Monday, December 8, 2008


It seems Brazilians can't get enough carnival.  Many of the major cities celebrate carnival and have their own off-season version as well.  Natal is no exception.  The city just hosted its eighteenth annual "Carnatal" during the first weekend in December.  It draws about a million people to this city of 800,000.  The party spans about fifteen blocks and drastically changes traffic patterns for about four days.
In order to be in the action, you have to order a special t-shirt that will ensure your place inside the ropes.   There, a large truck with a popular musical artist performing on top slowly drives through the sea of people .  Drinks are served and bathrooms are available to those wearing the shirts.  People outside the ropes and without the t-shirts don't have access to a bathroom or much-needed security but are welcome to follow the music along.  These people are nicknamed "popcorn". 
Here's an areal view of this year's event:
  We're not in this crowd.  We stayed home as much as possible.

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