16 Funny Brazilian Expressions

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
July 21, 2015

Brazilian Portuguese is a curious language, being a mix of traditional Portuguese and the indigenous languages of Brazil. In the hands of Brazilians, it can take some creative turns, as expressions emerge from the daily use of language. Below, we have compiled 16 of those expressions, some unique to Brazil.

1. Abotoar o palet (To button up the blazer):Despite what it sounds like, this expression has nothing to do with clothing. It is a euphemism for dying.
2. Jogar verde para colher maduro (Throwing the green fruit to pick it ripe): This is another expression you won’t hear anywhere else. It means hinting that you know something which you suspect is true in an attempt to make another person admit it.
3. Encher a linguia (To fill the sausage): You know when you have to write an essay, and after you said everything you had to say you start writing anything just to get to the minimum number of words required? In Brazil this is known as filling the sausage.
4. De cavalo dado no se olha os dentes (You don’t look at the teeth of a horse someone gave you): If you haven’t guessed what this expressions refers to, it is about gratitude. Brazilians say that when others complain about a received gift, or they will say it when they have received a bad gift, implying that it wouldn’t be proper to complain.
5. Baixa a bola (Lower the ball): If someone is acting too cocky or arrogant, he might be told to lower the ball. In English, the equivalent expression might be "slow your roll".
6. Viajar na maionese (To travel in the mayonnaise): This is probably one of the funniest expressions Brazilians use. To say someone is travelling in the mayonnaise means that the person referred to is talking nonsense.
7. Puxar o saco (To pull the sack): Brazilians are not bootlickers or ass kissers, but they can be sack pullers.
8. Catar coquinho (To pick "coquinhos"): Coquinhos are small orange fruits that resemble cononuts. But when someone tells you to go pick coquinhos, that person is basically telling you to get lost.
9. Tempestade em copo d’agua (A storm inside a glass of water): When someone is blowing an issue out of proportion, you tell that person to stop making a storm inside a glass of water.
10. Cara de pau (Stick face): People in Brazil are not shameless. They simply have stick faces.
11. Que brisa (What a breeze): Because in Brazil things are not "trippy", they are a breeze.
12. Pisar na bola (To step on the ball): When someone messes up something, Brazilians call it "stepping on the ball"
13. Onde o Judas perdeu as botas (Where Judas lost his boots): This curious expression is used to refer to a remote place.
14. Engolir sapo (Swallowing the frog): Sometimes in life, you have to swallow your pride and and hear some things that you don’t want to hear. In Brazil, this is called swallowing the frog.
15. Fogo no rabo (Fire in the tail): When a Brazilian is really restless, he has fire in his tail.
16. Mais perdido que cego em tiroteio (More lost than a blind man in a gunfight): When someone is really lost and clueless, Brazilians will say he is more lost than a blind man in a gunfight.

