Debauchery


Bariloche has an eerie way of bringing the right people together. I met Jessica Cruz for the first time at the beginning of last ski season. We would always see each other around the mountain but never made much of an effort to be friends. When I returned at the beginning of December she had moved in with my amiga Lu, so we had a new opportunity to get to know one another. Jess is an old soul; at 20 years old she has an outlook and understanding of life that is far beyond her years. She left her family and friends in Brasil last June to move to Bariloche. We both describe feeling an inexplicable calling to this land of lakes, and from the moment we both arrived everything seemed to fall effortlessly into place. We share an incredible love for Bariloche and it has become a home away from home for both of us. The friends we made and memories we created there have marked us forever, and we both know that we will return to the grand shores of the Nahuel Huapi in our own time. 

I had been plotting a beach escape for weeks when Jess said that she might need to go back to Brasil. I love when the timing of things works out so effortlessly. One bottle of wine later and it was decided. To Brasil we go!  And when better to arrive to this sultry country than for the biggest party of the year...  

CARNAVAL 2013 BOIÇUCANGA, SÃO PAULO.  

 tambores na rua


I can´t remember the last time I went out more than two nights in a row, so knowing that we had five days of straight Carnaval shenanigans ahead of us was a bit intimidating. But when we left the house the first night and heard the sound of drums in the distance, something told me that I would pull through. Follow the beat of the drums and you will find the party. Standing in the middle of the street surrounded by dancing, smiling, laughing people I was invigorated with the fresh excitement of having arrived to a new country. The following evenings were filled with music and dancing and Capirinhas and lots of confused head nodding at the many people who attempted conversations with me in Portuguese. 

We celebrated Jessica´s little sister, Jhady´s, birthday at a Samba club (nothing like celebrating with a 15 year old to make you feel mature), strolled through crowded streets full of drunk teenagers (I now have a horrifying idea of what we must have all looked like in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for Spring Break 2004), watched the sun come up from the balcony of a club overlooking the ocean, and danced in the rain.











Carnival has a rich history, dating back to reign of the Catholic church during the middle ages in Europe. The parties commence from Friday to Tuesday before Ash Wednesday marking the fourty days of Lent leading up to Easter. Traditions from Africa and the Caribbean are now intrinsically intertwined with the annual celebrations, incorporating the infamous Samba music and dance that characterizes this world renowned party. One of the greatest underlying themes during Carnival is tied to a medieval celebration called the Feast of Fools where deacons and young clergy participated in burlesque-style demonstrations of excess and obscenities. For these five days the world turned upside down; kings dressed as beggars, bums became royalty, men dressed as women and priests frolicked with the nymphs. In modern day Carnival, the parade of the 'opposites' one of the most anticipated events of the week. This is the people's Carnaval. This is not the Carnaval you see on TV; we are not in Rio de Janiero, you will find no giant floats here, no bootylicious women is giant feathered headdresses and sequined thongs, no parades of Samba schools. But you will find a whole lotta this...























Five days of licentiousness concluded in an explosion of glitter. With the sun already high in the sky we took the bus home, and for what seemed like the first time, my red eyes fixated on the insanely green scenery that blurred by. Oh right, I'm in a tropical paradise. For almost a week we hadn't managed to make it outside before 4pm. It was quite an experience but I was thankful that Carnaval was over. Now the real Brasil begins...