A Travellerspoint blog

Brasil II

More beach stuff.

sunny 35 °C

Well you may (or more likely not) wonder where I have been for the last few weeks. Been almost a month since the last one and I have to admit that I am a little bit behind. Been having some trouble getting online and getting photos etc uploaded. Got some crackers though so this blog (when completed) and the next should be worth checking out... probably.

Anyway.... Sloth like the 3 of us stayed in Ilha Grande for 4 days. It rained for 3 straight so we felt for Coralie but she seemed to bear up very well by sleeping almost as much as Stephane and myself. Eating here and there and having the occasional Skol to keep up our spirits. beautiful Ilha Grande is but there is not a lot to do when it rains. So 3 days relaxing and back to Rio. Night out to send Coralie back to sub-zero Ginebra well hydrated, as such ciao and obrigado chica....

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Fat Boy Slim is neither Fat nor a Boy but he certainly is a damned fine DJ. most entertaining. I am getting ahead of myself a litt. We waved off Coralie on the Saturday and went to the Maracana to wath Fluminese and Maceo play.

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General tales of mass riots and gunshots not associated with the newcomers to the league but there was a bit of jumping around and a lot of informative pointers as how to swear in Portuguese. Steph and I were both semi-fluent by the end of the game and should someone steal another pair of Steph´s flip flops we will certainly be able to harang them as they run off with their spoils. More to follow on that but he does go through them as if they are disposable items. I supppose the Bar and restaurant must be going well.

We turned up at the airport on the Sunday and wanted to go north. Not 100% sure where exactly so we managed to get to Recife. not a good town so we went to Olinda. Described in the books as cute and colonial. Not on a Sunday in January its not. We turned up late afternoon. Cab driver stunk of Cachaca. Streets were full of heavily drunk locals not wearing a lot and said drunken taxi driver decided that the most direct route to the pousada was the best and drove through the throng in the thongs. Needed a drink after that and Steph and I sallied forth to investigate the pre-carnavale celebrations. As is often the case we ended up talking to some locals - friendly as always. All was going fairly well even though we spoke no common language but hand gestures and nods and winks will get you a long way. Almost got us into a gang bang with some local freaks back at their pousada as it turned out.

They repeatedly mentioned that they had a swimming pool and some beer back at their place and that we should come along to enjoy their hospitality. We politely refused as we were fine where we were. Also they were a rather strange bunch and some latent self survival instinct meant that neither Steph nor I were too comfortable going back for a swift one. At the 15th refusal of their kind offer one of the lads made a hand gesture which you can probably imagine indicating that we were most welcome to have sex with the young lady accompanying him on his evening out. he even showed me an ID and told me that I was more than welcome to shag her as she was not his wife just his girlfriend and to prove this he showed me the ring on his finger and a nice photo of his wife he carried in his wallet. At this point the hand gestures became increasingly graphic and he became irate and started waving his car keys at us. One of the girls he was with (who looked like something out of Michael Jackon´s Thriller) got some German bloke who spoke English and Portuguese to translate exactly what was being offered. He did so. We had a Caipi and went home. Strange evening all round. Lucky escape as far as we were concerned. Friendly can sometimes go too far.

A good shower in the morning and it took us no time at all to decide that Olinda was not really our scene. As such we got a cab to Porto da Gallhinas (at this point I struggle as I have some issue with remembering names of places - even more pronouncing them as it turns out) and stayed on a deserted beach called Maracaipe. very nice but a bit family orientated. Steph lost another pair of flip flops (pair 3) and we ended up in a nightclub (if you could call it that) where the blokes were doing this.

you will have to wait for the vid until the technology catches up.....

Everyone says that the locals are fine dancers but I think they should stick to Samba rather than co-ordinated shuffling about at 4 am. Most undignified. Good news is that Dance music and hip-hop (hippy hoppy as called locally) makes people dance like idiots in brasil too. Cheered me up. Beaches lovely.

