Revellers take time out in Rio
THEY came, they saw and they partied; but yesterday the only signs of life were the clean-up crews that replaced the street bands and exhausted revellers.
The dawn-to-dawn parties had taken their toll, but while Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was taking a break, the sleeping giant was saving its energies for one final rave as it prepared to wrap up one of its biggest Carnival celebrations ever.
The highly anticipated announcement of this year's samba champion is generally the signal that the carnival is almost over.
The pre-Lent celebrations that began last Friday attracted 250,000 more people than expected -- bringing an estimated $500m (€360m) in revenue to the seaside city that will host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
First-time visitors to the party were exhausted.
"I didn't realise it would literally go on all the time," said Rosie Wigmore, a 19-year-old visitor from Brighton, England, who tried to veer off the carnival path and visit an art gallery, only to be swept up in yet another street band's entourage.
"You would never have this in England," she said. "If you had this many people, and everyone drinking, you'd have fights."