Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 19, 2015
We are still in Rio and having a good time. Our host's took us on a day tour around Rio and its beaches, it is indeed a wonderful and lively city. Thankfully we can still stay a few more day's here at the Collegio Babtista, most students were on Carnaval vacation and will be back on monday so that is the end of our stay here, also it is time to move on. We finally ran out of Propane, so no Fridge and no coffee in the morning. We have been looking for two weeks for propane but none of the companies could or were willing to supply us as our system is unknown here. Waldeck and Debora took us on a walking tour of historic Rio and also a little part of one Favela. On the way we met Marieke and Sophie from Farce who decided to tag along with us as we had such a good guide. We spend a very nice afternoon together. Today it is over 40 degrees and I am not moving from my shaded spot.
Today the 21st. We finally did get Propane and now we can cook again and most important make coffee in the morning.
Waldeck and Debora picked us up at 4 this afternoon and we drove out to their summer place in the mountains, we arrived very late and it was dark and on a little dirt track. We did not know what to expect. Well, what a surprise, the gate was opened and there we drove in to a perfect sanctuary, a main house and 4 cabanas all very tastefully furnished and decorated, with a creek running through the property that can be dammed and you have a swimming pool. Lawns nicely groomed and many outside showers. We walked up though a banana plantation to a waterfall and had a swim to cool off. Stopped at a friends house and he was cooking "Fashada" a Brazilian specialty. What an amazing journey we are having. 
We booked our flight home for March 16, as our car insurance runs out on March 12th and we found a place where we can park the Blue Wonder until our return in November.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti
That is the closest we got to Christi Redador

View of Rio from Pan de Azucar
Waldeck and Debora took us out for lunch in this very nice Coffee house

Shopping district of Rio

Cathdral in Rio

At 40 degrees we needed refreshment every 30 minutes

This is where Marieke and Sophie joined us

Escala de ? very close to the Vavelas

The beaches are so white you can not be without sunglasses

6am. in the morning, negotiating for Propane in the middle of Rio and finally success

We did get a taste of the bean soup he is cooking 
That is what I call cooling off
The Vavelas
Norbert almost got his camera taken away for taking a picture in the Vavels

The Sanctuary

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Had an early start and arrived at our destination in Rio at It took us 9 hours for what should have been a 5.5 hour drive. Most of the delay was coursed by one wrong turn very close to our destination and many closed roads due to Carnaval. Thankfully we did make it and are now parked at the Collegio Babtisa where the guard knew we were expected. Met Neto and Grazi who live on the grounds and arranged for our stay. We were right away offered Dinner and most welcome was the shower as it is 40 degrees here. Also met Sergio and Ana who do volunteer work here with the children of the Favelas. 
February 15 we met up with Thibaut and Renata and Asvin, and together went with the Metro to the Parade grounds, just as we arrived it started to rain and did not let up until 2am. The show started a little late but what a spectacular event. I have watched the parade on TV but in the stadium you can feel the plus and the energy not only from the parade in front of you but also the spectators. The floats are incredible and the costumes very elaborate. The event started at 9pm. And finished at 6am. We did stay until 3:30 am. Then the metro ride back and walk to our camper it was 5:0 am. before we were in bed. Today as it is my Birthday I can chose the activity, so I chose sleep to make up for last nite.
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti

These are the wonderful people at the Collegio Babtista who made it possible for us to park in Rio de Janeiro.

