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Curious what backpackers do in Brazil? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day13

    The sun decided to put its hat on for a little bit yesterday so we ventured to a nearby beach. As soon as we got there we realised we had forgotten a towel so wandered back to get one after half an hour and then went to a much closer beach for a few hours. It was pretty overcast but still a good temperature to have a nap. After a long deliberation as to whether you can get sunburnt through the cloud, Simon is proof that you can get REALLY sunburnt if you don't put suncream on!

    In the evening we did a walking tour and learnt a lot about the history of Paraty. As it's Easter weekend there are a lot of Easter related services happening around the town. There are approximately 5 alters depicting the various events of Christ hidden behind doors throughout the town. You wouldn't know they were there and they only open twice a year on Holy Tuesday and Good Friday. We were therefore very lucky to see them on Friday as they won't be open again until next year!

    Leo who owns the hostel we are staying in plays in a band and they were playing at a nearby hostel in the evening so we went to show our support which was fun!

    Today we went on a boat trip which was good. We stopped at various places and got to jump off the top of the boat and swim in the sea. We also spotted 2 turtles which was incredible!

    Leo cooked up a delicious BBQ for dinner with the most amazing steak and Brazilian sausage! We are now quite rapidly slipping into a food coma so are going to chill at the hostel this evening.
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  • Day22

    We decided to stay an extra night in Florianopolis so that we didn't waste a beautifully sunny day travelling. We visited Joaquina beach which is famous for sand boarding. After a day of sunbathing we headed to the dunes to rent boards and give sand boarding a go. We hired a board which you sit down on and then another one which is more like a snowboard. It was really fun but climbing back up the dunes afterwards was exhausting so we were pooped after an hour. We missed the last bus back from the beach so we decided to walk back to our hostel. The walk was flat and it's nice and cool when the sun goes down so it was a really nice walk and only about 4km.

    In the evening we decided to treat ourselves to dinner out. We went to a very yummy Greek place which was very reasonably priced and had Greek salad and souvlaki which was delicious!

    Today we are making our way to Iguazu Falls which will be our final stop in Brazil before we cross over into Argentina.
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  • Day24

    What was meant to be a 14 1/2 hour coach journey, turned into 17 hours and a bus swap due to technical difficulties. However with 2 very numb bottoms we made it to Foz do Iguacu.

    After staying in 6 bed dorms for the last 2 weeks we decided to treat ourselves to a private room with an en-suite. Our room comes with a pool view (it's literally outside the door). And who said hosteling wasn't glamorous?!

    Around 4pm we decided to head to the Tres Fronteiras (Three Borders) where you can see the rivers that separate Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Each of the three borders have erected an obelisk painted in the national colours of their country. The lady at the hostel advised us that it was great to see at sunset however just as the sun was setting some big grey clouds decided to move in and spoil the show. By staying for the underwhelming sunset, we also missed the last bus home and as the alternative of, in Simon's words, "walking through the ghetto for an hour" wasn't very appealing, we had to pay for a taxi which was a bit annoying.

    In the evening we ventured out to the supermarket to pick up some bits for dinner. We didn't think it was possible but we found an even better supermarket than the last one! Unfortunately, despite access to a vast variety of exotic goods, we still managed to cook ourselves a very tasteless dinner of rice, vegetables and eggs. To quote Simon again, "I could have vomited on my plate and eaten it and it would have tasted better".

    We then spent the rest of the evening watching a huge storm unfold. Quite possibly the loudest thunder we have ever heard right on top of us with flashes of lightening that lit up the entire sky.

    Today was the day we were really looking forward to and the reason why we came here, Iguazu Falls. It was pretty overcast in the morning but the sun was due to come out in the afternoon, so to kill some time we decided to visit a Buddhist Temple which has 120 giant statues, It was a bit random but free so we decided to give it a go. At the very least we enjoyed imitating the statues.

    As promised, the sun came out and we headed to the falls. There is a scenic 1.5 km walk that you take to towards whats they call the Devils Throat. From the moment we stepped onto the walkway the views were breathtaking. At 80m high (not quite the 60km wide like i tried to tell my Dad) and the largest in the world, they really are incredible and like nothing we have ever seen before. The closer we got to the Devils Throat the wetter we became and after putting on our raincoats we ventured across the walkways, right into the middle of the falls. We were soaked!