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Anyone sick of beaches yet?? I´m not so I shall continue. Hand gesture was ironic by the way.

Heading onward we moved to Praia da Pipa. Short trip and a very cool place. Lots of stuff to do in the day and the evening. Beach shot for you. Highly informative this one...

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Buggies are the way to get round. Dunes go for miles and miles, well north as far as you could hope. Video of that too. Which you also have to wait for. Disappointing I know but keep up your spirits it could be worse.

If the buggy is not your thing then you could go for a motorbike. Just in case you wondered what the local recommendations on safety considerations while driving your harley please take a look at the following.

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At least head injuries will be avoided.

Well I have no time and I am still about 2 weeks behind. Learning to kite surf currently so that will keep me busy for a few days. As such you´ll have to be getting along with this so far but I do have a cracking shot of Steph with a transvestite and her/his calling card. Next time I am afraid. This one is dedicated to Coralie and Steph. Pleasure to travel with - should you ever get the chance.

Well. Hope all is going swimmingly. Miss you all, although slightly less as I am being dragged through the sea swallowing gutfuls of water.

Be good. Happy valentines to those of you paired up. Sad losers who no one likes are unlikely to read the blog anyway but good luck to them too.

See you around.

Lid

p.s. no speedos or tattoos yet. will let you know as soon as either situation changes.

Posted by lidster 13:44 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Brasil

Sea, sun, samba and sandunes... oh, and silicon.

sunny 32 °C

Oi from Brasil. Apologies for the delay. Been a tad busy getting the beach look going - clearly working on the tan first. Apparently Brasil is the sexiest place on earth. Also the land of sun. Not sure about the first, most diverse would certainly have a good shout. Every shade from deepest mahogany to ginger stepchild are available and all are equally Brasilian. First place I have been where I could be local. Until I open my mouth that is.

Hit Buzios as the name of the place was cool. Nice with cool beaches, swanky shops and a plethora of restaurants etc but damn this place is expensive. I had heard tale but most of lifes necessities are about as much as you would pay in Geneva - and that is not a cheap place to spend a few days. Even if you only had to buy new speedos each season.

Have made a few early observations though. Beach wear is more of a waft in the general direction of clothing rather than a commitment to cover. If you´ve got it then flaunt it. If you used to have it but do not anymore then flaunt it anyway. If you never had it nor would have even recognised what it was had you actually been aware there was an ¨ít¨ out there somewhere - then flaunt something, anything. General flaunting of everything at all times seems to be one of the few irrefutable pieces of style advice you need in Brasil. And well done to them. To my own tastes the speedo that actually manages to clearly identify each of the 3 component parts of a man´s genitalia are somewhat too tight. Their call though. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but sexy seems to remain the property of the large ladies on Copacabana who could not give a monkey´s what anyonere else thinks. Good on em.

Recently joining the travels are Stephane and Coralie. Welcome to Brasil.

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Arty I know but we are having a photo competition. Good stuff so far. Results to follow in a few weeks. Using my camera so I should be ok.

Copacabana is the beach in the city. Its actually quite nice. Pretty clean and lots of locals swimming and hanging out. A thought ocurred to me as I wandered along it. If evolution had not given us the mammary gland and the shapely flesh surround ideally suited for comfortable milk dispensation to fresh born children then it would have only been a matter of time before the Brasilians had got round to the idea of enormous tits. It seems that there are few things created by nature that humankind does not see the opportunity to improve - in this case enhance is more appropriate - but bloody hell. Crikey. Gosh. Wowzer. Everywhere. And not really very attractive. Then again I suppose if you only wear swimsuits most of the day the relatively rich have to distinguish themselves somehow. It would appear that a nip a tuck and the occasional inflation is how....

And no boys (Dad) - I did not take any photos.

Took a tram in Rio up to Santa Theresa. Lot of fun. Its free if you hang off the side. Gringo´s like us pay and then hang off the side anyway. Cool views of the City.