You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com

The Best Festivals in Brazil for the EDM Lovers – Part 1

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer July 21, 2015 When people think about partying in Brazil, scenes from carnival are the first thing that come to mind. But what many dont know, is that Brazil has one of the strongest EDM scenes in the world, with plenty of clubs and festivals for enthusiasts to enjoy. Below, we have compiled some of the best EDM festivals in Brazil for you to enjoy. Tomorrowland Brasil The largest EDM festival in the world has finally arrived at Brazil. Founded in 2005 in the Town of Boom, located in Belgium, the yearly festival started expanding to other continents when it launched its North American version called Tomorroworld in 2013. On July 2014, the festival announced it would launch its Brazilian version named Tomorrowland Brasil, which had its first edition take place the 1st to the 3rd of May of 2015 in the city of Itu, located in the state of So Paulo. The festival was a huge success, with 180,000 people gathering to see a whos who list of EDM powerhouse DJs such as Alok, David Guetta, Jamie Jones and Kolombo. The attractions of the festival go way beyond the music. During the days it takes place, a fantasy world is created for festivalgoers to immerse themselves in, with amazing sceneries complete with actors dressed as mythical creatures and artistic performances and pyrotechnics taking place during the concerts. There is also a camping area called DreamVille where people can lodge in comfy tents, with its own party known as “The Gathering”, that takes place the day before the festival starts. As if this wasnt enough, the festivals offers a wide variety of foods from all over the world, made by internationally acclaimed chefs. Tickets cost from R$199.50 to R$1,899.00. Despite the high prices tickets sell out in a few hours, so potential visitors should enter the waiting line for tickets at the official website (www.tomorrowlandbrasil.com) if they want to have a good chance at getting tickets. Yet, this once in a lifetime experience is worth every penny, and should be experienced at least once by EDM enthusiasts. Universo Paralelo At the end of every second year, the Paringui Beach in the state of Bahia is graced with Universo Paralello, a cultural festival that reunites people from all over the world to celebrate culture, arts and music. The Patingui beach has more than 30km of coast, displaying a dazzling beauty that makes it a perfect place for such an event. The area offers a camping site, bathrooms, a pharmacy, bins for dry and organic trash, showers, a food shop, a community kitchen and an open fair that sells a variety of goods such as clothes and decoration items. 28km away from the beach is the city of Ituber, where one can find gas stations, supermarkets, banks and hospitals among other services which are not be be found in the festival site. During 9 days, around 20,000 people gather there to appreciate the festival, which displays some of the best names in the national and international EDM scene. DJs such as Rica Amaral, Neelix, Avalon and Captain Hook have already graced the festival, which is divided into 5 different stages. Although many fans go there for its array of EDM concerts, the festival also offers concerts of a wide variety of musical styles such as rap, reggae, funk and jazz music. Apart from the music, there are many activities that take place during the festival. There are talks, workshops, shamanic ceremonies and many others, most of which take place in the “Arena Circulou” and the “Tenda de Cura” (healing tent). These activities offer a great opportunity for cultural exchange, and greatly enhance the overall festival experience. Tickets for the festival range between R$460 to R$590, and can be bought at the festivals website at the following address: www.universoparalello.org. You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com. Previous articles by Pedro: 6 Common Mistakes Foreigners Make Trying to Speak Portuguese in Brazil Brazil: 10 Hiking Trails for Nature Lovers in the State of So Paulo – Part 1

6 Common Mistakes Foreigners Make Trying to Speak Portuguese in Brazil

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
June 17, 2015

When travelling to foreign countries, it is always worth making an effort to learn and speak a few words of the native language. When doing so, it is impossible to avoid making mistakes, which are part of the learning process. That being said, there is nothing stopping you from preparing in advance for the pitfalls ahead. Listed below are 5 common mistakes made by foreigners when speaking Brazilian Portuguese.

1. Mixing up gender articles: In English, articles are gender-neutral. The Portuguese language however, has not only male and female articles but also nouns. A "pedra" (rock) for example is a female noun, while an "armrio" (closet), is a male noun. Because of that, "the rock" translates to "a pedra", while "the closet" in Portuguese is "o armrio". It is recommended for foreigners to learn the gender of the most common nouns.

2. Saying thanks in the wrong way: Saying thanks is one of the first things people learn when studying a foreign language. Because Portuguese is not a gender-neutral language, foreigners get it wrong all the time. The word for thanking someone in Portuguese is "obrigado", which roughly translated as "obliged". A female person would say "obrigada", which is the feminine version of the word.

3. Using the wrong gender for third person possessives: Like articles, the gender of possessives is defined by what is being possessed, not by who possesses it. The word "my" for example, as in "my wallet", has a feminine (minha) and a masculine (meu) version. So the correct of saying "my house" is "minha casa", since "house" is a feminine noun, while "my book" would translate to "meu livro", as "book" is a masculine noun.

4. Using Spanish expressions: Whether from Spanish speaking countries or not, many tourists who visit Brazil have a background in Spanish. This background can be very helpful when trying to understand Brazilian Portuguese, since both languages are quite close. That being said, foreigners with a background in Spanish tend to let it spill into their attempts at speaking Portuguese, with Spanish words such as "quiero" (want) and "muy" (much) being frequently used.

5. Speaking too formally: The Portuguese that Brazilians speak in their daily lives is really different from written Portuguese or from the Portuguese one learns taking classes. Foreigners tend to be too formal when attempting to communicate with Brazilians, which makes it harder for them to understand. One should also be aware that grasping casual Portuguese is harder than it sounds, since it varies a lot from region to region.

6. Talking in a robotic way: Brazilian Portuguese has a smooth and uninterrupted rhythm. The way most foreigners speak Portuguese isnt only strange and robotic in the eyes of native speakers, but also makes it harder for them to understand what is being said. A wave is a good analogy for the rhythm that Brazilians apply to their sentences. When speaking Portuguese, you should speak your sentences in a tone that increases and decreases. Do not forget to transition smoothly from word to word, in an uninterrupted way.