    Only around 20% of the falls sit on the Brazilian side so tomorrow we are crossing the border to Argentina to view the falls from the other side.
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  • Day9

    Today we went with Blake's suggestion of hiking to some prison ruins. Apparently hiking to the highest peak on the island without a guide (after the last people that did it got lost and weren't found for 5 days) wasn't a sensible idea 😒

    The prison we visited used to house some of the most dangerous criminals in Brazil. The nearby beach was called Dois Rios which means two rivers. It gets its name from the two river that run down either side of the beach into the sea.

    Tonight we are adding frankfurters into the usual mix of courgette, carrot and tomato!

    Number of steps on the island:

    Day 1 - 15,651 (9.8km)
    Day 2 - 17,733 (10.4km)
    Day 3 - 7,733 (4.5km)
    Day 4 - 25,208 (16.4km)

    I think we may have overdone it on the hiking!

    Number of Spanish ladies we have annoyed due to being English and not speaking Spanish - 1

    Our new roommate was here for not more than 5 minutes! It was too cold so she cranked the temperature up on our air con. She was also annoyed with the lack of free bottled water so that she had to boil her own! She then checked out complaining that everyone spoke English! Ciao!
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  • Day18

    Having now experienced long distance, overnight bus travel in Brazil we have learnt the following:

    1. All buses come with at least one crazy old Portuguese lady.

    2. There is a reason why the seats behind the reserved over 60's seats are free (refer to point 1).

    3. Sleeping on overnight sleeper buses is difficult (for me, Simon will sleep anywhere).

    But we survived the 6 hour bus journey to São Paulo and then the 12 hour bus journey to Florianopolis where we will stay for the next few days. Another beach town however there are some nice hikes and city spots to visit.

    The forecast for today was rain so we did what any Brit would do and put on jeans and a rain coat and headed to the bus station. Typically when we got off the bus in town the sun came out and we looked like the daft overdressed tourists sweating profusely!

    We carried on though and pottered around the centre, visiting the historic market (Mercado Publico) and a very pretty museum, Museu Historico de Santa Catarina, which was formerly the colonial governor's palace.

    We then headed to the iconic bridge of Florianopolis which is undergoing some serious repairs so didn't quite live up to our expectations.

    Fingers crossed the sun will be out again tomorrow so we can find a nearby beach where Simon can give surfing a go!
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  • Day12

    We picked the perfect time to leave Ilha Grande as it was torrential rain all day! We jumped back on the boat and caught a minibus to Paraty. Unfortunately Simons travel towel didn't make it with us as he left it in the previous hostel!

    Paraty is a historic town with cobbled streets and lots of donkeys! You have to concentrate when you walk around as the cobbles are ridiculously large and very uneven!

    We are staying at Leo's Clan Beach Hostel which is amazing! Leo has been looking after us and took us to a hostel party on our first night for a couple of caipirinhas which was fun!

    Yesterday it rained all day so we had a very lazy day as there isn't much in the way of rainy day activities in Paraty! Leo put on a movie and popcorn in the morning so we did that before venturing out for lunch. For lunch we had delicious dostadas which are like toasted flatbreads. We then went for dinner in the evening with a couple of people we met in the hostel (Ciaran from Ireland and Lisa from Germany) before coming back and having a huge game of Phase 10!
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  • Day71

    04/07/17-07/07/17 Rio De Janeiro

    We flew from Iguazu to Rio de Janeiro. This was part of our trip we were both looking forward to, but also marks that our trip is coming to an end which we are both gutted about.

    In Rio we stayed in guest house that was recommended to us by a friend of a friend. It is run by a brother and sister from Canada. We are glad it was recommended to us, as was a bit away from the typical tourist locations in Rio and so we would never have found it! Although it wasn't central, it was really easy to get Uber's and they were incredibly cheap. The owners were so lovely and friendly and gave good advice on how to fill our time in Rio. Plus the view from their veranda was insane! You could see all over Rio. It was called Casa Dois Irmaos and we would thoroughly recommend it if anyone goes to Rio.

