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Chapada dos Guimarães national park

Hi all, There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the Chapada dos Guimarães. I’d been to Brazil several times before anyone told me about this national park. But it’s worth visiting, especially if you plan to visit the Pantanal from the north. The Pantanal? OK, let’s back up. You’ve no doubt heard of the Florida […]

Driving in Brazil

Hi all, Brazil is a large, diverse, and beautiful country. There are many beautiful places to visit – but many are best visited by car. Public transport tends to be pretty good in most cities, and inter-city buses can carry you in comfort inexpensively from one city or town to another. But for real freedom […]

Herbie Hancock performs at the MIMO Festival in Paraty

Hello all! I’m back after a few days of R&R in Paraty, my old stomping ground. I went down from Rio with my Aussie friend Rod and stayed in Paraty with my Brazilian friend Eryck. The reason for the trip down was that this past weekend the MIMO festival opened in Paraty. The MIMO Festival […]

Destination: Blue Grotto

Hi all, Brazil is without question one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. In particular, Brazil has some amazing beaches and islands. If you happen to visit here (and a visit to Brazil should be on everyone’s bucket list), likely you’ll visit Rio. And not far north of Rio is an area called […]

Destination: Canela

Hi all, Canela, which means “cinnamon” in Portuguese, is a small town in the south of Brazil. It’s located in the Serra Gaúcha, or Gaúcha Highlands, and it attracts many tourists every year, primarily because of ecoturism. If you enjoy activities such as hiking, rock climbing, river rafting, rappelling, or shooting zip lines, this is […]

My First Visit to Brazil, Part 7: Impressions of Brazil

Hi all, My days in Rio passed quickly, and then one evening Marisa was driving me to Galeão to catch my return flight home. It seemed almost surreal to be returning to the US. My life there, my job, all of it seemed to be from another lifetime. It was as if I’d stepped into […]

My First Visit to Brazil, Part 6: Back to Rio

Hi all, Leaving Vitoria was bittersweet. I already missed Junior, Simone, Claudete, and all of my new friends. But I knew with certainty that I would be back. And ahead of me, less than an hour by plane, lay Rio. It seemed like forever since I had stuffed myself into a stupor at the rodizio […]

My first visit to Brazil, part 5: The perfect week

Hello all, After a bit of a detour due to Carnaval, I’d like to continue telling you about my first visit to Brazil, and why I fell in love with this country. *** My friend Junior’s mother Marlene had introduced me to a cousin named Claudete, who was more or less tasked by Marlene with […]

My First Visit to Brazil, part 4: Around Vitoria

My First Visit to Brazil, part 4: Claudete and “a semana perfeita” (the perfect week) The day after the welcome-home party, Junior’s mom, Marlene, called me to come from the patio where I was getting some sun with Junior and trying to shake off the lingering effects of the festivities. Brazilian beer, I realized, might […]

My First Visit to Brazil, Part 3: Vitoria Arrival

Junior, Simone, and I fled the rodizio and made our connecting flight to Vitoria. Vitoria and Vila Velha Vitoria and Vlia Veha2 Vitoria’s airport, in contrast to Rio’s Galeão, was tiny. It was easy to retrieve our bags, as there was only one baggage carousel!  I helped Junior to hoist his collection of overstuffed bags […]