Christ, this was harder than it should have been! Guess what: Jesus is a popular dude. Ah. Who would have known.
I developed an addiction to pão de queijo, these little balls of tapioca with cheese.
We used to avoid Rio Centro because it was dodgy and not so safe. It still is in a way—I wouldn’t wander around in the streets after dark—but Rio de Janeiro feels safer and the downtown area is undergoing major renovation and improvements for the upcoming Olympics.
If you want to go to Copacabana beach, don’t follow the Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana. Brazilian logic.
Rio de Janeiro is a picturesque city. And this is an understatement.
The taxi drove us downtown and we passed favelas and the sambodromo.
“So after the beach we go more beach?” Yes, Mark. That’s the concept. Hey, we…
After crowded Praia de Canasvieiras, we went into the wild.
The beach was packed. Every centimeter of the narrow strip of sand was occupied. It could have been awful, but it felt awesome because of the great atmosphere.
I couldn’t resist. I bought the Brazilian beach uniform: a new bikini, the Brazilian kind with a true thong back. It doesn’t get any tinier.
Praia Mole, a fairly small stretch of sand of about one kilometer long. Blue sky, waves, yellow Cerveja Skol plastic tables and chairs and a crowd of people drinking, swimming, walking around, eating and having fun.
Again, we stepped onto a new movie set. Brazil, this time. I have to “obrigada” people again, we need to remember that businesses close early, that you buy essential at the ubiquitous gas stations instead of heading to the convenience store, the Brazilian cities are hilly…
The funny bus stops are still here, I love them. They give the city a futuristic feel: step into the magical tube and be transported somewhere else!
Fresh. Varied. Cheap. This is what I think of Brazilian food so far.
The nordeste region is hard to get to and obviously, it’s hard to get out of it as well.
Old, young, firm or jiggly, tiny or more generous, bare butts are everywhere. Brazilian women wear bikinis but not just any kind of bikini: the G-string one.
You know the story. It all started as a small fishermen village, a roadless place… and it became “the place”. As in “the beach”.
Locals tend to think Recife is this super dangerous place but I didn’t get that “must get out of here now’ vibe over there. The streets were busy and chaotic but lively and people were friendly. Deserted Natal scared me more.
We settled in Ponta Negra, one of the beach close to Natal. And like everything in Brazil, it took some time to figure things out.
When was the last time you flew for less than $30? Not this advertised price, the total price, taxes included? Yeah, never. Same here.
I wanted to learn more about Brazilians—what people eat, what they do, how they work and interact. A bit wiser and more comfortable with our surrounding, we headed back to Recife to explore the different bairros in the centre.
With its steep streets and colourful colonial buildings, Olinda reminded me of a smaller version of Antigua in Guatemala, Granada in Nicaragua, Valparaiso in Chile or Paraty in Brazil.
Bye bye cosmopolitan city. The northeast is a different beast. It’s not as safe or as easy for foreign travelers. We have to learn to do things the Brazilian way.