Sunday, March 15, 2015

Beach in Saquarema


Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Nazareth

How much better can it get?

This is were we met Thyago and Hariel

Beach in Saqurema
Hariel making lunch

Packing up the Blue Wonder

The fish was prepared in 4 ways, deep fried, boiled, smoked and grilled, thank you Ana and Sergio
one last inspection before we close the door for 7 months

Drove down to the coast and parked right on the beach and had a wonderful quiet nite.
Woke up by the noise of people taking pictures of the Blue Wonder. Had breakfast and as we were looking for WiFi in town we met Thyago and Hariel who speak english and had lived in the USA for some years.
After talking for a few minutes we were invited to their home for a shower and WiFi. which we gladly accepted. Not only did we get internet and a shower but I could do my laundry and Ariel even has a dryer, which is a rarity here. We also were able to print out our flight information, and to top it off Hariel cooked us a wonderful lunch. Thank you again Thyago and Hariel, you made our day.
We met up with Waldeck and Debora and thy showed us the way to Ana and Sergio's place where we will store the Blue Wonder until November 2015.
Today March the 15th. We are in Niterói in the Plaza Hotel.
We parked the Blue Wonder at the summerhouse of Sergio and Ana were we had the place to ourself and could remove all edibles from the camper and give it a very good cleaning, as any dirt left will turn mouldy over the next months. Also gave away some things we do not need, and packed all the things we need to take home.
Ana and Sergio with Gustavo (their son) and his girlfriend Karin arrived and cooked us a wonderful dinner. Waldeck drove us to our hotel and today we met up with Thibaut and Renata (the couple who donated the tickets to Carnaval)  and had lunch and a walk on the beach with them. Of all our travels, Brazil ranks at the top, the people are open and very helpful with a wonderful curiosity. We have made so many friends here and look forward to return in November.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti

Estrada Real the old Gold mine route built by Slaves

We just passed over this bridge

It is so nice to cool off after a hike.

all still in good spirits and in aw of the acoustics

Step carefully

Greti in a tight place

This is as far as I would go

Alex after the rescue and in pain.

Interview with Global Brazil

We planned on leaving Diamantina after breakfast on the 9th, and had the camper ready to leave after breakfast. While preparing breakfast in the communal kitchen we got talking with Stefani and Alex from San Paulo who were on a tenting vacation. Lots of questions about our experience in Brazil. Thy left for a day trip and we said our goodbyes, and we prepared to leave for our return to Rio.
Just before we took off, Alex and Stefani returned and asked us if we wanted to go with them to visit some waterfalls and caves, so we prepared a quick lunch and off we went with them.
This is so typically Brazilian. We had a wonderful day together and went places we would not have gone to with the Blue Wonder. The acoustics in the canyon are special and the university of Diamantina has concerts there. We went in to some caves but there were no safety devices there at all so I did not venture very far, Norbert and Alex went deeper and at one point Alex slipped and slid down a crack, lucky for his little backpack not very far. Norbert had to help him back up and as it turned out he was a little in shock, had some scrapes and bruises and his shoulder was so sore he could not drive back. Norbert drove him straight to the hospital where it turns
 out that he has a fracture in his shoulder. So thy will go home to Sao Paulo and see a specialist there. Stefani will drive home. This morning while thy were packing the car thy discovered a flat tire and as Alex has his arm in a sling and is on painkillers "Norbert to the rescue" and the spare was on in no time. While driving south on highway 40 to Rio we drove past an Iron mine. And as the soil here is dark red mixed with the ore, the highway and all the signs and road markings were barely visible as all is covered by this dust. When we stopped for lunch, a Global TV crew interviewed Norbert and wanted his opinion as a tourist on the condition of this stretch of highway that is caused by the mine. So, outspoken Norbert gave his opinion, and I am curious if thy will air it.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti

Greetings from Greti.
Everything is covered in red mud

Norbert to the rescue


Diamantina Street music at its best
Again a perfect parking for the nite
Marina joining us for coffee