You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com

Brazil: 10 Hiking Trails for Nature Lovers in the State of So Paulo – Part 1

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
June 17, 2015

The state of So Paulo has a lot more to offer than being the largest city in South America. Its countryside is teeming with opportunities for outdoor lovers to explore and enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic Forest, which extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil all the way to Argentina and Paraguay. We have compiled for your enjoyment some of the best hiking trails in the state.

Trilha do Poo

The city of Caraguatatuba, 125 kilometers to the east of So Paulo, is a coastal city full of trails waiting to be explored. Among them is the Trilha do Poo, a great choice for those that love adventure but also want to bring their families to join in the fun. The trail is 3.5 kilometers, and while it isn’t a walk in the park, it is still a family-friendly trail. Waterfalls and rivers are among the main attractions of the walk, which has a 2 meter deep pool where visitors can bathe themselves. Tennis shoes or boots are necessary, as it involves crossing many streams. There is also a variety of fauna and flora contributing to the beauty of the trail, with many native plants and animals such as tamanduas, agoutis and toucans living in the region. The trail is located in the Serra do Mar State Park, which is open to visitors from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Visitors are divided into two guided groups of 35 people, one leaving at 9:00 am and the other at 1:00 pm. To set up a visit either drop by the state park’s administration, located at R. Horto Florestal 1200, Rio do Ouro, or call (12) 3882-3166.

Trilha da Pedra Grande

Located in the State Park of Cantareira, this is one of the most popular trails among the inhabitants of So Paulo. Due to its length of 9.6 km and its inclination it can be quite tiring, although it isn’t particularly challenging and can be tackled by practically anyone. The trail offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Atlantic Forest, where you can find a variety of plants and animals. Some common native mammals that are popular among visitors are the quatis and howler monkeys, which can be found along the trail.

The trail also has a few other attractions, such as an area that has a lake with carp, a children’s playground, and practical considerations such as a place to eat and a bathroom. There is also a small museum called Casa da Pedra, where one can see exhibitions. But the main highlight of the trail is the Pedra Grande, a rocky plateau at its top from where tourists are treated to a gorgeous view of the city of So Paulo. From the Pedra Grande, you can also see the Jaragua’s peak and even the Serra do Mar when the skies are clear.

The beginning of the trail is located in the outskirts of So Paulo, at the Rua do Horto, 1799. The trail is open everyday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, but it is only possible to walk it without guides on weekends and holidays. Visitors can schedule a guided walk via the following number: (11) 2203-3266. If you wish to experience the best view of the city of So Paulo, you should not miss this opportunity. Trilha do Mirante da Anta Located in Ribeiro Preto, 270 kilometers away from the city of So Paulo, the Trilha do Mirante da Anta is a great option for the weekends. The snaking trail is 4.2 km long, passing through rocky terrain and dense forests. It is considered a trail of medium difficulty, accessible to most people but not recommended for small children. The vegetation of the trail is a remarkable sight, especially when the flowers blossom during the spring.

It is also a great place for birdwatching, with species such as toucans, woodpeckers and jacutingas being quite common. The highlight of the trail is a panoramic view of the Intervales State Park, at an altitude of 962 meters.

Guides are optional, but a visit has to be scheduled either by calling the state park administration (15) 3542-12456, or by sending an e-mail to the following address:reservaintervales@fflorestal.sp.gov.br. The entrance of the trail is at the Pica Pau inn, which can be accessed through the municipal road, kilometer 25. You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com.

