|Went to the Copacabana for a swim the water was so cold I didn't manage to go above waist level -just let a couple of waves roll over me - at least I had a go the girls I was with didn't even venture to waters edge. To get there we passed by rows of volleyball courts and then masses of red umbrellas pretty well touching so to get to the water I had to wend my way through bodies and chairs. I think some of the photos I,very put on facebook show this - will try to upload more on this site but it is very slow. Went to the Botanic gardens - closed for carnivale- in fact most everything not associated with eating or drinking was closed from Saturday to Wednesday. Went to the gay and lesbian ball to see the pink carpet parade - started at 11pm -a couple of other travellers were actually going in so shared a taxi which took us in the complete opposite direction to a different La Scala so had a double taxi price but worth it hundreds of people just on the streets watching some amazing costumes and sites generally. Stayed for an hour or two and then found the subways had closed so hailed a taxi and had the best taxi ride ever. The driver got us caught up in the end of a bloco -we had a near miss with a bus -we won but it was pretty close. Then we passed where the latrines had been set up on the side of the road -the smell!!! The driver very casually got out his spray of air Freshener and sprayed each of the air vents while closing the windows - a bit down the street he opened the windows and not a word was said. The carnival has now finished and the place smells much better most of the garbage has been removed from the streets. And most of the shops are open so a completely different city. This has been a very expensive exercise food is dear and decent coffee pretty well non existent - best we had was in a Starbucks and even that had a slight taste of caramel sooo sweet. Have just arrived in Parity a village in a bay and we are in a hostel - 8 to a room right on the beach -been for a swim the water the exact opposite of Rio - almost too warm to be comfortable.