As I said I would, I will post pictures of my trip and they will be at the end of this post.
We arrived in Brazil on December 26th and my brother was waiting for us at the airport, taking us to my mother’s house, where we stayed most of the time we were there. The traffic was not bad as most of people were traveling so it was all good and we made pretty fast from the airport to my mom’s.
I didn’t sleep very well in the plane so I was pretty tired after almost 20 hours travel, counting airport time, so around 8pm, Brazil time I was in bed. Woke up 10:30am! I needed that sleep!
We went to rent a car because it would be hard to stay there without a car, not much for me, but more for my husband. When I go by myself I don’t rent a car as I don’t go any place and stay most of the time with my mom. Boring, I know… but I’m a home buddy.
Okay, so my husband is a gym fanatic so I had to find a place for us to work-out and we found one near my mom’s. It was a new and pretty good one. But, as he lifts a lot of weight I decided to use one that was farther but that had everything a bodybuilding guy needs and we would use Bio Ritmo when we came back from the beach on January 6th until we left on January 12th.
On Saturday, December 28 we had lunch at my sister who lives in a city nearby or perhaps was on Sunday. I don’t know anymore. I lost track, at last, I was on vacation.
On December 30th we went to my brother apartment at the beach. I didn’t want to risk and face all the traffic on the 31st, because usually, those who doesn’t have a house e at the beach or don’t rent a place or stay in a hotel, they go on the 31st and spend the night at the beach just to participate in the festivities and then they go back home on January 1st. The traffic can be really bad. A trip that takes about one hour can take four to 10 hours easily. It’s crazy!!
It was so hot at the beach. December is summer time in Brazil. It is hot and humid. We met a gentleman, named Valdemar Santos, who was a sand sculptor and he made one just for us in 15 minutes. My husband love the attention he was receiving from strangers at the beach. People in Brazil is very friendly and they like to interact with foreigners.
At Christmas and New Year’s Eve, dinner is served around 10:00 pm and my sister in law this time made a delicious meal for us, a traditional meal which consists in turkey or ham as the main dish. We had ham and it was delicious.
In my last blog I talked about the traditions for the New Year. Yes, as I said I dressed in white and I went to the beach a little before midnight to see the fireworks… oh, yes, I forgot to tell you about the fireworks. It’s part of the celebration.
I took some pictures of the little boats that devotees of Iemanja take to the beach and leave in the ocean as an offer for her. Some people, who doesn’t bring a boat, ask those who have if they could stick their prayers and notes with requests or thanks in their boats. They always let you if you ask.
After the midnight celebration at the beach we went back home. Most people stay longer walking alongside the beach, talking, taking pictures, drinking, celebrating.
Next morning we left to continue our trip. The good thing is that we were not taking the same road to Sao Paulo. The traffic just to leave my brother’s till a certain part of the road was terrible. After we took the direction to Rio Santos traffic was much better.
We drove on Rio Santos Highway for a couple of hours and we arrived at Riviera de Sao Lourenco. Riviera de Sao Lourenco is a very modern neighborhood with everything you need from supermarket to hotels and pousadas. I drove around it just for my husband to have an idea about it. He really liked it.
A few miles away we stopped at a McDonalds for a quick lunch and we were back to the road. We didn’t have any reservation for January 1st but I was certain that we would find something on our way to Sao Sebastiao and we did. We found this place in Boicucanga across from the beach called Casa de Pedra Pousada and Restaurant. The accommodations were simple but decent and clean. It rained a lot at night and we loved it. We love thunderstorms and heavy rain. Oh, and although the hotel was right there by the road, there was no noise from the traffic. I was surprised. The breakfast was simple too but with lots of fruit and a variety of bread and cakes.
We hit the road in the morning around 10:30am and we got to our hotel around noon… too early for check in (check in was 4pm), but we could enjoy the facilities while our room was ready. So we changed by the pool and stayed there for a while. Boy it was hot. Ilha de Toque Toque Boutique Hotel didn’t disappointed, the views were amazing and the staff was very helpful and nice. Gustavo was the first person who greeted us. And there was “Alemao” a sweet old dog that hangs out laying down on the floors in the shades to cool down from the hot weather.
We had lunch at the restaurant and it was just delicious. After lunch, while we were still waiting for our room my husband found a book about Brazil in the reception and I ended up reading it as well. I have to say that besides some things that the author, Michael Palin says about Brazil’s costumes, which I didn’t agree with him, was pretty good and I recommend it if you want to have a sense of that country. It is pretty accurate and I have to take my hat off for the guy. He also has some videos on YouTube documenting his trip.
It was almost 4pm and another couple arrived to check in. They were also instructed to hang out around the facilities as their room was not ready yet.
