I have been having a very nice time in Brazil for the last two weeks. The weather has been mixed between 25 degrees and rainy in Sao Paulo to 40 degrees and cloudless in Rio.
Summer weather in Sao Paulo state
I got off the plane around at 6am local time having escaped the European winter. It was strange to feel such warmth when your body is more used to freezing darkness.
We drove to northern Sao Paulo state and on the way I was a bit confused at the sight of people randomly jogging and cycling along the motorway. Others were just standing there miles from civilisation with nothing else around besides coffee plantations and fruit farms:
Typical view from the motorway - orange grove
We visited Jose-Gabriels ranch – they are very hospitable and eat and drink all day. We got a tour of the garden and were able to pick and eat the many fruits they had growing there:
persimmon or sweet tomato fruit at Jose's Ranch
Jabuticaba - brazilian grape
Speaking of food, one of the things I was most looking forward to in Brazil was a visit to a Churrascaria or steak house. It is an all you can eat affair and you have a little sign which you can flick from red to green. If green the waiters come to your table with cooked meat on a spit and slice it off for you. On my first visit to one I ate Alligator, Ribs, Sausage, Chicken and eventually they brought some Picanha. I expected I would get a whole one but unfortunately they only serve you a slice or two at a time:
Picanha - top sirloin cap
I learned my lesson the second time I went to one in Rio and waited patiently for steak, steak with garlic and steak with cheese. I also tried this meat on a pizza, my two favourite foods combined.
The brazilians do some strange stuff with ice cream. I tried it on a chocolate pizza (strange) and sweet corn ice cream (not great!)
sweet corn ice-cream
Rio is amazing! We arrived on a Sunday and the streets were packed with people trying to sell any and everything. Some guys were selling empty glass bottles, plastic dolls, old books, clothes, shoes, wires, pieces of broken telephones etc etc.
The layout is confusing at first and I eventually figured it out when we got above the city to the Christ Redeemer statue.
Rio from Christ Redeemer
We visited the Sugar Loaf Mountain and more spectacular views of the city:
view of copacabana from the sugar loaf mountain
favella from fast and furious rio
Spent an afternoon on Ipenama beach:
Beautiful sunset at Ipanama to clapping and cheering
visited Rio botanical garden:
Rio Botanical Garden
They are fond of old cars in Brazil, especially the VW Beetle, Opel Kadett and the Ford escort.
common sight in brazil
We are going to Florianopolis and German Brazil. The lonely planet mentions that many people think the German towns in Santa Katarina were built by Nazis on the run however they were created far earlier than that.
Maybe we will meet some of the boys from brazil.