February 25, 2006
Day 150

Picture of a Carnaval dancer.

A dancer at Carnaval.

This afternoon, Jack, Jenny, and I took a walk around town. When we got to the river at the edge of the city, we noticed a large gathering of people, so we sat down for a beer. Soon, it turned into a large party, where people danced with their sandals around their ankles. We probably could've stayed there all night, but at sunset it was time for Carnaval to start.

We walked to the main stadium in town to see the Carnaval at 10:30 PM. I was impressed from the moment I got there. The whole thing was set up like a parade where countless people marched past us, and it was very professional. Some of the floats were three stories tall, and the costumes were ornately done. It must've taken hundreds of hours to put the whole thing together. Every few minutes, somebody from the audience would run out to hug a person in the parade and get their picture taken with him/her. Their only punishment was to be sent back into the crowd. In the end, hundreds of beautiful people wearing next to nothing danced and wiggled their way past us until nearly 4:00 AM.

Carnaval in Gualiguaychu turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It was easy to walk to from my hotel, cheap to enter ($9), lasted over five hours, and was done very professionally. The best part was that this all happened in a small town in Argentina, not in Rio di Janiero. If you happen to be in Buenos Aires at this time of year, I'd definitely recommend going to Gualiguaychu for Carnaval.

The photo album for this entry is here.

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