Understanding Brazil: Cloning

By Ricky Skelton May 12, 2015 I was travelling in one of Brazils tourist towns a while ago and withdrawing stupid amounts of cash every day to cope with it all. Back in the Big City later, I couldnt get any money out. Naturally wondering if Id spent all my money (or the banks overdraught money if you want to split hairs), I didnt think too much more about it. Then Blondie returned from a bank trip to tell me a story about a couple warning her not to use a certain cash machine as it had some odd wires coming out of it. We discussed the disgrace that is the security measures of Brazils banking system and promised to keep an even closer eye on the machines we use, and check them properly for extraneous devices, which I always do anyway. Too late! The same day I called my bank back home to see if my card was blocked. Apparently not, but Id run it up to the limit with the last couple of days of withdrawals. Hang on – run that one by me again… I hadnt made any withdrawals the last couple of days, but they can sometimes delay in appearing. So she checked some amounts with me, making sure they were legit. Two hundred thousand from the… Whoa there cowgirl! Two hundred what? I nearly had heart attack imagining the unauthorised overdraught fees. How did I take out that much? I must have been drunk early that day… Still… 200k is a lot of reais. … in Santiago. Santiago is like Salvador, a place you have to check twice to see if it might be a Brazil one or another Latin American place. No, must be the one in Chile. I started sweating as she ran through the list of recent transactions, thankfully at the same time as Id been making withdrawals throughout the weekend. the card was still in my hand and hadnt left it except for withdrawals, some by Blondie – you dont suppose…? I didnt mention her to the bank, it might lead to awkward questions from someone who didnt trust my Brazilian lady as much as I do. So all those frighteningly high amounts were only good old Chilean pesos, and as Ive never been to Santiago, it was all quite easy to point them out, cancel yet another card, and wait five minutes for the money to be put back onto my account. Just a couple of forms to sign later to state the fraudulent activity for the police, and Im in the clear. Marvellous. Good luck finding the thieves, and even better luck in trying to get the Brazilian banks or police to provide any help with that or even acknowledge that they have a problem. We called the possible banks, the denied any responsibility. So as far as inevitably getting roubado in Brazil goes, having a card cloned is about as good as it gets for anybody with a gringo bank account. I can only imagine how much bureaucracy would be involved in the same situation with a Brazilian bank card. I imagine ten years of legwork for nothing to ever be refunded. The thought makes me shiver. I also have the feeling that as most of the card-cloning stories I hear from Brazil involve gringoes that there is definitely some huge scheme going on here, involving the banks and the staff of banks, a huge conspiracy to defraud us all of our dollars by some Brazilian jeitinho. So I was all happy with life that afternoon, thinking that while having something stolen in Brazil is very common, having it stolen with no violence necessary, all valuables safely returned, and nothing but a painful wait for the correio to deliver the new card. And even better – surely, statistically speaking, having been robbed means that your chances of being robbed again in the near future dwindle somewhat, so the cloning puts back the inevitable and far more ugly type of robbery to a later average date, no? This thought kept me amused for another couple of weeks, at least until I discovered that it had happened again with another gringo bank card. Im going at the rate of one every couple of months now… You can visit Ricky’s blog at http://redmist-redmist.blogspot.com/ Previous articles by Ricky: Understanding Brazil: Pizza Around Brazil: Porcaria de Janeiro Understanding Brazil: Holding Hands Understanding Brazil: Statues & Self-Worth Understanding Brazil: Mosquitoes Part II Understanding Brazil: The Pub Understanding Brazil: Protesting Understanding Brazil: General Elections Around Brazil: Oktoberfest Parade in Blumenau Cultural Brazil: The Alambique Around Brazil: Whale-Watching in Santa Catarina Brazil: Tainha Time Deported from Brazil? Part 2 Deported from Brazil? Part 1 Brazil: The President in Florianpolis Swine Flu in South America? The Best Club in Brazil…? The Great Brazilian Animal-Off (Land) Understanding Brazil: Giving Directions Understanding Brazil: Driving Understanding Brazil: Farra do Boi Brazil: Catching Flu’ Around Brazil: Garopaba Understanding Brazil: Funerals Brazil: Bernie the Berne Around Brazil: Journey to the Amazon Jungle Around Brazil: Crazy Town Ceremonies Around Brazil: Crazy Town Around Brazil: Manaus Around Brazil: Santarem & Alter do Chao Around Brazil: Amazon Swarms and Amazon Storms Understanding Brazil: Playing Pool Around Brazil: Gurup Around South America: Peninsula Valdes Around South America: Patagonia Around South America: Montevideo, Uruguay Around Brazil: The Amazon Around South America: Bariloche, Argentina Understanding Gringoes: Drinking The Great Brazilian Fruit-Off Part 2 The Great Brazilian Fruit-Off Part 1 Understanding Brazil: The Kids Brazil v Argentina: Buying Beer Understanding Brazil: Mosquitoes Around Brazil: So Luis Teaching English in Brazil Around Brazil: Lenois Maranhenses Understanding Brazil: The National Anthem Around Brazil: Barreirinhas Around Brazil: Jericoacoara to Barreirinhas Understanding Brazil: Shopping Centres Around Brazil: Jericoacoara Around Brazil: Chapada da Diamantina/Lenois Brazil vs. Argentina: Statues of Christ Around Brazil: Salvador Brazil vs. Argentina: The Buses Around Brazil: Morro de So Paulo (& Itabuna) Understanding Brazil: The Workmen Around Brazil: Praa Pateo do Colegio Around Brazil: Porto Seguro Around Brazil: Rio de Janeiro to Porto Seguro Around Brazil: Cristo Redentor Understanding Brazil: The Sellers Around Brazil: Ilha de Gigoia Brazil Journeys: So Paulo to Rio de Janeiro Understanding Brazil: Dogs Part 2 Brazil: A Lie-In in Downtown So Paulo? The Best Job in Brazil: Ankle Specialist? Understanding Brazil: Dogs Brazilian Places: Ilha do Santa Catarina (Floripa) Classic Brazilian Journeys: South to Florianopolis Understanding Brazil – The Shower Brazil: Boats on the Amazon Brazil: Understanding Novelas Brazil: Bus fires in So Paulo – always a bad thing?

