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Skate Trip Brazil 1: (EN)

foto: Lukas Danek

Lukas Danek is a talented skateboarder. He just placed eighth at the national championships. "Nowadays I am taking it more as fun and inspiration for young people," he explains. Lukas found an organization the Ride For Happiness, which is dedicated to youth /FB/. Most of the time he spends with his wife in Poland, they are trying for a baby and they travel regulary to Prague. His wife is also involved in the nonprofit sector– she is the founder and president of the organization Ternype International Roma Youth Network, which is dedicated to Roma youth.

We have for you his memories of the magical journey to Brazil. "Crail Trip to Brazil happened in 2012, when I was a professional skateboarder and I made a living from it. I am riding for the Crail company , which manufactures trucks – chassis for skateboards, for several years, says Lukas." The trip to Brazil was part of a video shoot named Crailers and I think it was my best and most inspiring skateboard trip in my life. "
/photo album/
Trip to Brazil
Day after Thanksgiving
Prague-London 18:30-19:40
Only now I am starting to realize, where I am really flying to.
I'm very happy that I met skateboarding community and people associated with it.
Crail company for which I ride for five years, invited me on a monthly trip to get to know the team and the business owner.
In recent months I have communicated a lot with the team manager Pedro, whom I have not yet met personally, and I persuaded him to invite me to Brazil.
I offered that we could do there a lot of photos and clips, that I could use to represent Crail in Czech Republic.. We succeeded, I am on the plane to Sao Paulo!
On the plane, I started talking with Marly, who sits next to me. She is about sixty years old (business woman :), she is very nice and when she saw my tattoo of Michael Jackson she immediately began telling me how she loved him. Marly takes care about humanitarian actions and is travelling between Denmark and Brazil, has a daughter, Natalie, who also moves in humanitarian circles. Both are actively helping people on the streets.

29 Minutes to landing !!!!!
Cartão de Entrada
The sun rise awakened the entire plane.
Below me Sao Paulo is appearing. I am at an altitude of 3200 meters, the landscape below me is full of green hills and the city does not seem to end.
I see huge blocks of flats, similar to the ones I know, just much more dense - it's house to house, one smaller, one larger and there are thousands.
Marco and Pedro from Crail are waiting for me just before the exit.
We sit in the car and go to downtown Sao Paulo. I can not believe where I am, it's so different.
7:30 first joint
Four-lane highway stretches to the city. On the way roofs of huge houses peep through the horizon, along the highway the Tiete river stretches. Reggae is playing. We are entering the city center of Sao Paulo, more cars, more barracks, more people.
Down Town
We're going to eat at the local "flea market" where you can buy everything from animal to a pen.
We have local snack - pastel - in to puff pastry you choose meat, fruit, or whatever comes to your taste, then this is beautifully fried until golden and delicacy is ready. One costs less than CZK 30, you have two of those and you're full.
We moved to the first skate spot, Roosevelt plaza. It is the most famous street spot in the city where most of skaters meets.
It is a huge plaza and there are ledges, stairs, rails, banks, well, all that is possibly needed.
I am told that skateboarding is the second most popular sport in Brazil.
Another spot is the Theatro Municipal, very well known, I remember it from footage of Rodrigo TX.
The place is safe only in the daytime and is best if you at least with three people.
After a 14 hour flight, I have had enough!
A short walk from Marcus place, there is such a large park where all around are scattered people on crack. They call it Crackee Land.
At the next corner is a little larger intersection where from the window of a car you can buy from local vendors anything, figurine of Santa Claus or fresh blackberries. Everywhere on the streets and squares people are sleeping, among them children. No one seems to be bothered with it it seems.
Concrete jungle.
We drive out of Downtown in to the street that runs several kilometers just straight. Along the way there are only factories, warehouses, burnt-out cars and slums.
In the middle of the road sits a homeless man on a plastic chair. Everyone drives around him as if it was normal thing to do.
We ride out from industrial underworld in to a better part of Sao Paulo. It looks completely different, clean streets, traffic lights with countdown. Pedro says that in this part of the town rich people live, who no longer know on what to spend their money.
After a while, I am finding out that we are now in Pedro`s district. We came to a beautifull house where he lives with his parents. The rooms are beautifully decorated, luxurious style, there is family atmosphere all around.
I am having a cigarette in a beautiful garden with Jacuzzi and two dachshunds dogs. The weather is quite muggy, overcast and there is drizzle.
In the garden is this big banana tree, on it and around 300 bananas! Flying around are little birds who want to steal dogs granules.
Pedro`s father is playing gitar and violin and his mother is a famus singer.
For dinner we have traditional meal of rice, beans and chicken. In a discussion about the food it came to the local delicacy: the people's hung here turtle by their feet, wait until all the blood will flow to the head and then slit it and drink their blood. From the remnants of the turtle they make soup. Different region, different manners.
Crail crew arrived (Gustavo, Andre, Filip).
We play the guitar, drink beers and grill "Lingesa" - sausage like stuffed casings, similar to our Romani food "Goja", but these are with meat and not with potatoes.
I am exhausted, I'm looking forward to the first sleep in Brazil !!
25.11.2012 8:45

