Bye Rio, hi Lima.

Monday night, I was dancing Samba under the open sky, feeling the taste of a marvellous caipirinha on my tongue. I did not think about leaving the city of my dreams. Now it’s Tuesday night, and I have to leave. I’m packing my stuff, and as I successfully closed my suitcase 1.5 hours before the cab arrives, there’s even time left for a little reflection about my life in Brazil which is coming to an end today.

I remember when I landed in Rio, April 5th, and an old friend picked me up at the airport. Now on the one hand this moment seems like years ago and on the other hand like yesterday. I had believed that a stay of four to five months may be enough in a country in which you have already lived, but I guess I was wrong. As in any place of the world, it took me some time to accostume myself and when having managed this, the most amazing time began. I felt like exploding of life, especially after I had moved from Niterói to Rio in mid-July. I was more sure than ever that Rio is the city of my dreams, despite its ugly aspects like crime and road chaos.

I had loved Rio at first sight when I traveled to the city in 2009, but while living there, I fell in love just deeper:
with dancing and listening to live music under the open sky,
with the incomparable geographical beauty composed of mountains, water and forests;
with Rio´s people, sharing smiles, compliment and positive vibes all day, all night;
with its beaches – obviously!;
with Santa Teresa’s craftwork stores where I bought t-shirts, bracelets or just regarded creative crazy stuff like a lamp made of cassettes…

Photographing Rio and Niterói from the viewpoint in "Parque da Cidade"

Photographing Rio and Niterói from the viewpoint in „Parque da Cidade“. PHOTO: Leonie Feuerbach

However, one should not forget that Rio is no paradise. Demonstrations and police repression are going on, as is the daily crime. Last Saturday I hiked a beautiful mountain called Pedra da Gavea together with a group of couchsurfers. The next evening, at the very same location a huge assault occurred: 40 hikers had to give all their belongings to a bunch of armed thieves. Furthermore, my bag was stolen at Ipanema beach when I left it next to a friend who was listening to music (sure, that was avoidable, but as never had happened anything to me I had got less cautious). And then there is the huge amount of homeless people who vegetate at the same streets where I pass by, marvelling at the city.

As my stay in Rio was so replete of experiences and impressions, there was a certain lack of time to describe them (but I will, some day!). Besides, I spent time in Mexico, and in two hours I`ll be boarding a plane. When you read this,  I may be already at the other side of South America, in Lima, capital of Peru. There, I am going to stay for at least three months, and without any doubts, many new stories will come up.

Now I just hope that everything works out on my trip and in Lima, at least I already got a couch for the first week. And even if it breaks my heart to leave Rio de Janeiro (just by writing its name I get this feeling of passion!), I am totally looking forward to knowing a country, a city, a culture which is totally new to me.

Wish me luck and see you soon.

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