By Ed Catchpole
August 20, 2013

Based on the Pass Notes series in the Guardian newspaper, here is part 1 of Ed’s version for Brazil.

Age: 513 years old

Description: Hot country in South America

I&#145m totally going to Brazil, what’s it like? Well, the first thing you need to know it is very, very big.
How big? Like at its widest point, equivalent in distance as London to Tehran… that big.

Yikes! Looks like my day trip from Recife to Rio is off the cards then. I&#145m afraid so. It would take you three days and nights to drive there, something like London to Morocco, but on worse roads.

Crikey, better take a plane… OK, what else, brush up on my Spanish? No, they speak Portuguese in Brazil.

Same thing right? Not really, Portuguese is probably closer to Italian than Spanish.

But at least those Salsa lessons should come in handy? Sorry, they don&#145t dance Salsa in Brazil; they dance Samba in the South East and Forro in the North East.

For who? Forro. It is derived from the English words For All” from a time when British employees of railway companies based in Brazil invited the Brazilians to their annual dinner and dance.

You&#145re making this up. Nope. You dance with a partner to the sound of an accordion, triangle and bass drum.

You mean to tell me that British Rail invented a Brazilian dance. No, at the time it was called the Great Western Railway Company of Brazil Limited and they didn&#145t invent it they just invited the locals who provided the music.

OK, so I&#145m dancing Forro and speaking Portuguese. What’s next? Next we go to the beach. Brazilians take the beach very, very seriously.

Ah, come on going to the beach is easy; anorak, thermos flask… maybe take the dog. Not so fast, Brazilians use the beach to show off, look at each other, drink and maybe take a dip in the ocean. There are no anoraks involved.

Take a dip in the ocean, I could totally do that! OK, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Remember some beaches in Brazil have big waves, dive under them like the locals as you stride out to sea. Please don&#145t get knocked over by a big wave and then stagger around the beach covered in sand, blowing snot bubbles out of both nostrils… especially if you are sitting next to me.

No snot bubbles. Check! All this beach action is making me thirsty. What’s the local brew? Cachaa.

Ka-who-ha? Ca-cha-a

Right. How does that work? Its sugar based distilled liquor.

A bit like rum then. Nooo, never tell the Brazilians that Cachaa is like rum, they get very, very upset.

What’s the difference? Bagasse.

You can&#145t speak to me like that! Bagasse is the name given to the vestiges of crushed sugar cane. With rum it is thrown into the vat to be distilled along with the cane juice, with Cachaa it is not included. It makes for a cleaner taste apparently.

OK, I&#145ve got my Cachaa what’s next? Next we make a Capirinha.

This is getting complicated… Capi-who-ha? Try to keep up, a Capirinha. It is made with Cachaa, lime juice, sugar and crushed ice.

Sounds lovely, I&#145ll have one. Me too… make mine a double.

Don’t say: Rum and coke please.

Do say: Oba! Capirinhas para tudo mundo!

Previous articles by Ed:

The United States of Brazil
Brazil: Don’t Stop the Party
Brazil: Super Toucans and Little Freddy Seaside
Brazil: Adventures in Portuguese

By Rodrigo Matos
Morro de São Paulo is a village on Tinhar island, but the village itself is so famous the island has assumed the name of Morro de São Paulo.

With beautiful beaches, coral reefs and surfing, this island is a very good option for people that are spending some time in Salvador. It takes around 20 minutes by plane, or 2 hours by boat, to reach there

The island is for people that want to relax and practice all kinds of water sports. If you’re into diving, there are dive operators on the island. They offer boat trips to the best sites, you can choose free dives or use tanks, you can also rent all the equipment needed. The best time for diving is from October to February.

Sailing is another popular water sport around the island, which has a great infrastructure supporting it.

What most people don’t know is that Morro de São Paulo is one of the best spots for surf in Bahia.