Loud music woke me up - around our house runs hundreds of people, it's a marathon, even Pedro himself was surprised.
After coffee and a cigarette I pack my things and we drive to Downtown, where I have a room booked at the hotel, as Pedro`s parents are returning home. Along the way we will drop of Julia, his younger sister, who goes on to do exams at the university, it's apparently a very tough and not many of the students can make it to the test, for the year there is only one single term.
Pedro shows me on the way, where his mother works – besides being singer, she is the sales manager for the GN Chevrolet.
My hotel is about 5 minutes from Roosevelt plaza, which is super cool :)
We are walking the streets for a meeting with the camera man Zokretou.
After some warm-up we are going to try to shoot some footage on the lower part of the beach.
After a few attempts, I returned a total nice and big Backside kickflip over the Gap.
On the second attempt, I have broken the skate and on the third I made it again.
It just started raining.
We are moving to the spot under the bridge. Rain cease to fall.
We go on one of the streets where there are only bars, clubs and pubs. We sit down in the garden of a nice bar and watch as the sun comes out from behind the clouds. Daniel passes around, the famous skater, he rides for Adidas and knows well Peter Horvát. Daniel offers, that we go with him at the local Samba gathering, which is every last weekend of the month. We decide to go.
When we arrive at the place, I can not believe my eyes. Huge tent in a center of the park, under the tent women, men and children are sitting in a circle and playing various instruments. All around, lots of people of all different races.
Nobody is looking at anyone else as crazy, because crazy are all - in a good way. Everyone dancing, drinking beers selling popcorn and skewers on the streets. Unbelievable experience.
After few hours of samba and quite a lot of beers we move on to the Element party thrown in honor of recruiting girls to longboard. It's a smaller club with pool in which you can ride.
Crew of guys were riding and girls were screaming.
26.11. 2012 
I wake up very early, 7:35
Pedro picks me up and we go to the Crail House, we walk past Crackee Land, which is on the way. It's really crazy.
Crail office is also at the warehouse, so many skate items in one place, I have never seen yet.
I met the owner of Crail, Sergio, he is pretty cool guy.
There's also Otavio Neto that I know since childhood from the Mystic Cup, he is member of the Crail team.
We set out together for lunch at the local "Sfiha“. Food tastes as dumplings stuffed with smoked meat.
All people whom I am meeting are very friendly, during introductions they always give a hug.
We arrived at the Roosevelt plaza.
I made line bs 180 out of ten stairs halfcap ollie and kickflip over the gap. It went quite quickly.
Reefers are not green but black, quite interesting. Anyway it works.
I showed the boys photos from Prague and photos of my house, they really enjoyed it and did not understand the price of rent. Here they are renting an apartment in a terrible condition about $ 800.
We met a guy named Manolo Manijo. He was there when here in Brazil És team filmed the legendary video Menikmati.
I bought from him a recycled wallet made of carton milk with cool skate photo.
I am really happy from it, he even told me how to make this wallet.
We played together skate game where I was defeated 4: 1, but then I had successfully pick my self up and won :)
We are on the move, direction uptown. We go by bus because Pedro had to leave the car with his dad.
The bus driver sits there like on the throne and in front of him swivel wheels at the pass payment.
We arrived at the main avenue Paulista, it's a part where there are very significant buildings, banks, museums, post office.
We walk down the street, which is full of spots, but also people, therefore here you can skate only in the early morning or late evening.
Incredible thing happened to me. I'm walking on Paulista street and suddenly I hear a shout from behind - "Lukas!" - I turn to see my friend from Finland, Jani Laitilalu, by the way a super skater. We jumped on eachother, we can't comprehend, how we could meet in such a big country full of people.
Jani burst out with his loud laugh and everyone on the street turned their eyes on us.
We sit down on the curb for a cigarette and start chatting.
Jani's got a little daughter here, so he comes here quite often. He works for Selfish distribution, a company of Jeremy Rogers.
We exchanged contacts and agreed that we meet later at the Roosevelt plaza.
With Pedro, we went to have our first beer Serramalte [seramouč].

Paulista is the nicer part of town, no one sleeps on the streets and people around here walk mostly dressed in suits.
In Downtown is exactly the opposite.

The way back to the Roosevelt plaza is a beautiful downhill.
For a while we sat there and watched Jani trying sw heel flip out of 10 stairs. When he finally had it, his back sylemblok fell out.
Jani is looking for a room to rent, so for now I am taking him with me to the hotel.
We're going to eat and we talk about how is Brazil.

On our way, around Crail office, we met a gentleman on the broken wheelchair. As the front wheels of the chair he had installed part of the shopping cart and asked us, if we could give him a skateboard, that for him it would be much easier. We agreed to meet up with him the next day.
There's a lot of disabled people here and for some skateboard is the best means of transport.
I'm pretty tired, today I will stay and rest at the hotel.
I do not know in which part of Downtown I am, but my whole street is full of gay and lesbian bars, clubs are even divided here. Love flows in all directions.

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