Brazil
Brazil

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276 travelers at this place:

  • Day49

    Maceio, Brazil

    February 21 in Brazil

    We are headed around the “nose” of South America and this lovely city provided us with the restfulness of lovely beaches, turquoise water and warm breezes as we strolled along the pedestrian walkway that runs the full length of the beach.
    There are some rather unusual sailboats (see photos) that take people out for rides. They are very casual, with wooden benches on the deck of the boat and beautifully shaped sails. Coconut water and ice cream seem to be the refreshment of choice here.
    We met and visited with a charming young Brazilian woman who is a construction engineering student and is here on vacation for a few weeks.
    One more stop before we head into the Amazon!
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  • Day60

    This is our last stop both in Brazil and the Amazon. This is a very small village is located on a very small river off the Amazon and is unusual because the waters are very clear and it draws many tourists and locals for swimming.
    It is difficult to imagine we could be any hotter than we had been in the past couple of days, but it definitely was possible. It took just a few minutes for our clothes to be completely soaked and the unforgiving sun mercilessly beating down on us did nothing to dry them - hhmmmm... maybe it was the 95% humidity.
    In any case, a quick stop tomorrow to allow the pilot to disembark and we will be on our way to the Barbados. We are looking forward to 3 full days at sea so we can begin to process all we have seen in the various countries in South America and start to ease into life off the ship.
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  • Day48

    Salvador, Bahia

    February 20 in Brazil

    Salvador is an interesting city that is primarily influenced by Africa in everything from the food preparation, the handicrafts and the music.
    We had a fascinating excursion today that was a percussion workshop. It was located in one of the favelas (Salvador has a population of 2 million with half living in favelas). We were in a small recording studio that was owned by a gentleman named Peta who had been playing percussion instruments since he was 5 - he is now 47.
    He was an incredibly patient man and entrusted each of the 12 of us with one of his special instruments. He taught us various samba rhythms and gave us each a chance to play something. He gave us an idea of his musical history and life in Brazil. He is extremely talented and explained that as a child he would practice one particular beat for 3 hours at a time. He just completed Carnival here where he played for 8 hours each day.
    And, bless his heart, at the end he encouraged us all to take up an instrument and try to play with his background beat. Instead of plugging his ears, he smiled a wide smile and made us feel pretty good about ourselves.
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  • Day51

    Forteleza, Brazil

    February 23 in Brazil

    Forteleza is our last stop before entering the Amazon River in a few days. We had intentions of going in and at least taking a walk despite the fact that it is oppressively hot and humid. There is often a local person on board to offer assistance and answer questions. When we asked if there was somewhere we could walk, he said “no”. Apparently crime here is too high to allow a “gringo” to go anywhere safely. He suggested we ride the shuttle to the mall. When we got there (a very nice mall) we were escorted inside. We used the opportunity to pick up some necessities and walk a bit in the air conditioning.
    We were escorted back to the ship and decided to indulge in a nice lunch since we felt a little shorted on our stop.
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  • Day41

    Paraty, Brazil (or not)

    February 13 in Brazil

    I’m afraid that all we are going to see of Paraty, Brazil is out our windows. Captain Zanello just informed us that the weather is too dangerous to allow us into this port. Rough seas, 60 knot winds and an hour-long tender ride from our anchor spot all add up to a big “no”. So we are on our way to the next port (where it is also supposed to be raining).
    After that we are headed to Rio (where it is ALSO supposed to raining), and we are hoping this weather system will drop the temperature in Rio from the 109 degrees that it was yesterday.
    Soooo, the bar is open and it will be reading and watching movies today.
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  • Day55