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And we survived. Rio was only really a place to meet up so we headed south to Paraty. Parachy if you want to actually get there. Very cute, lots of little shops and although the beaches close to town are shitty if you take a boat there are some cool places around. The town itself is mostly pedestrian with no building allowed and some sort of world heritage protection thingy. Which is very good.

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We took a boat for a day and also were advised to head to the local waterfalls. Only really used by locals for the most part. The kids, as per usual, are completely nuts. The following is a huge slippery rock with a small pool at the bottom.

Lunacy to my mind but they seemed to be doing it for quite a while and no-one got hurt. All fun and games etc. People also tell me that the main attraction of coming here is also the dancing. Stephane and myself were both clearly born to be highly powerful and flexible athletes with an excess of funk in our souls but I´m not sure we are staying long enough to get up to this level.

Kind of dark but believe me it was amazing. Main difference from Europe is that no-one appeared to be collecting cash afterwards. Looks like they actually do it just because they like it. Crazy really.

We also went to Trinidade (gy ending) as the nicest beach around abouts. Very nice too. Wedged in a bay with the tropical rain forest overflowing onto the beautiful white sand.

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Good time to mention that Brasil has over 7,000 KM of coastline. They would be pretty pissed if it was all mud and stones I suppose but people seem to think its all a bit like this everywhere. Which is super.

We left Paraty relaxed but excited as we had heard of a place called Ilha Grande. No-one knows where the name comes from but it is rumoured to be not related to the fact that it is an Island nor that it is big. More than that I cannot say. We heard that this was a little chunk of paradise. Not sure they eat as much fried food in Paradise as they do here but apart from that the hype was pretty much true. No cars on the island. Largest town has 3,000 inhabitants and there are 30 or so beaches spread about the island accesible only by foot or by boat - although in hindsight that is how most beaches globally are reached but hopefully you get the idea. There are no car-parks next to beaches here and some you have to walk for 3 hours in stifling heat and unbearable humidity - which makes it good news that the beaches look like this.....

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Although as you can see the locals posing for photos does ruin it a little for the tourists.

Paradise found. Staying here for another 4 or 5 days. Planning on reading my book, laying on beaches and generally relaxing. As such there should be another blog toward the end of the month. Heading to Rio to see Fat boy slim on the 26th and then North for some extreme sports. Buggie riding, sand surfing, swimming in shark infested waters. Cool.

Hope the NY resolutions are going well. Take care. Backflips a go-go.

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Don´t try that at home. I gave myself a nasty whack in the family jewels on landing.

Ciao
Lid

ps. more photos here.
http://lidster.myphotoalbum.com/view_album.php?set_albumName=album04&page=1
should work. let me know if not. cheers.

Posted by lidster 09:21 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Northern Argentina and Paraguay (ickle bit of Brasil too)

I got countries for Christmas - what did you get?

sunny 50 °C

Moved from Calafate to BA by plane. Some of the stretches of road down here are lengthy to say the least. It was fly or take the bus for 2 days straight. As much as that would have been fun I was a little pressed for time and jumped the plane. BA has been covered in one of the earleier posts and I shall not say a great deal more about it. Meat amazing. Nightlife excellent. Worth a stop on anyones itinerary. Tango for my money is highly overated but I lack culture to an almost dizzying degree so you can make up your own minds on that. Its all just a bit crap as far as I can see but I'll leave it there. Dulce de leche however really is manna from heaven. Sort of caramel stuff made from condensed milk. The previously svelte version of Liddington was swiflty being replaced by the more well known porky version so I needed to move on. Thanks to Gustavo for showing us around. Always adds value to have a local looking after.

Fely flew in from Switzerland and we met up in BA but after some much needed shopping on my part and excessive steak eating we swiftly headed to Mendoza. Now if you plan to eat and drink in Argentina then this may be the place for you. Certainly was for us. At the steepe of the Andes on a plateau of red earth where most things grow but where grapes for wine are mostly grown. Stunning place to visit.

