Today we headed into the favelas of Rio, made infamous by movies such as Fast 5 and City of God, or games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It’s stereotyped as a slum rife with gangs, shootouts, violence, and lawlessness.
The one we entered — Rocinha Favela — is the densest favela in Rio, with over 200,000 inhabitants. Although most of its economy still runs on the drug trade, it maintains the peace fairly well. The police recently took over Rocinha in preparation for the World Cup, but they’ll need about 10x more policemen (about 2,000 of them) than what they have now in order to fully keep the favela under control. In the meantime, a steady peace is maintained between the favela gangs and the police. That is how we were able to enter and explore it without feeling any sense of danger.
We also made time for sightscaping at the end of the day:
Let’s start with our morning journey into the Rocinha Favela:
We headed into the favela fairly immediately, walking down their narrow alleyway style streets for about half a kilometer before climbing up the stairs through an art studio.
We got stupendous views there:
And the art studio itself was pretty impressive:
Afterwards, we kept walking and ran into an impromptu performance:
We kept walking through the entire length of the favela:
Grabbed a snack:
After an hour of walking, we ended up at a nursery where most of our donations to the favela would go to. We climbed up to its roof and saw that we had already walked the entire length of the favela:
Said hi to the kids on the way down:
Upon leaving the favela, we came upon a site of a recent police crackdown of a drug bust:
Afterwards we had lunch in the Santa Teresa district:
And then we took a cab to Ipanema beach, where we headed to the giant rock or Arpoador on the east side of the beach:
…because that’s where you get the best views of the sunset:
After an indeterminate amount of time sitting there, we rounded out our day with a stroll along Ipanema Beach at night:
Now it’s off to the bars in Lapa for Friday night!
– At time of posting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it was 82.4 °F – Humidity: 40% | Wind Speed: 26km/hr | Cloud Cover: partly cloudy