    So yesterday we turned from the South Atlantic Ocean into the Amazon River. To aid me in my inability to describe the scale of this river, picture this: the Amazon River basin covers an area the same size as the continental United States. Inconceivable. The flow is more than 12x the Mississippi River and the mouth is over 200 miles wide.
    The four of us had an excursion planned for today that was a hike through the jungle in a 2,000,000 acre National Park. As I looked out our window this morning shortly before we were to leave, I was dismayed to se that a good portion of the window was covered with mosquitoes. Those who know me well recognize that I am bait - the mosquitoes will always bite me first before snacking on anyone I am with. So even though I had on bug-proof pants and long-sleeved shirt, a hat sprayed with bug spray, boots and socks doused in bug spray and I had 100% deet on my face and hands, I went back for a second spray-over.
    So we are sitting on the bus in the pouring rain and I am forced to contemplate the wisdom of this outing. A hike through the Amazon rain forest during the rainy season wearing at least a full pound of mosquito repellent. Why not? I feel good that they have not given the lecture yet about the bugs of the Amazon because that just might keep me locked in the bathroom on the ship. Speaking of bugs, check out the photo of the water bug that was near our dining table last night.
    The hike was incredible. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and managed the 12 of us with the help of a young Brazilian guide who went along ahead of us with a big machete. We saw multiple fruit trees, the Brazil nut tree, rubber trees and a tree that I can’t remember the name of that grows to 300’ tall. There are 238 different types of termites here. If the bullet ant bites you, it causes pain that is much like being shot with a gun - definitely want to avoid that one.
    We have 4 more stops on the Amazon before heading into the Caribbean Sea. Stay tuned.
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  • Day42

    Buzios, Brazil

    February 14 in Brazil

    We are hot and loving the beautiful sunshine here in Buzios, Brazil. This is a get-away town for people who live in Rio and Sao Paola, so everyone is happy, drinking beer and eating ice cream. And, recovering from the carnival celebration last night. They were sweeping up piles of confetti on the streets.
    We appreciated our little ship today when it was time to ride the tender back from town. We looked in disbelief at the tender line for the other cruise ship in the harbor that had to be 300 people. Someone caught us and directed us to our line of about 10 people.
    We enjoyed all the colorful architecture, tiles and cobbled streets here and tried to enjoy a little quiet before spending the next 3 days in Rio!
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  • Day45

    Blame it on Rio

    February 17 in Brazil

    My dear wife, Ali, is currently out of commission so this blog post on Carnival falls to me. It all started with our special tickets to the Winner’s Parade, a collection of the 6 winning Samba school entries capping off the fesivities of Brazilian Carnival. We heard about the the more than 450 block parties, the numerous street parades and the millions of people that attended the Ipanema and Cocacabana beach parties, but these happened just prior to our arrival and the city of Rio was managable for the past three days of our visit. We thought the Winner’s Parade on the last night of our visit was probably just a low-key show for visitors like us with our special passes and shuttle busses.

    Not so. The samba schools are dance clubs that work nearly a full year to develop the theme, samba music, dances and floats for their entries in Carnival. During the festivities, 5 or 6 of the 12 major schools (there are hundreds of minor schools) are selected to perform in the Winner’s Parade, which occurs in the Sambadrome, a structure built specifically for this event.

    We knew these basics ahead of time, but the reality was revealed when we saw the glow of light from the Sambadrome as our bus was crossing town, still miles away. The Sambadrome is like a linear stadium, but nearly one-half mile in length and seating more than 70,000 people. We reached our seats in the brightlly light parade stretch about 9:00 PM and people were asking us if we planned on spending the whole night. Say what?

    The first of the six schools entered the Sambadrome about 10:00 with pulsing music, fireworks, much noise and cheering. We had one beer and pizza by that point. Only then did we realize that each samba school has 3000-3500 costumed participants and 5 or 6 spectacular floats laden with dancing people who actively engage the audience. We had held off on drinking the national drink, the caipirinha, but the rush of colors, pulsating beats, costumed bodies and excitement of the event led us to unwisely succumb and imbibe as the evening progressed. I remember the name “caipirinha” by thinking of the word piranha, but it turns out the similarity is not just in the sound of the name.

