I laded at Santos Dumont airport, and enjoyed one of the most spectacular landings I ever had – the landing strip is surrounded by water, and the short runway requires that the pilot presses the brake pedal to the floor. From there I took a taxi and went to where I will spend the next days – the Cantagalo favela, located between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. Apart from being five minutes away from Copacabana, the favela was one of the highlights of my stay, and it gave me the chance to get a taste of the real carioca life. This favela was among the first to be pacified under the program initiated in 2008 by the State Public Security Secretary and the Governor of Rio. Pacification means that drug dealers are chased out of the favelas by the police elite battalion (BOPE), and a permanent police force – the Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora – is located in the area. Now, there are several hostels in the neighborhood, unemployment is as low as five percent and the safety increased dramatically.
I spent the days touring the city, and visiting its landmarks:
Obrigado Brasil! Nós veremos um ao outro novamente.