Reflections on Brazil

DSC00881.JPG Lucy My favourite thing is the Brazilian flag. I think it is green for the rainforest, a yellow diamond for the dry land and a blue circle for the sea because Brazil has all those places. IMG_0585.JPG We went to the Pantanal, it was very exciting. We discovered that Hyacinth macaws are really endangered but where we were there there were lots of them, they were very noisy. Blue macaws are not endangered but we only saw two of them. Mummy found me a huge long tail feather from one of them. We didn't see jaguars on my birthday but we did see them on the second and third day. We were all very excited but Daddy was the most excited. IMG_0586.JPG We went to Rio and stayed near "Coco-banana" beach. We went to the beach but the sea was very cold. I knew all the places because of the movie "Rio". We couldn't go to Christ the Redeemer because it was so busy. I wanted to dance in front of the statue like the birds do in the movie. Alisha We were really lucky in the Pantanal to see jaguar, I really wanted to see a cub but they were all adults. In the Diamanti National Park, I found a real diamond on the ground. It had lots of flaws in it though, so when we held it over a flame to test it it broke in two. I don't mind though now I can make it into a necklace and a ring. In Brasilia we saw lots of beautiful buildings. I especially liked the cathedral because of its funny shape. We went to Rio and stayed in an apartment, it was a bit weird because there were clothes in the cupboard and things in the bathroom that belonged to someone else. We liked staying near Ipanema beach. There were ladies walking around in tiny bikinis with their bottoms hanging out. The one thing I really wanted to see in Rio was carnival but it wasn't the right time. I'll have to come back when I'm older for that. A carnival costume I designed: IMG_0587.JPG We went to a German town where there was a big Christmas display. It felt very strange seeing Santa, snowmen and baby Jesus in the stable when it was baking hot and we were wearing shorts and T-shirts. Gilly We've been in Brazil longer than any other country on this trip and we have seen so many different things. The driving distances have been long as we've crossed the country but as we wiggled down the coast, it has often been just a few hours between beaches. Brazil has some of the world's best beaches, being here in early summer meant that the weather wasn't always sunny but it was lovely and warm and we often had them almost to ourselves. Many of the beaches were backed by the Atlantic rainforest as well, which ticked all my "tropical beach" fantasies. The sunshine helped us fall in love with Rio too, we had been 5 years ago in their winter and although we enjoyed ourselves it didn't standout. This time though, staying just behind Ipanema beach with everyone out enjoying themselves, we love it and totally understand what all the hype is about. DSC00904.JPG We've come to love the Brazilian buffet, good, hearty, home style food usually paid for by weight. As you enter a launchonete, you are handed a slip of paper, you fill up your plate, it's weighed and you pay on leaving. There is always salad, rice, beans and a whole host of meats and stews. It's been ideal for the girls as they can chose exactly what they like and Steve and I have got to try lots of unusual Brazilian dishes. Even better for the girls though has been the self-service, pay by weight ice cream buffets! The range of flavours were astounding with a whole gamut of fruits we have never heard of, again a great chance for Steve and I to try new things out and the only thing restricting the girls has been their parents. Steve I have really loved been in Brazil. We have spent 9 and a half weeks here and driven just less than 10,000kms but we still only saw a part of it. It's such a big country with so much to see that there would still be plenty more for us to see if we did not need to head South. We have struggled with the language here although towards the end we did start to understand a little of what was been said. It will be good to be back in a Spanish speaking country so we can communicate better with local people again. Even with the language difficulties the people have been very friendly and helpful. The sights we have seen have been fantastic. My highlight must be watching a Jaguar swimming and hunting in the Pantanal. The Pantanal was fantastic and staying in the grounds of the Porte Joffre Lodge was a perfect place to be. We have also spent some great times on the beach which have been so different from one an other but are all great places to relax. DSC00086.JPG We have also seen some lovely Colonial town and I particularly enjoyed our time in Rio, definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The food has been first class and we had some lovely meals at Churrascarias where I fully indulged in the fantastic meat that was on offer. Mind you we are going to be eating great meat for a while as it will be just as good in Argentina. As we headed South in the country it became more developed. The Southern part is really no different from Parts of Europe. This was especially the case around Blumenau where it looked like Germany although with a more tropical twist. All in all a great country and I am sure we will be back one day.

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