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From Mendoza it is a hop skip and a 16 hour bus ride to Salta. Quite amazing scenery and we managed to go parapenting on the 27th.

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Video etc at some point but it was breathtaking. I landed like a bag of potatoes and Felicia like a pro. I am significantly heavier though. Super bunch of people took us there and back and no-one died - although one girl on the trip did puke all over the pilot sitting behind her. Motion sickness apparently. No picture of that unfortunately.

Salta itself is nice enough. Not worth staying for more than a few days but get out into the mountains and check out some of the scenery. It is quite impressive.

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Whirlwind xmas and new years tour then hit Resistencia for an hour (no photo evidence) at 4am getting a bus to Clorinda in order to get to Paraguay and catch up with a friend from Switzerland. Carlito is from Ascunsion and has been taking us around and showing us the sights. Family has also been most welcoming. Enormous amounts of meat once more and a general holiday spirit that may have occured anyway but was much appreciated by myself and Fely. Papa Carlito and I shared very little in terms of language but a general appreciation of all things barbecued and a refreshing brahma once every now and then got us through. As such thanks to Caros and family. Photo of Carlos checking out his new car. Tuning very big in Paraguay although Carlos asked me not to tell the boys back in Geneva. As such, lips sealed.

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Sharp.

Went to Brasil for a day to see the Iguazu falls. Shared between Brasil, Argentina and Paraguay although sharing in terms of Paraguay would seem to mean having a border close to it but no more than that. Falls are cool though.

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Apparently the border we crossed at Clorinda into Paraguay used to have an enormous river going through it. Some previous encumbent of the presidential office had "sold" the river to Argentina some years ago. River was diverted and as such the Paraguayan side of Chaco (region of flatlands covering Paraguay and Argentinga at the border) is a little drier than before and the Argentinian side somewhat more verdant. Such stories abound and are generally met with chuckles by the Paraguayanos and a cheeky look in their eye as if some little tyke has just stolen a cake from the larder. System seems to have found some status quo though as the ruling party has been in for 50 years apparently. Good for them. General kidnapping has dropped off a great deal should that have bothered you.

Went fishing with Carlito. We caught Piranha which Carlito's uncle described as "grande". He then ripped off its lower jaw with some pliers. Apparently he had an unfortunate incident with one as a child. He rather seemed to enjoy it. Had Dorade for dinner.

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Hit the beach. Zyes, Paraguay is landlocked but they do have some rivers not yet sold off to local neighbours. Very nice place to hang out. Stopped by the cops on the way back. Would definitely seem to be more important to know the right people rather than necessarily be in the right over here. I know people who know people apparently. No stopping me now. We then headed off into the sunset. Paraguay is beautiful. It is also an enormous lot of fun. Not the crash helmet wearing or seatbelt enforcing sort of fun but a serious giggle nonetheless. Would upload video of me driving the car around a muddy field with people hanging out the roof while I swig a beer but a) that sort of thing looks bad when not in its culutral context and b) my camera has decided to record in some weird video format that refuses to be uploaded to websites. Will take care of that in due course. As such, me heading off into sunset. Again.

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Rio next for, well, a brazilian I suppose and the annual cultural donning of the budgie smugglers. Good for me. Hope things good for you too. Fely back off to Schweiz on Thursday. Safe trip chica. Thanks for travelling with. Hope it wasnt too disorganised for you.

In other news congrats to Lee and Serena for getting engaged. About time really but very happy for you both. Lee has asked me to be his best man for the occasion. Most honoured. Brave man.

Take care. Will send you some beach pics from Brasil.

Ciao. Lid

p.s. for info Paraguay is toasty warm this time of year.

Posted by lidster 08:36 Archived in Paraguay Comments (0)

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