Thursday, 15 April 2010

Summary as we head home

Rather than rabbit on about the ins and outs and ups and downs, I thought a few lists were more in order. Time - and comments - will tell whether this is both appropriate and sufficient to convey our experiences about the trip, and I would really appreciate feedback. Bear in mind we have only covered a teeny weeny part (Rio and Buzios) of this enormous country, so the views are from a limited perspective. Let's see how we go.

Top five things about Brazil:
  1. People
  2. Scenery
  3. Caipirinhas (this is me, I am writing this so my choice overrides everyone else's, no arguing)
  4. Moqueca (seafood dish, mouth-wateringly delicious)
  5. Swimwear
Top five things that astounded us:
  1. Cost of eating out
  2. State of the roads
  3. Non-usage of mobile phones on the street (a correlation due to being visible targets for opportunistic thieves)
  4. Amount of flesh on show, regardless of age, size or shape
  5. Lack of 'conventional' coffee shops and patisseries
Top five things to do in Rio:
  1. Ipanema and Copacabana beach – walk, swim, cruise about, people watch
  2. Sugar Loaf Mountain – great views and a few marmosets thrown in for good measure to keep the kids entertained
  3. Barra – beautiful beaches, shame the mudslides prevented us from actually getting to them
  4. Corcovado with statue of Jesus the Redeemer – as above
  5. Róçinho – even just a drive through was enough to put matters into perspective, and instil a sense of value in the children
Top five things I will take away from this visit:
  1. The desire to come back and explore more, especially southern Brazil, the Pantanal (not quite feasible at present with young children) and Belo Horizonte
  2. Wishing I could speak Commitment to learn Portuguese
  3. Dreaming of an endless pot of money to buy more bikinis from the likes of Bum Bum Ipanema (yes, that is a real brand name)
  4. The softness of the water (and the mega-curl/frizz effect on my hair, reminiscent of 1980s perm)
  5. The natural warmth of the Brazilians and how lucky I am to have BB not just as a friend but also as a guide during our first week here.
Think that sums it up. This country has been a revelation and a wonderful one at that. We have felt welcomed with open arms, the locals have been more helpful than I could have anticipated, and the language an "explosive linguistic Jacuzzi", to quote our guide book*. There will be plenty more recollections in due course as the photos are downloaded and the video footage edited, but the bottom line is our answer to the most obvious of questions: would we come back?

Yes, of course. Children included.

*The Rough Guide to Brazil (October 2009)


  1. Sounds brilliant!

    I have travelled in South America quite a bit but never to Brazil, and I would love to go. One thing I definitely recall is that you cannot get a decent cup of coffee, which is bizarre considering it's grown there. Someone told us all the good stuff is exported.

  2. I have enjoyed your musings on your trip, the lists are very good. Loved the hair comment. HMx

  3. More musings to follow as we are still stranded in Brazil and currently back in Rio.


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