Brazil: Gersons Law

By Ed Catchpole May 12, 2015 Brazil’s intelligentsia has often considered the question “who are Brazilians?” This was an important issue in the 1920s when the character of “Macunama”, an anti hero who had absolutely no moral fiber was created by Brazilian writer, Mrio de Andrade. Macunamaappeared at exactly the time that a new definition of what it means to be Brazilian was needed. New immigrants were arriving and contributing to a new profile of Brazil which led to the conviction that imported labor was much better than the existing Brazilian workers. Some scholars at the time argued that slaves had an inherent horror of labor and the native indians a knack for laziness. In this context the Lei de Gerson (to take advantage of someone or something) was a reaction to the dedicated and productive workers required when, firstly Brazilian agriculture, and then its industry needed to compete in the international market. These wheeler dealers have become part of the folklore of an imaginary country with a slave soul, the antithesis of the European model which was perceived as full of rules. They were viewed as shrewd, smart, lived by “jeitinho” and most importantly could find a “way around” anything. They made money through unofficial means; playing billiards, betting on horses, and in some cases surviving as gigolos. Over time, this imaginary rogue has increasingly become viewed as a criminal, but not before his associated folklore took hold of the national psyche. A more marked expression of jeitinho came in the 1970s, in a landmark commercial for Vila Rica cigarettes. It was a time when nationalism was very different to the 1920s, a green and yellow pride and a megalomania fueled by the dictatorship. Against this backdrop a national hero and triple world cup champion midfielder Gerson coined his most famous phrase “You like to take advantage of everything too, right?” (The above text translated from the article Lei de Gerson at Istoe Brasil, 1999) The commercial did not have negative connotations at the time but later became the Lei de Gerson (Gerson’s Law). “It was very widespread jargon back then and the advertising captured the popular imagination,” says Historian and Researcher Maria Matos Izilda. “The Lei de Gerson served as yet another element in the definition of the Brazilian identity and a more explicit symbol of our ethics… or lack of them,” adds the historian. Lei de Gerson works like this; if you have a regular job and pay your taxes you are an “Otario” a sucker. If you can somehow gain advantage (money) finding a way around your circumstances without necessarily working you are “Esperto” or smart. To put this esperto guy into context you might recognize him in the character of Captain Jack Sparrow, an anti-hero who uses wit and deceit to attain his goals. Unfortunately, this also means there is usually a victim because someone has to get tricked for the jeitinho to work and those victims are nearly always other Brazilians. To me it explains why Brazilians are so reluctant to trust people they don’t know very well. The recent protests are an example of how frustrated Brazilian are with Lei de Gerson and jeitinho which is the root cause of most political corruption and scandals. Billions of reais of government money are wasted every year through esquemas “schemes” that rely on these cultural traits. In fact, many, many Brazilians do not subscribe to and deeply dislike this character trait. The thousands of companies operating in Brazil would not tolerate its official use by their employees and Supreme Court Justice, Joaquim Barboza, gave it no credence in his decisions in the Mensalo case. But it is still very ingrained in Brazilian society and bound up in its folklore. However, it has to be said that some Brazilians still admire such people and regard the perpetrators as heroes and their victims as gullible saps who should have seen it coming. Previous articles by Ed: Brazil: Mr Fancy Pants Brazil Pass Notes No. 1 – The Basics The United States of Brazil Brazil: Dont Stop the Party Brazil: Super Toucans and Little Freddy Seaside Brazil: Adventures in Portuguese

Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes

May 12, 2015 This week in our continuing Foreigners Through Brazilian Eyes series we have an interview with Denise S. Read on as Denise tells us about her impressions of foreigners, and gives some helpful advice also. 1. Where are you from in Brazil and what do you do? I was born in the south of Brazil, in Porto Alegre. I am a “curious” person so I have worked for international banks and imports/exports companies, later I taught English over many years. I am now studying at a Faculty of Music and I am a blogger, as well. 2. What are the main obstacles for foreigners in Brazil? I think the language is the main barrier, in my opinion, for foreigners in some parts of Brazil. Also, bureaucracy. Very slow. And Brazilians greet people warmly. This is something that can also be seen as impoliteness, I suppose. 3. What are common mistakes that foreigners make in Brazil? Many people think that everybody is poor, in Brazil. And that everybody lives in Rio. Or only go to beaches, instead of working. 4. What characteristic of other nationalities strikes you as the most different (eg. sense of humour, formality, dress)? Well, it’s a tricky question, cause I am seen in Brazil somewhat as a foreigner, because of having some characteristics of other nationalities, but some I have from my family, not all from Brazil. Let’s say, some Europeans don’t greet with kisses, rather a handshake or just waving. When I greet people in Brazil this way, they find me a snob. Don’t ever try to explain it, they will find you impolite anyway. I think British are punctual and I like it. I like the way some people care for the environment in some countries in Europe. 5. Which English accent do you prefer and why (eg. Scottish, American, Australian)? I studied at a North American school for a decade, so living in England and hearing the British accent was quite different for me, to “adjust” to some of their accents. Although many disagree and see some accents as “low level”, I find it very nice to hear accents in the UK. Scottish, for example, and Liverpudlian. I love those accents! I also like the Irish accent. 6. Favourite place travelled abroad and why? If I have to pick just one place I will choose Wales. The whole country. It’s a place with rich history, polite and sweet people, amazing views along the coast and valleys and I feel at home there. 7. Favourite foreign food? I am a fussy eater, unfortunately. And on the top of that, I am vegetarian since childhood. It makes it all very difficult for me to find food that I really like, in any part of the world. Brazilian food never said a thing to me. I used to eat Spanish dishes in my family, so I guess Spanish food doesn’t count on my report. I like simple dishes like avocado salad, caprese salad, coleslaw, fruit scones and clotted cream. Yorshire pudding is a must and Italian dishes, but alas, in the south of Brazil, hugely colonized by Italians, that would be a no-brainer. Swiss cheese like Tte de Moine is great. I also like some dishes of the Indian cuisine, like pilau rice and samosas, and Cornish and Greek pastries, such as tsoureki, trigona, bougatsa, etc. 8. Favourite foreign band, book and movie? The Beatles. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. But I’d like to mention Balzac, as well. Movies… it’s difficult. I like old movies, from late 30s till the 50s. Then I have so many to name that it would be unfair. But alas, I will name one: Cleopatra. I am a huge fan of Bollywood, as well. 9. Can you share an incident, misunderstanding or culture shock that you have experienced with a foreigner? In Germany the landlady used to check my garbage bags to see whether I was doing it right, separating organic from dry garbage. She then rang the bell to tell me that she opened my bags in the trash bins and didn’t like one item that I have placed there. I never heard of someone who would open the garbage bags of another person, get in touch with torn paper, other intimate women’s stuff and etc. it sounded disgusting to me, but she was protecting the environment, I guess. 10. What are 2 things you would recommend for a visitor to do in Brazil to better understand Brazilian people and their culture? I think just bear in mind that bureaucracy is really ridiculous, and try not to stress over it, and that when people greet you warmly, they mean to show you are welcome and they want you to enjoy your time with them and in Brazil. You can email Denise at denisesways@hotmail.com, and read her blog atwww.denisesplanet.com. If you are Brazilian, or know a Brazilian, who has traveled abroad or has considerable experience with different nationalities here in Brazil, we would like to hear from you. Please send an email with contact details and a brief description of yourself to gringoes@gringoes.com. To read previous interviews in the Brazil Through Foreign Eyes series click below: Ana Gauz Daniel Reschke Adriana Schmidt Raub Kledson Pires Juliana Barroso Maria Cristina Skowronski Flynn Antonia Sales Augusto Gomes Tatiane Silva Regina Scharf Rebecca Carvalho Augusto Uehara Ana da Silva Daniel Bertorelli Marco Cassol Ana Clark Vanessa Agricola Ubiratan S. Malta Brescia Terra Renata Andraus Ana Vitoria Joly Helio Araujo Adriano Abila Anderson Ferreira Sandra Partridge Samara Klug Szachnowicz Flavius Ferrari Daniela Ribeiro Adriano Gomes Alexandre Elizabeth Sacknus Geberson Coelho Rosaly Loula Andreas Saller Elvis Renato Barbosa Lima Bruno Santos Maria Cecilia Schmidt Maluf Marta Dalla Chiesa Cludia Ramis De Almeida Vivian Manasse Teixeira Leite Fernando Saffi Gabriela Kluppel Patrcia C. Ribeiro Fabiano Deffenti


