In Pedra do Sal happens every week, the most authentic, entertaining and traditional public cultural event in Rio de Janeiro.
The location: a rock, until the early 20th century, that it was on the edge of the sea.
Today, it is about about 450 meters from the shore, due to the landfills made for the port construction.
XVIII century. It was on this site that salt from overseas was delivered from ships anchored near it. To make it easier, slaves cut steps on the rock, that today facilitate access to Morro da Conceição.
It was around the Pedra do Sal that a Negro community searched for cheap housing and work by the port. While the men unloaded the salt, sugar and other products, women, known as aunties, would prepare the food in the pensions in the area. And life was lived by the rhythm of drums and jongo (typical Brazilian dance of African origin, which influenced a lot in the creation of samba).
The site became a reference point of the black culture that spread its influence throughout the community that formed in the neighborhoods around the port.
In Pedra do Sal vicinity, gathered the most important samba composers of the past, such as Donga and Pixinguinha .
From there came the first demonstrations that would lead to the creation of the samba schools that we know today.
Its historical and cultural significance have been listed by the State Institute of Cultural Heritage.
BUT WHAT HAPPENS EVERY WEEK IN PEDRA DO SAL?
The answer is: the best street samba (outdoor).
Every Monday and Friday , musicians and singers come together, sitting around tables and chairs in front of the stone and then the Samba of Pedra do Sal is created . People start arriving around 8PM. But the samba begins around 9PM.
There are no chairs for the public, all participate standing or sitting on the rock.
In turn, numerous food stands selling beer and snacks . Simple like that. In the most, it is to enjoy a good samba and have fun.
ATENTION: There is no show if is raining.
NOT FAR AWAY…
A hundred meters away, in the Largo of São Francisco da Prainha there is samba happening also. In general, a small stage is set up in the square and the festival takes place. In addition to the food and drinks stands, there are some restaurants too. Among them is the famous Angu do Gomes.
The Angu is a type of food brought by slaves. It is a mush of cornmeal, served with pieces of beef ( some organs included) well spiced and cooked.
O tradicional Angu do Gomes. Que também é servido com carne moída para quem não gosta de miúdos.
In 1955 a Portuguese, Mr. Gomes, had the brilliant idea of selling the angu in pushcarts on the Rio streets. Especially at night, the movement was popular . The thing grew and in 1977 his son expanded the business opening a restaurant. Soon there were about 300 employees, 40 carts around the city and more than 1000 Angu dishes sold per day.
The Angu do Gomes became a typical dish of Rio landscape.
HOW TO GET THERE
ou can get in Pedra do Sal by taxi, subway or bus. Here are the tips:
The best option is to go by taxi. Always following the tips you can find by clicking here.
In the days of Roda de Samba, the area is quite busy. In general, it is not difficult to find taxi to leave the site, there is even a taxi stop in the nearby street.
Only the line 2017 ( Rodoviária – Leblon ) has the route starting from the Zona Sul ( Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana) . It is a special bus with air conditioning, which departs every 20 minutes from Leblon, the last one leaves at 8: 30pm. Find here, on this map the route of the line, to see if it passes close to where you are staying.
You should take the bus towards the Rodoviária (red path) and get off at the first stop on Sacadura Cabral Street.
To return, I suggest you take a taxi.
Bus, may be the most economical way of transport around Rio, but it can also be the most complicated to explainand and to understand. To help you, I advise you to use a very interesting application that has being indicated by the Rio City Hall because it is freqeuntly updated any time there are rerouting of the bus lines. It’s called “Moovit”
Download the app for Android or iOS.Have your mobile GPS on.
From the home screen a blue dot locates your position. Click “Get Directions/Find a Line” and enter the address where you want to go.
Attention: is very important that on the next screen,you click where it says “Options” and in the window that opens select “Less transfers” which will avoid routing you on too many bus exchanges.
Click “Let’s Go“. Then you may choose the best option, which is usually the first. one.
The app guides you to the nearest bus stop, tells how long the route is, accompanies you in every step indicating each stop, warns you with audible signal when you should get off guiding you to your exact destination.
You can also go by Metrô and Tram.
Here’s how to do it: Take the line 1 train, direction “Uruguai” (the one with the red light on the side).
Get off at “Cinelândia” Station. To leave the platform, look for the sign indicating Exit “C” – Pedro Lessa Street. When leaving the station you will already see the Cinelandia Stop. Take the Tram, “Praia Formosa” direction and get off at the “Parada dos Museus” (Parade of Museums). Walk to “Pedra do Sal”.
See the map below how to get the Pedra do Sal leaving the Parade of Museums.
One must also remember that between 4:30PM and 7:00PM, Metro, circulates packed full.
To return, I suggest you take a taxi.
Download here the map of the lines of the Rio Metro and save to your phone. It will be useful to help you find the station where you are and know what direction to take the train . Leaving any of the South Zone neighborhood you will use most often, Line 1, marked on the map in orange, direction Uruguai.