Riowakening

Brazil through an Australian's eyes

March 18, 2017


Ambushing the Sambódromo with hundreds of other Brazilian Carnaval party animals was one of the best moments of my life.

The epicentre of Brazil’s biggest celebration just days earlier now lay empty of the floats, colours, beats and beauties which had danced through it before thousands of the happ...

February 2, 2017


Brazil's Carnival really is the greatest party on Earth.

You hear these calls thrown around about different celebrations around the world but unless you’ve been lost in the middle of them it’s hard to truly understand the passion of the person in your ear. But Rio Carnival is said in these breaths...

January 16, 2017


There are so many Brazilians with so much pride for their country and others with so much shame.

For a lot it's a mix of the two. It’s one of the contradictions I’ve noticed over here because Brazilians truly love their culture and people more than just about any other country I can think of, but...

January 13, 2017

Heading to a music night in the back of an Uber through Centro’s grungy streets dotted with dilapidated, graffitied-covered buildings, I couldn’t help but think ‘Rio is like the Berlin of South America’.

These two cities aren’t the the richest in their countries, but they're the coolest, and i...

January 9, 2017

Coming all the way to South America and not visiting Brazil is like having sex without achieving orgasm - it’s great but you missed the best part.

I’ve seen a few people I know making such trips recently and it really leaves me scratching my head, but I’m sure a big part of it is simply to do with...

January 3, 2017

As a Christmas orphan I hopped on a bus to find other family-less travellers in beautiful Buzios.

Along with backpackers from the hostel we chased beaches for days across this laid-back beach town. It feels like it’s a million miles from Rio, but in actual fact it’s only a few hours.

The standard...

December 19, 2016

I've been living in Rio for most of the year, a city which suffers from some pretty bad problems. 

But for all its issues it doesn't suffer from Baird problems - the imagined kind of our conservative NSW Premier, like city streets full of drunken louts apparently too dangerous to walk down at night...

December 9, 2016

An Italian tourist who took a wrong turn into a favela and wound up dead with a bullet in his head today is another reminder of the ever-present danger bubbling below the beauty of Rio.

The 52-year-old, Roberto Bardella (on the left above), was riding a motorcycle alongside his cousin Rino Polato,...

November 24, 2016

You'll see Aussie surf brands worn all over Brazil, from the beaches to the gangsters in the favelas just like Quiksilver above. 

In Australia you’ll find Brazil’s Havaianas on feet from the coast to the bush, on movie stars to the homeless. Despite this, Australians and Brazilians wouldn...

November 11, 2016

The uproar recently surrounding the soul-crushing price of tickets to Lollapalooza Brasil is just a glimpse of Brazil's huge cost problem.

For a country with so much poverty, many things are surprisingly and confusingly expensive here. That is until you get to know a bit about Brazil. 

In August t...

November 7, 2016

You lose part of yourself when you try talk in another language.

That quick wit, an off the cuff observation, a complex thought, jokes, all suppressed as you try and think just how the hell to say them. It's been eye opening, stumbling my way through interactions and being on the outside of convers...

October 25, 2016

Sao Paulo has to be one of the most underrated and unloved great cities of the world.

While just about everyone knows the famous sun-drenched vistas of Rio, most foreigners know nothing about Sampa.

Even some Brazilians who aren’t from there, and some who are, don’t like it - it doesn’t have the b...

October 16, 2016

A newspaper front page with a little girl covered in her dead mother’s blood declared “Terrorism in Rio is everyday”.

In the grisly story from July, Cristiane Andrade, 46, was stabbed in the neck in her car's front seat sitting next to her daughter in a supermarket carpark. The girl ran to a nearby...

September 29, 2016

Amidst the sexed-up excitement of men clamouring to reach Brazil and indulge their fantasies all sense of reality seems to go missing.

So I'm going to put a little of it back into the discussion, especially if you are reading this eyeing off a first time trip. Brazilian women it's fair to say are t...

September 20, 2016

Brazil has turned its big time crime problem into prime time television.

Taking the lead expertly from the USA, cameras chase Brazil’s machine-gun carrying police as they swerve and run through dingy streets capturing criminals.

Hours-long news programs dedicated to reporting on crime across the c...

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I'm Ian Walker, an Australian freelance journalist and travel writer who ditched his job as a full-time newspaper reporter to move to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Riowakening Ipanema
Riowakening Ipanema Beach
Riowakening Ipanema Elevated
View of Rocinha, the Largest Favela in Brazil, With Over 70,000 Inhabitants, Ocean in the Horizon an
Riowakening Cantagalo
Riowakening Rio Lagoa
Riowakening Rio Lagoa 2
Riowakening Arpoador
Riowakening Rio Centro
Riowakening Technobloco Tunnel
Riowakening Technobloco Sambadromo
Riowakening Pedra do Sal
Riowakening Lapa
Riowakening Ipanema Night
Riowakening Ipanema 2
Riowakening Ipanema Football
Aerial view of Favela da Rocinha, Biggest Slum in Brazil on the Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, and Skyl
Riowakening Vidigal
Riowakening Rio Lagoa 3
Drone Niteroi
Parque Lage