The best points for surfing are:

  • pé de Moleque: On First Beach, the best waves on the island that come with a swell that reaches its greatest height from the East. Breaking from two to six feet over a coral reef.
  • Quebrancinha: On the left corner of First Beach. The waves break rapidly and sharply from the left, over a rocky, coral-littered bottom. Waves only break when the height over Pe de Moleque is greater than four feet. Wave heights reach between two and four feet.
  • Fourth Beach: There are various secret points” on Fourth Beach that can only be surfed with an island local. Wave heights between two and four feet.

If you want to take a look at the list of beaches, check this site

Another alternative to finding out more about Pousadas and Hotels of Morro de São Paulo is the following site 0 Comments/by

By Alison McGowan
August 20, 2013

It definitely helps when the sun is shining and the sky is blue but I was definitely encantada” or delighted several times over to find such a lovely pousada in a lesser known part of Ilha do Mel.

Fim da Trilha is family run and they pride themselves on their service and their restaurant both of which were wonderful. I arrived at lunchtime whilst my suite was still being prepared and miraculously a long cool beer appeared at the bar whilst I was waiting; at night it was a “casquinha de siri” and a fish stew or “moqueca” which came as recommendations. Fabulous.

The pousada itself has 7 suites and one chal, all pretty basic but clean and comfortable with air-conditioning, flat screen TVs and minibar. But you won’t be spending much time in your room. If you don’t want to chill out in the lounging room, bar or restaurant you are right in the middle of the village of Encantadas, and minutes from some of the most gorgeous beaches in Brazil.

I only had one night in Fim da Trilha unfortunately but it gave me time not only to explore the local area but also to talk to other guests, all of whom were delighted with their experience. I myself will definitely be back!

* Margareth, Guilherme, Rafa and staff
* Paella and moqueca in pousada restaurant
* Location: 5 minutes from the jetty and 5 minutes from the famous cave

Try a different place if…
… you have mobility problems or are looking for luxury/nightlife.

Alison is a British writer, musician, and marketing consultant, based in Rio de Janeiro. She can be contacted on Visit her site at

Previous articles by Alison:

Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Caminho do Rei, Praia do Rosa, Santa Catarina
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Sagi Iti, Praia do Sagi, Baia Formosa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casarao Alto Mucuge, Arraial d’Ajuda, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Capim Santo, Trancoso, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Guesthouse Bianca, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Aratinga Inn, Ilha Grande (Abraao), Rio de Janeiro
Five Exceptional Beach Destinations in Brazil
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Taruma, Conceicao de Jacarei, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Encanto da Lua, Marau, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Fazenda Baia Grande, South Pantanal (Miranda), Mato Grosso do Sul
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Palafitas Lodge, Rondonia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mangueira, Boipeba (Morere), Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Cote Sud, Porto da Rua, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel Spa Casinha Branca, Bananal, nr. Paraty, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Castelinho 38, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Capao, Serro, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada d’Oleo de Guignard, Tiradentes, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Bela Vista, Novo Airão, Amazonas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Agua de Coco, Ceara
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Alcino Estalagem, Lenois, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada 0031, Cumbuco, Cear
Brazil: Maguire’s Guesthouse, Manaus, Amazonas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel Casa do Amarelindo, Salvador, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel BeloAlter, Alter do Chão, Par
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Fazenda Santa Marina, Santana dos Montes, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casarão da Amaznia, Soure, Ilha de Marajo, Par
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Mila, nr. Ubatuba, São Paulo
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Casa Beleza, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Bambu Bamboo Pousada and Spa, Parati, Rio de Janeiro
Random Ramblings on the Weather in Brazil
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Beijamar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Hotel 7 Colinas, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada dos Quatro Cantos, Pernambuco
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Estrela do Mar, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Vivenda, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Terra, Minas Gerais
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada do Caju, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Pousada da Amendoeira, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Estalagem Caiuia, Alagoas
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Lagoa do Cassange, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Ponta do Muta, Bahia
Brazil: Hidden Pousadas – Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia

August 20, 2013

It is once again time to find out who will call themselves the most knowledgeable person in São Paulo for the rest of this year, via the Annual Brains of São Paulo competition organized by the Round Table Brazil No.1 – São Paulo.