    We had two full days to fill, and we really did fill them! On our first morning we did a lot of walking. We visited the Botanical Gardens and the Parque Lage which were very pleasant.

    We then went to visit Rio's famous beaches. Starting by walking along Ipanema Beach and going up to Copacabana. We were pleasantly surprised by the beaches, which despite being city city beaches, were very clean. Even for a Tuesday afternoon in "winter" they were busy and lively.

    In the afternoon we decided to climb the Sugarloaf, one of the mountains in Rio that offers great views of the city. We could have taken the cable car, but decided to go an alternative route and climb.

    Our guide spoke limited English, and told us it would be mainly hiking, with 15m of climbing. We think that his meaning of "hike" was different to ours, it was more of a scramble and the majority of it was so steep we crawled up on our hands and knees. It was hard work but great fun! And so nice not being surrounded by other tourists.

    At the top, there was a bar (yay!) so we stayed to watch sun set over Rio with some cocktails, which were lovely. We got the cable car down though!

    The following day we started by visiting a favela. These are the "slums" in Brazil, where the poorer population live. There are lots of bad associations with favelas and the people from favelas, predominantly as many are run by drug traffickers and invoke large amounts of crime. Since the take over by Police Pacifying Units (UPPs) they have become overall safer to live in. There are lots of very strict rules and regulations in the favelas, including that anyone caught stealing gets their hand cut off, which actually made it safer than some other places in Rio.

    We visited Rocinha, which is the largest favela in Rio, with 300,000 people living inside it. It is one of the safest favelas in Rio, with low crime rates. We were shown around by a student who had grown up in Rocinha and still lived their now. She was very sweet and showed us all around, including her own home, which was really nice of her. It was actually quite nice inside. The tour company she works for is run by a half American- half Brazilian man, who was born in the favela and returned to the favela 20 years ago. He has been living there since. It was interesting to experience a different area of Rio and learn that all the prejudices associated with favelas was not accurate. In fact, people in favelas are treated very unfarely.

    That afternoon we stopped by a cafe to have empanadas for lunch, we have had quite a lot of these throughout our time in both Brazil and Argentina. They are like pasties filled with a variety of fillings and a very common and popular snack/lunch out here. These particular empanadas were some of the best!

    We then took the cog train up the mountain to see the Christ the Redeemer statue up close. Throughout Rio you can see it up on the mountain, however whenever we looked there was a cloud over it!

    When we got to the top, we were surrounded by cloud, but you could still see see the statue pretty clearly.

    It is one of the modern 7 wonders of the world, but we weren't overly impressed! But we couldn't come to Rio without seeing it.

    Another thing we couldn't come to Rio without seeing was the Escadaria Selaron, the brightly coloured stairs created by a Chilean artist, Jorge Selaron. They are covered in lots of coloured tiles and are impressive. We visited en route to our evening activity - food tour.

    We heard about the company "Eat Rio" from our guest house. It is run by a Brit called Tom who moved here 7 years ago after meeting his now wife travelling. His tour takes you to lots of traditional places, off the tourist track to sample lots of Brazilian food and drinks. Everyone we spoke to highly recommended it, but it was a full day so we didn't think we would be able to fit it in.

    Tom emailed him in advance asking whether they offer an evening tour, and we were in luck! We were offered to be his guinea pigs in an evening tour that he hadn't yet trialled at 50%.

    It was a lot of fun! There were 7 of us trying it out and he took us to some really interesting places, varying from street food to "high end", to try lots of Brazilian food and drink. We loved it, and Tom the tour guide was a great guy.

    The tour ended in a samba club which was fun. We ended up being out for 8 hours, but time flew by!

    On our last morning we thought we would say bye to Rio from the sky, by trying our hand at hang gliding. Initially, the instructor cancelled due to the wind, but it picked up for us which was great. We were able to see all over Rio. It was great fun.

    Overall, we loved Rio, and definitely want to come back one day!
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  • Day16

    We spent our Easter Sunday visiting Toboga Falls, a waterfall with a natural slide! It was so much fun to slide down!