    Each samba school takes about an hour to pass through the stands with a break between, during which we tried to process the overwhelming visual, auditory and social experience, (and get more caipirinhas). Then the next school starts up, with a different song, color scheme and theme (usually political, a rich field right now) and more overwhelming stimulus. We got home at 3:00 AM even with the favorable 1-hour time change that conveniently occurred that night. We didn’t even see the last two samba schools, fearing we would miss the early departure of our ship. So, Ali is in bed and I am writing. The photos accompanying this blog enhance this verbal description, but there is one word that I have never used that perhaps does it best…scintillating.
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  • Day43

    Wow! Three full days in Rio! We are always given little talks about always being aware onshore for pickpockets and petty crime, but the warnings for Rio were downright intense. Apparently, Rio has a reputation for robbery crimes-we have gone in with nothing-no jewelry, watches, bags, etc.
    We took a 5 hour walking tour our first morning and we had 2 bodyguards for 12 of us. Enough of that.
    We learned some fascinating history and heard about some of the problems that are prevalent present day, specifically, the cost of living being far too high for wages that can be earned. There are myriad issues that come from this, including the ever-growing “favelas” and drug and gang activity. Sounds like some bad politicians.
    We located a guide that took us out to a couple of clubs this evening. It was interesting in that getting there in his car, we saw no one walking around, yet the actual area where the clubs were, were teeming with people. There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving so people take a taxi to where they are partying, then take a taxi back out.
    We visited 2 clubs with live music, drank caipirinhas and yes, danced the samba. It was definitely an experience and we got a real taste of night life in Rio.
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  • Day44

    Look at me, just a couple days in Brazil and I’m speaking fluent Portuguese! Well, at least a little bit.
    After our late night last night, we had a lighter day today, walking near the port and visiting a local museum.
    The “museum of the future” was mildly interesting, but more focused on special effects (not great ones) than on content. The most interesting thing about the museum was that it is completely self-sufficient, powered by solar and taking energy from the tides.
    The other interesting thing right at the port is a mural painted by graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra on an abandoned warehouse. It is 51’ tall by 564’ long and was painted for the 2016 Olympics to represent the different ethnicities participating in the games. It is a beautiful piece and adds a great deal of character to the port area.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Federative Republic of Brazil, Brasilien, Brazil, Brasilië, ብራዚል, Brasil, البرازيل, ব্ৰাজিল, Braziliya, Бразілія, Бразилия, Berezili, ব্রাজিল, བ་རཱ་ཛིལ།, Brasile, Brazílie, བཱརཱ་ཛིལ, Brazil nutome, Βραζιλία, Brazilo, Brasiilia, برزیل, Beresiil, Brasilia, Brésil, Brèsil, Brazylje, An Bhrasaíl, Breasail, બ્રાઝિલ, Birazil, Palakila, ברזיל, ब्राज़िल, Brezil, Brazília, Բրազիլիա, ꀠꑭ, Brazilia, Brasilía, ブラジル連邦共和国, razgu'e, ბრაზილია, Brazili, ប្រេស៊ីល, ಬ್ರೆಜಿಲ್, 브라질, برازیل, Buraziiri, Braziel, Brezílɛ, ບຼາຊິວ, Brazilija, Mnulezile, Brazīlija, Brezila, Бразил, ബ്രസീല്‍, Бразили, ब्राझिल, Brażil, ဘရာဇီး, Brasīl, ब्राजिल, Brazilië, Brési, Braziilii, ବ୍ରାଜିଲ୍, Brazylia, برازيل, Brasila, Burezili, Brasili, Brezîli, බ්‍රසීලය, Baraasiil, பிரேஸில், బ్రజిల్, Brazíl, บราซิล, Palāsili, Brezilya, برازىلىيە, برازیلی, Braxil, Ba Tây (Bra-xin), Brasilän, בראזיליע, Orílẹ́ède Bàràsílì, 巴西, i-Brazil

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