Brazil

I travelled Brasil two times, first time 2004/05 for 4 months from Rio to Amazonia and last 2011 from Belem to Manaus up the river Amazonas on ship

From Rio to the Amazonas 2004/05

Route: Rio de Janeiro - Saquarema - Cabo Frio - Victoria - Porto Seguro - Trancoso - Salvador - Barreiras - Palmas - Maraba - Santarem - Alter do Chao - Belem - Belo Horizonte - Rio

      I arrievd by plane to Rio de Janeiro coming from Madrid start of November 2004, staied there for about 1 week in a brothel because i could not find any cheap hostel or hotel, the brothel was ok and the price reasonable, nobody touched me there. But the first night i slept in the hammock in the palm trees at Copacabana, which was a little bid dangerouse but i put the hammock and packbag high enough so they could not just touch me easily while resting.       I had a good time in Rio wandered around, visited the markets, parks, places, some caffees, the Copacabana... Even got into a shooting on some street, suddenly people started running and hiding in side streets while some shots were heared, i did the same hided in side street, very strange at some moments. the rest of the time in Rio i slept in a kind of brothel, where people go for some hours to have fun....was cheap and friendly there, hotels seem to be too expansive in Rio but Pousadas in Brasil were great.

    After about one week in Rio i left to Saquarema which is a nice village along the Atlantic coast, the water is very clear, the beach long, the waves big and the currents strong there. On a rock along the coast sits a nice little church. From Saquarema i moved by bus to Cabo Frio, what is small city placed along the Atlantic, with some new apartments and nice bays along the coast, the water is totally clear and seabirds are moving down into the water fishing very close to you, what was fascinating and exciting for me.

    Porto Seguro: Porto Seguro is a small city along the Atlantic coast some few hundred kilometers north of Victoria, with a nice old center, small houses and a night marcet along the harbour wher arts and souvenirs get sold. From there i visited Arraial d' Ajuda a famouse village, beach resort and tourist destination with many bungalows, pousadas and hotels some few kilometers across the river from Porto Seguro, map of the coastal area from Porto Seguro to Trancoso.

    Trancoso: Not far from Porto Seguro, a small village founded by the Jesuits and you still find the old Quadrado surrounded by small houses and in the mid the small church, a very nice place with good atmosphere close over the sea. I moved back to Porto Seguro and took a bus from there via Ilheus to Salvador, I didn t stay for long in Salvador, just an afternoon what is defenitely to short, but somehow it wasn t inviting to me, a vast city, it was rainy and i decided to move on westwards to Barreiras, and from there by bus to Palmas an artificial city, not very old maybe 20 years with big empty streets a huge central square and looking quite modern with a big bus stand. From there i moved on by bus north to Maraba into the djungle, crossing some rivers getting closer to the Amazonas and after about 3 days from Palmas i reached Santarem at the merging of the rio Tapajos and rio Amazonas.

    amazonia Santarem /Amazonas: I reached Santarem (map) a city with a nice old center and one of the gates to the Amazonas, by bus from Barreiras and Maraba coming from the south. Along the river you find the boats, the marcets with shops for all kind of hunting and fishing equipment and some new and old squares. The Rio Tapajos and Rio Amazonas are merging here and you can see the different colors in the water. About half an hour by bus from Santarem you reach Alter do Chao a small village and very fascinating landscape, white sand beaches, djungle and some hills coming out of the river with single trees on it in the white sand. I rented one of the Kajaks along the shore and paddeled along the beache into the djungle till i reached a djungle property where i ve seen some people, whom i asked for food, we got friends and had Tucunare togather, i stayed there some days therefor i had to water the Ayahuasca plants, the reigna and the liana which compose the very strong drug, legal in Brasil. During the evenings the big bird spider came out from under the roof of the tiny white house what looked impressing. I cought a silver Piranha but it was full of bones, Tucunare was better. map of the Amazonas river system

    Belem: From Santarem i took a boat to Belem at the mouth of the Amazonas which takes about 2 days on the river, very special. Belem the capital of the state Para is a big city with 1,4 million people, a nice old harbour, fish marcet and center.

