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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nearly 24 hours! Blackout Ipanema

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      We are used to blackouts in Nova Friburgo, every time the wind blows, it rains hard, or a branch falls, we have blackouts.  To survive them we have candles handy, a flash light always charged and for the really long blackouts, a lantern that keeps the shadows at bay. 

But in Rio we have no standing plan….

We arrived in Rio yesterday at a little after one in the afternoon, and at 4 or so the electricity went out.  It flickered on, then off and on and off, then nothing.  At 7:30 in the evening it was dark in the apartment, even darker in the hallways, and the stairs where no natural light reaches – really, really dark.  We had one candle, and one lighter, and two cell phones that eased the darkness in the bathroom, but no plan.  012 (2)
We walked down the dark stairs using our cell phones as flashlights.  Down on the main street all the stores were closed down, street lights and stop lights were out,  one poor policeman was out in the intersection holding his hand up politely, no flashlight or reflective clothing, just optimistic anticipation that the speeding busses would come to a stop for him.   No option there to entertain us so we walked up four blocks towards Copacabana and found a place with lights and cold beer….. 
No lights (or phone, computer, internet) until around 3 today.  No stores were open, no restaurants open to feed me lunch, worker sitting on the steps of businesses, wondering the sidewalks, waiting…. 
Nearly 24 hours without electricity, we need to get a plan.  But for now I have to go empty the refrig – toss out everything that spoils in 34 degree temps ….


  1. That must be difficult for you, and frustrating to have it happen so often. Especially coming from the states where it doesn't happen very often at all.

  2. we weren't om Rop at the first of November when the country wide blackout happened, otherwise it has never happened to us in Rio. The electricty in Friburgo comes through the forest so is to be expected. now we know - now we prepare

  3. Dear Shabby Girl,

    You must be lucky to live in a part of the US that doesn't loose power often.
    We have lived in Florida and we always lost power during storms, both in Tampa and Miami.
    Now we live in New England and we see problems with loosing power all the day, either because of powerful wind storms during the Summer or Ice and Freezing Rain during the winter, we always loose power around here.
    Last year a small town just north of Boston lost power for 3 weeks in a roll in the middle of the winter, people had to be rescued from their homes and taken to shelters with heating.
    I guess Rio just becames news all over the world, when here it is only in the local news.

  4. I see I have arrived in the darkness. Better in the dark than not at all. Thinking of you this Thanksgiving. Hope you get your lights back on.

    Take care, friend. I miss all you gals and guys and all the fun we used to have. Perhaps things will get back to normal. In the meantime, you are in my thoughts.

  5. We had a blackout too this week after a furious storm ..but only for an hour ...we lose power perhaps every six or seven years for an hour or two at most.

  6. Black outs are terrible. We had a few, luckily just for cople of hours. We need electricity for everything.

    Throwing out spoilt food is terrible.Once my friend went away and came back to find out they had a blackout.

    Did you celebrate Thanksgiving? We don't.