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:
- Caipirinhas (this is me, I am writing this so my choice overrides everyone else's, no arguing)
- Moqueca (seafood dish, mouth-wateringly delicious)
- Cost of eating out
- State of the roads
- Non-usage of mobile phones on the street (a correlation due to being visible targets for opportunistic thieves)
- Amount of flesh on show, regardless of age, size or shape
- Lack of 'conventional' coffee shops and patisseries
- Ipanema and Copacabana beach – walk, swim, cruise about, people watch
- Sugar Loaf Mountain – great views and a few marmosets thrown in for good measure to keep the kids entertained
- Barra – beautiful beaches, shame the mudslides prevented us from actually getting to them
- Corcovado with statue of Jesus the Redeemer – as above
- Róçinho – even just a drive through was enough to put matters into perspective, and instil a sense of value in the children
- The desire to come back and explore more, especially southern Brazil, the Pantanal (not quite feasible at present with young children) and Belo Horizonte
- Wishing I could speak Commitment to learn Portuguese
- 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)
- The softness of the water (and the mega-curl/frizz effect on my hair, reminiscent of 1980s perm)
- 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.
Yes, of course. Children included.
*The Rough Guide to Brazil (October 2009)