Folu's Travel Diaries: A trip To Brazil - How This Started
So it took me a while to decide where to start on this most interesting of Journeys and I will do my best to start at the Beginning.
The Idea to visit Brazil was introduced to me 3 weeks before my take off date by a girl who has become my sister friend, her name is Juliana Osunyemisi Luna and she is Brazilian.
I had met Luna (as all her friends affectionately call her) almost exactly a year before while she was with a documentary team in Nigeria, following her journey from the point a DNA test confirmed that she was (on her Father's side) part Yoruba and part Fulani.
Then fast forward from journeying with her to Osogbo and The Shrine to watch Femi kuti rehearse, to Luna re-visiting Nigeria on holiday and inviting me to visit Rio de Janeiro for my Birthday. It seemed a joke at the time, but three weeks later at on the 16th of November I found myself crossing over the immigration line in to Rio de Janeiro.
It would have been nice to have arrived in Rio less tired and ragged, more bright and sunny. But arrive bedraggled I i did and met the smiling face of Hugo who Luna had sent to pick me up. He helped me grab my bags and together we stepped into a cloudy and wet dark night.
To visit Brazil on a Nigerian passport you must apply for a visa in accordance with the purpose of your trip, so give yourself plenty of time! As with any other country, some passports are visa exempt so do your research and check with a travel company like the one which made this trip possible: Jekan Travels. They handled all the flight bookings and put me on South African airways which is a reliable and usually pleasant airline to fly with. Flying with them there are two stops on the way to Rio de Janeiro : 1st at Johannesburg and then at Sao Paulo.
What followed next was a series of real experiences which gave me a hint of what it would feel like to live like a Carioca for a few days.
Day dawned bright and early (seriously the sun was out in full force by 6am in the morning to reveal a city of Character, Light and Colour. A city I could not wait to explore over the next few days.
When visiting, make sure you take Dollars to change to the Local currency which is Brazilian Reals with an exchange rate of about R$3(BRL) to $1 (USD).
My first day light encounter with Rio it struck me how the vibrancy I feel in Lagos is present here. Also energetic and a potentially dangerous city but with so many worlds within it to discover. Even in moments of simplicity, Rio de Janeiro is beautiful. And I aim to show you my personal experience over the next few weeks!
So come back next week for more!