June 1, 2018


I was getting out of the lift in my Rio de Janeiro apartment building when the random Brazilian guy riding alongside me gave me a hug goodbye.

I’d never met him before. Even more strangely he was with his wife at the time who just smiled like it was totally normal. But it wasn’t a hug hug, like th...

March 24, 2018


Normal one day, crazy the next.


This would be the honest slogan for Rio favela tours, ripping off Queensland's era-defining "beautiful one day, perfect the next" tourism campaign. 

Like a dormant volcano, random eruptions of violence between rifle and grenade toting gangsters and police...

March 11, 2018


I had my insider's guide to Rio Carnival published on news.com.au

There is nothing better than writing about things you love, and this fell 100% into that category. The words just rolled off the tongue as I drew back my experiences from my first Carnival which will forever stay crystalised in my...

February 17, 2018

Technobloco? More like Cryptobloco.

The legend of Technobloco spread so far and wide over the past year that it grew with as much hyped up ferocity as Bitcoin. After the hundreds of us there had one of the best nights of our lives 12 months ago, word of the magic of this underground bloco had level...

January 31, 2018


There's a great woman who works on Ipanema Beach that is impossible to forget. 

Vanessa Cabral dos Santos, or Vanessa Esplendorosa as she's known on the sand, sells acai, the Amazonian berry superfood turned purple smoothie health snack which can be mixed with things like banana, granola and...

December 30, 2017


I’M living in a city where the gangs are so out of control the army has been called in to keep the peace.

Like many predicted before last year’s Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro’s hopes for a new beginning were snuffed out along with the cauldron. The economy is in recession, automatic gun fire echoe...

September 13, 2017


DOES Brazil’s Christ shed a tear looking down over the sadness below him?

It’s a question Rio de Janeiro’s residents ask as they gaze up to what has become the most dangerous wonder of the world.

Last Friday the steep 4km Corcovado jungle trail to the giant Christ the Redeemer statue was closed the...

May 1, 2017


If you’re thinking of coming on a holiday to Brazil and Rio it's a great life choice to make, believe me.

There can be a lot to get your head around as a tourist though so here are some travel tips and advice for anyone that wants to jump on a plane for a Brazilian holiday. Follow these and you'll...

April 26, 2017


Hardly a country has needed Uber so much as Brazil.

Between its huge traffic jams, chasm of social inequality, tumbling economy and ripoff taxi drivers, the nation of over 200 million people had been crying out for disruption. It has exploded in popularity here and is now the phone app’s third lar...

April 5, 2017


"A good criminal is a dead criminal."

That’s the meaning of the Portuguese words “um bandido bom é um bandido morto” on the lips of people from one end of Brazil to the other. But it’s not often it’s caught on camera, City of God style, where police officers shoot criminals dead, expediting the co...

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...

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...

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...

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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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