No power no problem, lets make music

Marina's thank you card
nobody could tell us what happened to the bridge

We did find a German restaurant, very good
Met Marina  who is Brazilian but speaks English and Spanish, and  is tenting next to us, she wanted to go to Buzios and as we were headed north we gave her a ride. She decided to skip Buzios and came with us to Ibiris, a very small fishing village mostly  unknown to tourists.
We found a small campsite at the beach but our Blue Wonder does not fit, so we are parked on the road and Marina is in the camping place.
After dinner it started raining and the whole village lost power. No problem for us, Marina pulled out her guitar and played for us, we had a wonderful evening. Just goes to show you never know how the day will end and who you will meet.
Marina stayed with us until Guarapari where we dropped her off at the bus depot as she wanted to go to Vitoria. We again went to camping club do Brazil and took the bus in to town to do some needed shopping.
hugs to all
Norbert and Greti
From Guarapari we went to Manhuaçu where we found a good parking for the nite at a shell gas station.
While in town looking for a bank, passersby stopped and wanted to see the camper,and asked questions of our travels.. Lucas and his girlfriend wanted to see the inside and as we were talking more and more people gathered and took pictures of us and the camper. everybody tried to show us the best rout to Diamantine, we did in the end follow the advise of a truck driver. The drive is slow but the scenery is spectacular.
Stopped for a short rest at a ALE gas station and met Sandro and his wife.
Thy both had worked in the USA for 10 years and with the money saved came back to Brazil and opened a business and now employ 14 people. We were invited for a coffee and to spend the weekend at his ranch. We are now in Serro, 60km. Short of Diamantine. Again a crowd of young boys surround us and we are impressed with the intelligent questions thy ask. I gave them all a Canadian Quarter as a souvenir, and a little later one of the boys gave me a Brazilian quarter as a souvenir. There is a party in town so I hope we will get some sleep.
March 7, music stooped at 10pm. So we did have a quiet nite. Arrived in Diamantina and had a hard time finding the camping place. Narrow and steep cobbled streets make interesting driving, where I think we will never get through, a car still passes us. Perception from the passenger side must be different. We did find the camping, a very nice spot and only 10 minutes walk in to the historic centre, mind you, a very steep walk.
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti
Lucas and friends discussing the best route to Diamantina

More admirers of the Blue Wonder 

Sandro's wife served us a delicious cup of coffee

Hebert, Rian, Lucas and Vinicius in the town of Serro. gave me a Brazilian quarter for a souvenir.

Church in Diamantina

This is our 10 minute walk in to town

Our Van made it through

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Drove on to Petropolis and hired a guide to show us the sights. Very interesting city and nice to get to know the history. It is a university town and very regulated. No Prostitution "officially" and no loud music or parties after 11pm. Then drove on to Trestopolis and are now in the National Parke Serra Dos Orgãos. Did a short hike yesterday and today we hiked 24 km. with a climb of 3000 feet. Lucky for the jungle canopy we were most of the time in the shade. Need I say that when we were back at the camper I was done for the day as it was 34 degrees at 10am. and did not cool off until after 6pm.
The views were spectacular, and well worth the effort. At one lookout you could see Rio. Norbert went for another hike later, I guess he misses the Grouse Grind. 
 Feb. 27,yesterday we arrived at Buzios, one of Brazil's famous beaches that was discovered by Brigitte Bardot in the 60s. Found a perfect spot to camp, only 100 meters from the beach and very calm water with big Cruise ships anchored out of the Bay. Perfect for swimming for me as I do not like waves.   Lots of people come to our camper to ask about our trip. We have not met any other Overlanders in Brazil, so we are a rarity here and attract a lot of attention especially the young people are very interested, and many dream of traveling north. 
We are now in Arraial do Cabo and again the beach is beautiful. We are camped at Camping Club Do Brazil one block from the
Hugs to all
Norbert and Grteti
Cooling off

Norbert picking Bananas

Do not remember the dimensions will look up and clarify later

Teresopolis from Serra dos Orgaos.

Taking a short rest on the way up to Serra dos  Orgaos

The finger of God

As Racoons in Canada these are their cousins doing the same thing

Visited the Goat Farm and Cheese Factory Fazenda Geneve,

Super clean Goats

This is Reinaldos dream

Beach at Buzios


Argentine teenagers full of questions

Our parking attendant and guard at Buzios beach

Arraial Do Cabo

Calm waters are my thing

Monument in Arraial Do Cabos