We were pretty tired from the road trip and it was 5pm that our bedroom was ready. Andre, the Manager, took us to our room and when he opened the door I was speechless. The room was very well decorated and the view! Unbelievable! It was totally worth the wait. I went straight to the balcony. Very private with a bathtub/jacuzzi! We left the room only to have diner and we came back to enjoy our room and the views. For some reason I woke up around 3am and I got up and looked outside. My God, I could not believe what my eyes saw!! There were so many stars in the skies I could not believe it. I could see the milk-way! Seriously, with naked eyes… all white and bright. I got out the way I was born and brought a towel and thrown it in the chair and laid on it. My husband, who loves all things related to astronomy, joined me. There we were, three in the morning, watching the falling stars in the milk-way. It was one after another! I don’t know how many we saw during the time we stayed there. It was gorgeous and I will never forget.
I took some pictures form my cell phone but they didn’t come out good so I gave up and just enjoyed the show the universe was presenting to us.
At some point I heard a noise next to our room and I could only see two shiny lights… eyes of an animal… I don’t think it was a monkey. It was too slow. I believe it was a “bicho-preguica”, I think the translation for it is sloth.
I took a picture from my cell phone but the only thing I could see was two little shiny eyes and its form. It was too dark and because he didn’t run way or jump immediately made me think it was a “preguica”. Preguica is a mammal that is not afraid of humans when we cross its path and is very slow when moving around.
We woke up and had a delicious and abundant breakfast. At 2pm we left this little paradise but we will certainly go back and spend more time. We were now off to continue our way, at that time, to our final destination, Angra dos Reis.
The traffic was a little heavy every time we would approach a beach city but it was not bad. As expected, my husband loved the views I kept talking about before our trip. The road really opens up to gorgeous view from Sao Sebastiao till Angra.
We arrived at Pousada Jamanta almost 8pm. Dinner time… we were hungry! Unfortunately, we could not order regular dinner as you can only reserve your dinner until 7:00pm. However, they gave us a menu and told us we could have burgers, fries or other type of sandwiches and salads. They also gave us a menu from a pizzeria nearby but we opted for what they had.
Next morning we were having breakfast and the tour’s coordinator stopped by our table to inform us that there was a cancelation for a tour and he wanted to know if we would like to go. We said yes and after breakfast we headed to the pool area to wait for the boat that would take us.
Leandro was the sailor who would take us on the tour and we were ten people in total. We would spend all day and would come back at 5pm.
When everybody was in the boat he explained the tour which I translated to my husband. We would stop in a couple of islands and in a couple of beaches, one which we would have lunch. There was fruit and water in the boat for snacks.
At lunch time it was fun to watch a couple from Ireland to try to communicate with the waitress. They talked to us and to another group of foreigners to find out about the food. They told us they had been in Brazil for a couple of weeks and there had been a lot of mimics and surprises when the food arrived.
We loved the tour and Leandro was a sweetheart and very professional. We were back to the pousada at 5 as he said we would. I found out that I had to leave a day earlier as I had a meeting so we packed and next morning we were on our way to Rio de Janeiro. I didn’t want to drive as I’ve never drove in Rio and the traffic there is pretty crazy. People don’t respect red lights.
We didn’t have reservation as we didn’t plan to go there, so when we arrived and drove around to find an accommodation. I didn’t want to stay in Copacabana as I don’t like that area. Instead we passed it and drove to Ipanema, a much better location in Rio and we found a hotel at Rua Maria Quiteria.
We dropped our luggage in our bedroom and went to the beach, which was crowded as anything. A guy from one of the tents in the beach that sells drinks and snacks offered us chairs and umbrella to rent, which we gladly accepted. You can each or not from them, it doesn’t matter, as long as you pay for the chairs and umbrella. So, we stayed there for a couple of hours and went back to the hotel to shower and then we went out for dinner. We ended up, by chance in a bar that I’ve been before and I loved it, the Barthodomeu. It has live music and the food is good with reasonable prices. The hotel we stayed at was a block away from it, in the same street. It was perfect. Then we stopped in another place for acai and that’s how our night ended.
Next morning, after breakfast, business completed and we were on our way back to Sao Paulo.
I was worried because I didn’t want to end up in the “linha vermelha”, red line but thankfully I did not get lost and the trip to Sao Paulo took about five and a half hours.
Our next week consisted in trips to the gym, relaxation and a gathering with my best friends. We meet every year, sometimes individually and sometimes in groups, depending on my time. It is our annual get together and this time it was awesome and I already miss them.
On our way back to my mom’s from our gathering something happened and I will talk about it later. Not fun… scary!
On Sunday we got our stuff together and it was time to say goodbye to my family. This time, when I said good bye to my mom, I felt terribly sad as I saw a lot of pain in her eyes and that hurt me deeply.
I’m so looking forward to see my family and friends again at the end of the year!
I will talk to you again soon about my views for the world cup.
See you later!