Thursday, February 10, 2011

Photographic Nibbles of Ordem e Progresso

A man-made vessel of flight just brought us back to Rio from Recife.  Once the sun has risen tomorrow morning, we will be on a similar vessel to Florianopolis, then by ground vehicles to Iguazu Falls & Buenos Aires.  In the last number of weeks we have spent more than 50 hours on buses and 7 or 8 on airplanes....less tiring than anticipated due to quality company, enough good music to last a million bus rides and those inflatable pillows in the shape of a 'C' or 'U' depending which way you turn it.

The visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory & taste systems of the body have all been thoroughly stimulated in this time and our forefingers are in extremely good shape due to the billions of times they triggered the camera.  At some juncture we'll sift through the river of pixels to pan out the gold, but for now we present just singular nuggets from each location we visited.

Click the photos or open them in a new tab to make them big and snazzy.  Zoom in on the map above to get a better idea of the route.

1. Vila Madalena - Sao Paulo - Sao Paulo
Jasmine surrounded by the most grand display of graffiti we've ever seen.  We really thought Rio was the center of urban wall art in Brazil, but nothing compares to what we encountered in Sao Paulo.  Being there reminded me of the feeling I got from certain substances I haven't put in my body since university.
2.  Ouro Preto - Minas Gerais
Pretty far from Sao Paulo, but not THAT far from Rio or Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto is simply gosh darn spectacular.  The heaps of beautifully atypical churches perched up on hills, the immaculately kept
historic center and the lack of hobos trying to kill you are some of the many reasons to visit here if you get down to Brazil.
3.  Brasilia
Jasmine deemed Brasilia essential as a part of her architectural education.  I thought it would be lame.  The 12 hour bus ride through beautiful nothingness gave us an idea of how out of the way it really is.  Turns out that it's a surreal and impressive city with plenty to keep you overstimulated for at least 2 days.
The presidential home has emus as guards....
4. Alto Paraiso - Goias
Even further out into nowhere, Alto Paraiso is a great way to understand the geography of the interior of Brazil.  It is also a haven for atypical spiritual groups that are fascinating, perplexing and 'unknown adjective x'.  It is also the only place where we felt our security compromised.
5. Salvador - Bahia
Been excited to set foot in Salvador for years, ever since realizing some of the best music on Earth comes from here.  While looking out of our apartment window, we did witness a Canadian lose his backpack to the hands of a local thief, but he was acting like a racist our pity was minimal.  Need more time here in the future.
6. Cachoeira - Bahia
Instead of going to beaches, we took a bus 2.5 hours inland to the small town of Cachoeira.  Quite pretty by itself, but the highlight was a boat tour we took down the river to a small village, the name of which I forget.  Our guide got us on the drink wagon at 8:45am and we had numerous hours to soak in a bit more of what Bahia contains.
7. Olinda & Recife - Pernambuco
Olinda is a charming nook full of life, pleasantry and debauchery.  Recife is ugly, stinky & poor...but somehow we still found it highly enjoyable.  The culture is strong here and the people are perhaps more open to different styles of music than anywhere in the country.  Again, we only had a tiny taste and don't really know a damn thing.