    Belo Horizonte: Staied there 2 months with my good friend, at her house. A big city, planned and designed in the 50th from where we did trips to other places as Tiradentes an old interesting village and my friends most liked village out there, the beutifull and interesting Sierra Zipo and Ouro Preto another old village from the times of the brasilian gold rush and world heritage monument. My goodfriend let me try the first moves as a cardriver there in the vast outback of Brazil in a old ford fiesta, what was funny sometimes. During heavy rains and trucks coming along it got like moving in a tiny box nearly swept from street then. We had a great time togather.


Amazonia feb 2011

Strecke: Fortaleza - Belem - Santarem - Alter do Chao - Manaus - Alter do Chao - Fortaleza

So den Bericht halte ich in Deutsch weils mir leichter fällt. Flog von München nach Lissabon und von dort nach Fortaleza/Brasilien, hielt mich nicht lange in Fortaleza auf und reiste voller Tatendrang am nächsten Tag mit dem Bus weiter nach Belem, welches an der Amazonas-Mündung liegt. Die Busfahrt dauert etwa knappe 30 Stunden, Belem eine schöne Stadt mit interessanten Altstadtvierteln und Parks. Mangobäumen in den Strassen. Ich stieg im bekannten Hotel Fortaleza ab, wo ich auch einige Leute/Touris kennen lernte, wir arrangierten, dass man in einigen Tagen gemeinsam mit dem ersten Boot nach Santarem reisen würde.
      Die Bootfahrt dauert 2 Tage und ist recht schön,den Dschungel entlang, immer wieder klene Pfahlhäuschen(Bild) am Wasser, Kinder und Mütter kommen in kleinen Holzbooten an unser Schiff und wollen diverses Obst oder Selbstgemachtes verkaufen. Man lernt andere Touris kennen, da ich nur sehr wenig portugiesisch spreche, leider keine Einheimischen, die jedoch sehr offen, warmherzig und recht emotional sind, immer freundlich und beruehmt lebensfroh. Nach 2 Tagen erreichen wir Santarem, am Zusammenfluss von Rio Tapajos und Rio Amazonas, wo sich sehr aufregend zu beobachten die verscheidenen Wasser(-farben) mischen. In Santarem, einer recht quirligen Stadt mit etwa 250 00 Einwohnern halte ich mich auch nicht lange an dem schönen Morgen auf, wandere vom Hafen die Strecke den Fluss entlang in die Stadt, wo bereits die ersten Menschen in den Strassen sitzen und fruehstuecken, nette Atmosphere.

amazonia       Nehme eine Bus nach Alter do Chao (braucht etwa 1 eineinhalb Stunden für die Strecke von Santarem), einer kleinen Ortschaft die wegen ihrer weissen Stränden(Bild), siehe Galerie, am Rio Tapajos, sehr beruehmt ist, dort legen auch alle 2 Wochen grosse Kreuzfahrtschiffe an und es steigen oft ältere Touris aus um in den Ort zu wandern und die Stimmung zu geniessen. Etwas seltsam, fein eingekleidete Touris aus Grossbritannien oder Australien, kam mit manchen ins Gespräch und gerne mal wieder English. In Alter do Chao stieg ich im Pousdada Por du sol (guest house) ab, einer netten Bleibe mit grossem Garten in dem sich Leguane in den Bäumen tummeln, auch Katzen und Hund vom Haus, und natuerlich die Gäste, von denen die meisten recht sympathisch waren und ich mit manchen von ihnen noch in Kontakt bin. Man Frühstückt gemeinsam in der Gartenküche, bereitet sich sein Müsli, Obst oder die Mangos von den Bäumen welche zuhauf in den vom Regen sauberen Strassen liegen. Spaziere morgens oft in den Ort und geniesse die Stimmung. Tagsüber auch den weissen Strand, besuche Freunde von einst am Lago Verde, die im Dschungel dort leben und erkunde die Gegend. Paddle mit dem Kajak den See hinaus, manchmal mit einer neuen Bekanntschaft und geniesse die Tage, etwa 1 einhalb Wochen blieb ich in Alter do Chao.
    Mit dem Boot fuhr ich von Santarem wieder weiter den Amazonas hinauf Richtung Manaus fuhr. Die Fahrt dauert etwa eineinhalb Tage. An den Ufern stehen mittlerweile weniger Pfahlbauten als Hütten ohne Steher, immer wieder Farmen und Kuherden in der Wildnis am Ufer, wir halten manchmal in kleinen Ortschaften am Fluss, dunkelhäutige Meschen, meist Indios oder Mischlinge, selten Europäer oder Schwarze. Manchmal gibt es am Boot auf der Rückreise von Manaus Polizeikontrollen bevor wir einen Hafen anlaufen, doch noch sind wir nicht in Manaus. Bevor wir dort ankommen überqueren wir die Zusammenkunft von Rio Negro, der wirklich tiefschwarzes Wasser führt, und dem Rio Amazonas, sehr schön und interessant wo sich die verschiedenfarbigen Wasser mischen, Galerie