Great Things To Do In Brazil: Hike The Dois Irmaos Trail

By Steve Nelson April 15, 2015 Rio de Janeiro has many trails that take you to the peaks of mountains in and around the city. One of the more interesting of them is the hike to the top of Irmao Maior, the bigger brother of the Dois Irmaos peaks that dominate Leblon and Ipanema Beaches, the iconic twin peaks of most Ipanema photos. Nothing better illustrates the contrast between the have and have nots in the city and the country than the half day hike to the top. The journey begins around the Av Niemeyer coastal road to the entrance of Vidigal, the boca (mouth) of a favela which sprawls over the lower slopes and can be seen twinkling away at night from Ipanema. The trail has only recently become popular again for visitors after the Police Pacification Project (UPP) set up in the favela. To be fair to the locals though, the trails around the mountain had been in use before this, as climbers opened up new routes up Irmaos Maior and Menor. From the main road, the trip to the trailhead can be done either hiking, or by a potentially exciting mototaxi ride. The steep, winding street takes you past the houses, shops, bars, churches, caged birds and colourfully graffitid walls, always accompanied by the music and commotion of day to day Vidigal. The beginning of the trail is one of the most unpromising in Rio! Passing between houses and through a playground, you enter the vegetation that still clings to the steeper hillsides that prevent construction. Inside the forest, twenty minutes of hiking takes you around the lower shoulders of the mountain until you begin a humid climb on to the slope that takes you to the top. From a viewpoint, Sao Conrado Beach opens ahead of you, with the sprawling Rocinha Favela directly below, the largest of Rios mountainside communities and perhaps the most notorious. Both are hemmed in by the peaks of Pedra da Gavea, Pedra Bonita and also Dois Irmaos. On clear days the colours of hang-gliding and paragliding wings circling down from the mountain to the sand make a colourful contrast with the blue sky, green forest and black rock-faces. Another 45 minutes through forest, low bush and up occasional rocks leads you up to the peak of Big Brother, at 533m almost directly above the Atlantic Ocean. The marker post at the highest point and the sloping rock a little to the front boast some of the finest views in Rio. The wealthy private condominiums overlooking Leblon are directly below, the high-rise buildings of Leblon and Ipanema spread out down the 3km extension of beach, their rooftop pools way down below you. Cristo, Sugar Loaf and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon all feature in your panorama, with the mountains behind Niteroi visible way along the coast. The sounds of Rio beach and community life drift up to you on each side of the summit. The deep blue Atlantic fills the skyline ahead as well. Clear days on the Dois Irmaos Trail will leave you with many photos of all the different aspects of Rio life: the mountains; the rainforest; the lagoons; tunnels; adventurous activities; and of course the statue and beaches that have made Rio famous worldwide. Even if you caught the mototaxi up the hill, the walk down to Av Niemeyer is recommended to experience a little of Vidigal and Rio. You can grab an aai from one of the local shops or buy a beer in a rooftop bar with a wonderful view, all of which helps out the Vidigal community, which welcomes visitors who come to hike the surprisingly good Dois Irmaos Trail. You can visit Steves blog at http://are-you-ready-for-brazil.blogspot.com Previous articles by Steve: Great Things To Do In Brazil: Jaguar Hunting Great Things To Do In Brazil: The Anhumas Abyss Great Things To Do In Brazil: Snorkelling the Rivers of Bonito Great Things To Do In Brazil: Kayaking the Costa Verde Great Things To Do In Brazil: Swimming with Amazon River Dolphins Great Things To Do In Brazil: Favela Tour USA to Review Tourist Visa for Brazilian Citizens Around Brazil: Tandem Hang-Gliding in Rio de Janeiro Around Brazil: The Botanical Gardens, Rio de Janeiro Around Brazil: The Rio de Janeiro Marathon Around Brazil: Praia do Pontal, Macumba, Prainha & Grumari (Rio de Janeiro) Around Brazil: The Rio de Janeiro Marathon Around Brazil: Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro Around Brazil: Lapa, Rio de Janeiro

