It can be done. Surviving the four-day onslaught of music, dancing, drinking and eating that is Brazil's Carnaval is possible. In fact, Flavors of Brazil has just done so, successfully, for the seventh time - twice in Salvador (home to Brazil's largest Carnaval), twice in Rio de Janeiro (famous for it's epically spectacular samba parades), and now three times in Recife/Olinda (known as the country's most traditional celebration). It's all a matter of judiciously expending the body's caloric and energetic resources. Go all out by all means, but don't go all out all the time - it just can't be done. Carnaval goes on non-stop for at least 96 hours, and no one, no matter how much Red Bull they drink, can do the same.
For a very short look at what Carnaval looks like at street level and at full intensity, watch this video that we made last Sunday in Olinda. The video shows one of the city's many blocos (Carnaval bands) passing by, with a singer atop a make-do sound truck pulled through the streets by the band's strongest members, and with the group's multitude of fan following along behind, singing and dancing in time to the Carnaval music.
We'll return to our normal, more culinarily focused, posts starting on Monday, Feb. 18.