    We followed this by a trip to the Cachaca distillery. Cachaca is a drink made from palm sugar and famous in Paraty. For R$5 (around £1.30) we had a tour around the distillery where they showed us how they made the different types of cachaca. We then got to taste them all and after about 8 shots we headed back to our hostel.

    On Monday we jumped on the bus to Trinidade which has some gorgeous beaches. Unfortunately we didn't get to witness any of these as the moment we stepped off the bus there was a torrential downpour. After hiding under a shop canopy for an hour and the rain showing no signs of stopping, we hopped back on the bus back to Paraty. All in all a very unsuccessful day! On the plus side though, we got some laundry done and now smell fresh and clean again.

    That concludes our time here in Paraty! It's been a lot of fun! Now to pack our bags again and start our 18 hours of coach journeys (overnight) to Florianopolis via São Paulo.
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  • Day20

    Our second day in Florianopolis was dry but still pretty overcast so we took the ferry boat across the lake to a little fishing village. We visited a little waterfall and then mooched around the village before hopping back on the boat. There are lots of small villages along the lake, some of which have no access by road, so the boat acts as a taxi for the locals.

    The day before we had spotted this pretty yummy looking coffee bar so we decided to treat ourselves. They were a treat as these coffees were like no coffees you have ever had before. Simon chose a latte, but it was no ordinary latte. For starters it came in a giant wine glass on which Nutella was thickly spread around the glass. It also came with a side of another giant blob of Nutella on the end of a long spoon! I opted for the coffee milkshake which was made up of coffee, milk, ice cream and chocolate sauce. They were both a taste sensation! And needless to say we felt a bit sick afterwards but they were totally worth it.

    Then just as we thought our day couldn't get any better we made another amazing discovery. Let me set the scene a little bit for you first. Supermarkets in Brazil are rubbish! They are quite small, don't really have much in them and the limited fruit and veg they do have is a bit manky. And don't even get Simon started on the meat. It looks disgusting, smells worse and more often than not can be found accompanied by flies. You can therefore imagine our delight when we stumbled upon a decent supermarket that actually half resembled a supermarket back home. The shelves were full of things you would actually want to buy and there was a plethora of fresh fruit and vegetables. There was also mince and fresh chicken breasts (not frozen like every other supermarket). We actually felt like kids at Christmas discovering a stocking full of presents at the end of our beds!

    Today we awoke to sunshine streaming through the windows and Simon waking me up for a change, excited to go to the beach. We went to a beach called Mole beach (pronounced in the Austin Powers way). What Brazil lacks in supermarkets, it sure makes up for in beaches.
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  • Day66

    03/07/2017-04/07/17 The Iguazu Falls

    We got up at 3am to get an early morning flight to The Iguazu Falls. The Iguazu River is the border separating Argentina and Brazil and the falls fall on either side.

    We started by flying into the Argentinian side, where we spent the day walking around the falls. The falls are spectacular and have been voted as one of the 7 wonders of nature. You could see them from all angles and at some points get pretty close to them.

    The highlight was at the end when we took a train up to the top to view "The Devils Throat", an area where some of the largest falls meet. It got pretty wet! The amount of water was immense, and it really was an incredible view.

    The following day we crossed over the border into Brazil and viewed them from the other side. The Brazilian side gave a good panoramic view of the falls.

    That afternoon we visited a bird sanctuary. 50% of the birds had been rescued from trafficking and the remaining 50% had been born in the Avery.

    It was very impressive as they had huge averys that you could walk through and get close to the birds. The averys were different depending on the environment that the birds liked (e.g. Water, jungle, forrest) and were so large they could still fly around without feeling too enclosed.

    Most of the birds were local to South America, and so were brightly coloured and beautiful. The Macau Avery was the most impressive, with hundreds of beautifully coloured parrots flying overhead. They got pretty close at times and were incredibly loud. We also saw lots of toucans, which were really cool!

    We are now in our last country! We can't believe how quickly time has gone, but still have time to fit in some more adventures and are heading to Rio next.
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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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