Brazil: Foz do Iguacu – Out of This World

By Jeremy Clark April 15, 2015 This past November I headed back to Brazil for my vacation, this was my eighth trip there. Since I was young, I have always been interested in aircraft, I must have built every plastic model not to mention a remote controlled plane which took me a year to build. When I picked up Timothy Goods book “Above Top Secret” in the early 1990s, I was fascinated by the subject of UFOs, not meeting ETs, but the craft themselves and their propulsion systems. So it was a natural for me to attend the UFOZ world UFO conference in Foz Iguau this past November. I must admit, if I was visiting Brazil for the first time, Foz Iguau would be a great place to start. The falls are out of this world, they dwarf Niagara falls in Canada where I come from. Also the park is immaculate and a great place to try eco tourism. The bird park is also a must, I am sure the makers of Walt Disneys Rio went there to create “Blue”. The conference was well organized and they had speakers from all over the world. There was a professor from Norway who explained the famous Hessdalen Lights and several fighter pilots who had actually encountered UFOs. If you werent a believer before, you sure would be after. It is kind of fitting that UFOs would be a subject of interest to Brazilians, considering their long affilation with aviation. Alberto Santos-Dumont was one of the first inventors of the aeroplane, with his famous 14 BIS. I always find that each trip to Brazil is always a big adventure for me, I always expect to run into Colonel Fawcett emerging from the brush, and I have never been disappointed.

Brazil: A Capixaba Carnaval

CapixabaCarnaval250 By Shaun Alexander March 16, 2015 “Where are you going for Carnaval?” Or, in other words, where are you travelling for Carnaval – that’s the most common question among Capixabas in the weeks leading up to Carnaval. Traditionally, people from Vitoria leave the city during the holidays, either to go to beaches within Esprito Santo state, up to Bahia or down to Rio. Indeed, I can testify that Vitoria (where I’m currently living in Brazil), has been a ghost town over the last couple of days as bars, shops and restaurants have shut up shop in line with the mass exodus. However, things could be changing. The local mayor has invested a lot of money in keeping people at home during Carnaval, and it is now billed as the first parade in Brazil – occurring a whole week before the parades in So Paulo and Rio. This year, the parade was bigger and better than it’s been in many years. Even Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, made it to the event and starred in a school’s parade. The thinking is this: within a short commute from the city are around a dozen top quality beaches. Meanwhile, there are loads of interesting towns nearby where visitors from other states in Brazil can enjoy some interesting culture. If the parade and local events can be improved, perhaps Vitoria can become more of a destination during the holidays. Indeed, the stunning beach city of Guarapari, just 30 minutes drive away, does steal some of the limelight, but Vitoria should be considered as a base. While I didn’t make it to the parade itself, I did make it to the street blocos. Regional do Nair was spectacularly good, with some 20,000 people packing out the historic Rua 7 Setembro in the old city centre. The bloco lasted for an entire afternoon and into the night. I made a short movieshowing the incredible atmosphere at the event. The thing with Vitoria is that its a great city in all the ways that Rio de Janeiro is great, but is smaller. It has spectacular beaches, breath taking views, natural beauty, tremendous food and friendly people. It’s basically a mini Rio without all the problems associated with Rio’s sprawling masses. It’s clean, friendly and has loads to do. Perhaps I’m biased, but I am an advocate for Vitoria. I think it’s time the locals stood up and started shouting about their great city. For my part, I’ll do my part to keep writing and sharing photos and videos of this cool city. Shaun is a Scottish journalist and blogger based in Brazil. Subscribe to his video blog about Brazil. He is on Twitter and Instagram.