      Manaus eine quirlige Grossstadt, mit vielseitigem Marktplatz, Parks, vielen Strassenshops und grossen Strassen, natürlich nicht zu vergessen das grosse Theater mit schöner Kuppel, ich war leider nicht drinnen, schien mir auch abgesperrt das Gelände, doch die Plätze ums Thaeter sind auch schön. Stundenlang wanderte ich durch die Stadt, beobachtete Land und Leute, sass in somanchem einfachen doch guten Restaurant, ass Tucunare (fisch) mit Reis und Bohnen, genoss den Park mit Wasserspielen, trank im Parkcaffee ein Tässchen und musste einen Tag nach meiner Ankunft in Manaus im Pousada bleiben wegen Lebensmittelvergiftung die mir starke Schmerzen verursachte, dort ass ich nur einmal, sonst war das Essen gut in Manaus und auch sonst in der Region.


    Savety: Brasil is a vast country, so you find all kind of places there from the country side, djungles, to villages and cities. Usually in public you should not wear jewels or dress very posh, it could attract thiefs and robbers, i usually had just a t-shirt and not much money with me, in case you ve much money with you youd put a small amount in the valet and the rest in the shoes or some other hidden place on your body, I had traveller cheques with me, during my last trip feb 2011 i used my bank card (maestro) to take money from the cash mashines, and this was never a problem.
    I remember when we ve been with the car in Belo Horizonte, in some areas you ve better the windows closed, so close to main bus and railway stationes. My friend got robbed two times in the car, and she told me that she can t use her big video kamera in public as is the case with other big technical equipment in the main cities.
      I can not recommend walking into Favelas, but it depends on how you dress and look like, posh people will not have a secure time there but if you just dress simple as i did, and i visited a favela in Vitoria, not much will happen to you. Cities are in general not too dangerouse but it depends where you are and at what time of the day, nights can be uneasy.

The boats on the Amazonas are usually save and nice with hammocks and all kind of diverse and some wild looking people, as long as you stay friendly and easy nothing will happen to you, i had a great time on the boats and loved to watch the locals with their temperament, children and animals.

    Health: from my experience i can say that Brasil is not dangerouse for your health in relation to deseases, in djungle regiones you should have some Malaria tubs with you, and be aware of the immense heat during noon times, in the Amazonas region it gets incredible hot and nothing s moving during that time of the day. Wear a hat or cap and cover your body, use a very strong sun cream. Food is save in general, well cooked, roasted and boiled, before you buy some food from street seller you d watch what s happening there and if it s done in a kind of clean way, many flies there on fish? etc

    Climate: Brasil is a vast country and so the climate is diverse from north to south, in the north climate is tropical, very hot during night and day, the more you move south the more it gets subtropical but you have to do quite a distance so to say some 1 000 km and more to reach some more moderate climate, on the plateaus nights get fresh, low lands are hot during night and day.

Amazonas gallery,   map of both trips