These are our hosts for the Carnaval Parade

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Our camping spot in Rio

Neto and Grazia  who treated us like family.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Arrived in Ouro Preto and the town is in pre Carnaval stage. Very busy and road closures and detours. Found our campground and walked in to town after 5pm. as it is very hot.
Again lots of history here. We visited one mine and as the entrance fee was 25 Reales I said in German to Norbert that I did not want to pay such a high fee ($10) as I have seen many mines before.
To my surprise a very Brazilian looking young man said in perfect german that this mine is well worth a tour as this mine did not use any explosives and it is a guided tour. Turns out he was born in France, mother German and father Brazilian and owner of the mine. So Leo Linke (his name) did the tour with us and translated for me. Thank you Leo Linke. The streets are very steep and to go from one site to the next is like doing the Grouse Grind and add 39+ degrees, and at the end a 3km. walk back to camp. 
Tomorrow we will drive to Rio, as we were invited and given tickets to the famous Carnaval in Rio Parade by Thibaut whom we met at the waterfalls. Or friends Andre and Marcia who are Brazilian and live in Toronto went to great lengths to find us a place in Rio where we can park the Blue Wonder and sleep in it. No small feat in Rio. Thank you Andre and Marcia for without your help we would not have been able to go. Amazing how things work out. So off to Rio tomorrow Feb. 14th.
Hugs to all 
Norbert and Greti    
Pictures to follow.
Just to show the dimension of the door,
San Joao del Rei

Ouro Preto 

Spectacular views

Yes we did walk this in 30+ heat

Leo Linke our translator at Mina Du Veloso

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From Paraty we drove to Angra dos Reis and gave the town a short visit, Norbert remembers the bay from the late 1960's but in the past 48 years it has changed. There are now 2 nuclear power plants and a 3rd. Under construction. The views of the islands are beautiful but many of the beaches are not open to the public. 
We then went to Volta Rodonda as we were told that we could get our propane tank filled there,
not so, we were sent all over town but could not find a filling station. So on we went to Barbasena where we found a level parking for the nite. Today we went to Tiradentes, a very historic mining town, with lots of antique stores and artisan work. If it was not for the cars, one would feel transported back in time. Had lunch and in that small restaurant met one man from California and 3 young ladies from Portland Oregon. The girl from Portland was surprised to see us as she was told a few days ago of a camper that drove all the way from Canada.
On the drive out of town a car passed us and a girl waived her Canadian drivers license and jelled "I am also Canadian". We are now in São João del Rei, another historic mining town with a big university and famous for its Churches. We are parked on campus with permission of the faculty. Did the walking tour of the tourist spots and are now ready for a good sleep. Our next stop is Ouro Preto.
Pictures to follow
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti
We went just a little further and turned around, 

The islands before Angra dos Reis
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Not only humans seek refuge in a church,

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Marco and Pricillia showed us the special places around Barro Uno and we spent a nice morning together, too bad it was cloudy but the views were spectacular. Thank you Marco and Pricillia. 
Our next stop was Praya Pauba, very small, not even on the map but a fantastic beach. There we met Yvonne, born in Brazil and speaks perfect Swiss, German and English. Yvonne was so kind to invite us to her home for a shower, could not get to her house with the Blue Wonder as her driveway is the steepest I have ever seen, so she took me in her car.
Then on to Paraty where we again had a perfect spot right at the beach and next to the pedestrian only part of the historic town. Got WiFi from the french restaurant even after hours. As we drove in to Paraty a gentleman stopped us an offered us help if we needed translating, he is from Alberta and now lives in Rio.
We did a boat tour of the surrounding islands, then had a wonderful meal at Allan's the french restaurant. There we met another overlander originally from Farce who departed from french Guyana and are traveling with 2.5 year old Naia. After breakfast with Allan we headed for Cumha which is on the original gold road, ( estrada real) we were advised that the road is in poor condition, but after the roads in Peru we thought how bad can it be, so we went. Had to turn around after 25 km. it was that bad, but as a reward we found a waterfall with good pools for bathing, there we met Thibaut and he invited us to Rio and offered us tickets to the Carnival Parade next Sunday.we will see if we can make it there. It will be hard to find a secure place to park, let alone camp.
So far Brazil has been tops, the scenery, vegetation, beaches, all is stunning and the people wonderful. We are now parked at a Shell station and the nuclear power plant of Angro dos Rais. 
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti
 Pictures to follow.
Fisherman in Paranagua but will also take you to the different Islands

Harbour Paranagua

Everything grow on everything Marretes 

Morretes our nice camping spot.

so many different plants on one Palmtree

abundance of flowers

Our fafrite camping spot on the river in Morretes and free

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A topical downpour in Brazil 
Marco and Pricilla who prepared the best Crepes 
Some of the friendly Brazilians on the Ferry

exotic spices and candies