This fundraiser is a Trivial Pursuits type of quiz for teams of four with questions on eight different subjects such as Sports, History, Current Affairs, General Knowledge and so on.

The 2013 Brains of São Paulo competition will be held this year at the Brazilian British Centre, 4th Floor, Rua Ferreira de Arajo, 741, Pinheiros on Saturday September 14th from 6:30pm prompt.

As always, all proceeds will go to the Charity Fund of the Round Table Brasil No.1 – São Paulo, which supports various charitable projects, in and around São Paulo. In the past these included several orphanages, homes for children with AIDS or cancer, social projects in favelas like pre-school projects and day-care centers for children of working women.

All support is greatly appreciated and even if you are unable to participate we would be grateful if you could pass on the details of the Brains Night to others (or even make a donation!).

Entries for the Brains Night are limited to about 40 teams on a first come, first serve basis, so enter now to guarantee your place.

The cost of entry is R$120 per team, payable on the night.

If you wish to enter, please complete the form on the website at

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By Gregory Testo
August 18, 2013

Header image: Pao de Acucar, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (Sony RX100 – ISO 200 F/11 1/800th)

Daily, you can witness the pilgrimage to Rio de Janiero’s Cristo Redentor (or in less romantic sounding English, Christ the Redeemer) by tourists from every corner of the world. I had an immersive eight-hour adventure that involved three cramped subways, two crowded buses and a full taxi from my HQ in São Paulo. My own personal quest was to photograph the severe and breathtaking mountains of Rio, Most specifically Po de Acar a.k.a. ‘Sugarloaf Mountain’. The playful moniker was given in the 1600’s and comes from the traditional shape sugar came packaged in back in those days.

After I arrived in Rio, my first compulsion was to scout the vicinity to locate the perfect spot for my first soul inspiring photo. Pro-tip: use Google Earth, a free 3D map program. My first choice was Corcovado Mountain, the same basic area as the Cristo Redentor, and tourist central.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (Sony RX100 – ISO 100 F/11 1/160th)

After ducking and diving my spare of other tourists and receiving my share of bruises for my efforts I fell right in step with all the other adventurers near me who could only gawk with amazement at the fantastical scene in front of us. Finally, it hit me that I was carrying a camera; and feeling a little foolish, I squeezed myself into the spot that I liked.

My biggest challenge came from having too much to photograph. The beautiful vista is amazing in person, but trying to capture the essence of it digitally and then to express that beauty to others was going to be quite an uphill battle. After my first failed attempts to fit everything I saw into one photo, it hit me that I would need to prioritize what to photograph. My eyes wondered over to an immense lake they call Lagoa Rodrigo de freitas… then there were the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and finally; my eyes settled upon Po de Acar.

Po de Acar, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (Sony RX100 – ISO 100 F/11 1/160th)

I discovered that there were two perfect opportunities from this vantage point, a beautiful view of the mountain range and another with a focus on the harbor. In spite of a slight haze making the photos come out a little flat and obscuring the landscapes I found that by increasing the contrast upon review of the photographs helped it capture a more accurate reflection of the scene while maintaining a slight element of the haze which adds a certain je nais se quoi.

Remember, to get some fantastic photos you should check out a map to find a nice spot to shoot from. Don&#145t forget to prioritize your subjects and be careful of haze. This certainly isn&#145t going to be my last visit to the ever alluring city of Rio and was definitely worth the long travel time.

Come to a joint meet up between or join Cervejaria Nacional
Av. Pedroso de Morais, 604 – Pinheiros, São Paulo, 05420-001, Brazil”