Tomorrow was another day
The morning found me miles away
With still a million things to say ...
["Aquarela do Brasil", Ary Barroso/Bob Russell]
Brazil 2006 Archives
Tomorrow was another day
As we took off from Newark, the moon was just rising, huge and red above the ocean. When the aircraft banked, the lights of New Jersey reflected on the wing.
Continue reading 'To Rio'
Pantsed by God
I hadn't really imagined a vacation spent lying around on the beach, but Rio's beaches do make the idea seem dangerously appealing. They are quintessentially smooth and sandy, untroubled by rocks and seaweed and equipped with all the amenities you could ask for, even down to people who will bring you a freshly-made caipirinha as you lounge on your beach chair gazing lazily out at the spectacular islands offshore.
Continue reading 'Pantsed by God'
Centro, the central neighborhood in Rio, contains a mix of modern office blocks and old colonial houses. The old houses are prettier.
The bonde ("bondge") is the last remnant of Rio's tram service, connecting Centro with the formerly wealthy hilltop district of Santa Teresa. The tracks run across the old Arcos de Lapa aqueduct and then wind their way uphill to Santa Teresa. Limited seating space inside means that some passengers have to stand on the running boards; holding on one-handed and trying to take photographs while the tram crosses the Arcos de Lapa is not recommended for vertigo sufferers.
My travel reading this trip is more than usually random, with “Zuleika Dobson” and “Far from the Madding Crowd” jammed in alongside a copy of Daniel Pennac's “Le Dictateur et le Hamac”. The latter actually deals with Brazil - although it's about the sertao, where we won't be going - and at one point he describes his own bewilderment when confronted by
“the phonetic abyss between Spanish and Portuguese, and between Portuguese and Brazilian”.
Continue reading 'Babel'
Paraty, in southern Rio de Janeiro state, seemed almost too picturesque for its own good. The cobbled streets, flanked by white-washed colonial houses, were neat and clean, doors and windows freshly painted in bright, eye-catching colors. The streets closest to the water are periodically flooded by the rising tide, and the shallow water left behind reflected the white housefronts and the gaily-painted doors and windows with mirror-like precision.
A painter in a smock stood by the water's edge, solemnly reproducing the low colonial church, while at his back tropical islands rose out of the haze. A small child swam across the channel, one arm raised to hold a pink kite above the water. Lazy cats dozed in the warm sunlight.
During the weekend, the town bustles in a discreet, understated way, but by late Sunday afternoon it was quiet again. The only noise to break the silence was the buzz of engines, as weekend visitors from out of town took off from the small airfield to fly home to Rio de Janeiro in their private planes.