the favela when I was in there was this, satellite dish tv and all these cables! I wasn’t expecting to see this.

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We were at the top of the favela and we were going to descend down to the bottom on foot! Exciting!
Walking on the little dark alleys, with little shops on the side, I felt we were just in a busy village.

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We stopped at a few places to get a good view of the favela

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It’s really beautiful if you just look at them from far and just appreciate how colourful and different they are. But Things are really different when you look closely.

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Most of the buildings were in terrible conditions, any one of them would have breached the European health and safe regulation by a million times at least.
But the people living there seem happy.

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A group of kids performing drums and dance for us

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This is Aline, she’s from Sao Paolo, not the favela.

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Bottom of the favela. There were armed polices at the entrance of the favela controlling who’s going in and out. Sometimes tourists get searched for drugs.

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The favela tour definitely has been an eye-opening experience for me. It’s interesting to see how people are living there and their living conditions. It’s good to know its changing so much and becoming much better. But bear in mind Rocinha is probably one of the best favelas here in Rio so it’s open to tourist. Can’t imagine how it is in those ones where the drug lords are still in control.
Makes me appreciate what I have a lot more.

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5 comments on “YY in Brazil – Rio de Janeiro – Favela Rocinha – Day 4

  1. Hey! We stayed in Favela Vidigal while we were in Brazil, and I also felt that it was very safe and was surprised by how many people had televisions and washing machines! The reality definitely match my preconceived ideas about what it would be like. Our motorcycle ride to the top was also terrifying. It must be a prerequisite for drivers that work there! 😉

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