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South America

8 Banging Restaurants in Sao Paulo, Brazil

1 The Riviera

Cocktail Lounge & Restaurant – Av Paulista 2584, Consolação

I’d been having a hankering to try steak tartar for the first time and Kiernan took me out to have some as a surprise one Friday night not long ago. Turns out the surprise was The Riviera, both the place itself and their menu, which had exactly what I was looking for. 🙂 The restaurant sits at the crossroads of two main thoroughfares, so traffic is super busy there and the facade really looks unremarkable, except for the bright, flashing neon signs with gaudy Palm trees and faux French Riviera font. To be honest it looked more like a struggling strip club who’d just picked the wrong street to settle on, but once we stepped inside that image changed totally and immediately! Continue reading “8 Banging Restaurants in Sao Paulo, Brazil”

5 of Rio’s top Carnival Samba Schools

As we had plenty to say about the city of Rio during Carnival, we thought it only smart to divvy up the samba school parade into it’s own post because we have way too many photos to share. We had resolved to get tickets when we got to Rio in hopes that it would be cheaper than the pirate-y gringo prices they were quoting online (but that’s the only way to buy ahead as they sell out quickly). Continue reading “5 of Rio’s top Carnival Samba Schools”

Rio de Janeiro Carnival carnage

Well sort of, but that is Rio’s dark reputation 😉 The first big goal for 2016 was Carnival in Rio. We looked at the challenge and decided there were only 2 keys things to do, and then left the rest up to fate:
1) – Make AirBnb reservation 6 months in advance (took a while to find a place that only accepted people who bought their “package” option such as hostels $R1500 seemed fair for 2 people for 6 days in private room
2) Bus overnight bus tickets 2 months in advance to skip sold out scenarios, there and back $R320 Continue reading “Rio de Janeiro Carnival carnage”

New Year’s Eve – A Réveillon on Trindade Beach

It already seems like New Year’s Eve happened a lifetime ago! Sunshine, sweaty hikes… the warm ocean is a shade of blue somewhere between cobalt and cerulean… Trindade and the beaches stretched over that piece of coast are some of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. It actually reminded me of Jamaica! Well, at least I can relive it now, while I’m writing 🙂 Continue reading “New Year’s Eve – A Réveillon on Trindade Beach”

The pallescent pair drop by Peruíbe

For last week’s long weekend here in Brazil (Friday November 20th was off to celebrate black consciousness day), Marelise and I decided we needed some beach time. Although Santos is just a hop ‘n a skip away, it’s a port city and we weren’t too enthused with what we’ve heard of its beaches. Close by are Guarujá and Praia Grande but we didn’t really see any hostels or Airbnb places we liked. So we took a gamble and decided to go as far as we could on an ordinary city bus to a place with a beach! And man, we were in for a pleasant surprise… Continue reading “The pallescent pair drop by Peruíbe”

Retreat to Ilhabela

Ilhabela is a small archipelago we recently conquered in our travels a couple hundred kilometers from São Paulo, and roughly twice as far from Rio de Janeiro. But besides its convenient location we’d heard it was a gorgeous island with a few dozen pristine beaches, calming waves, and possibly murderous tennis ball-sized mosquitoes. Continue reading “Retreat to Ilhabela”

Paraty – wintertime in Brazil

Cold and rainy as the south of Brazil may get (intermittently and not for long, in my limited experience), the further north you get, the warmer, sunnier and beachier it gets. Actually the seasons here frame the year a little differently – it seems to be hot as the Earth’s core and humid to boot from September to April/May, a little rainy in between and it gets chilly around July to October. Continue reading “Paraty – wintertime in Brazil”

Paranapiacaba – daytrip to the old British Railway town

Paranapiacaba is a tiny little town 60km from São Paulo; perfect for a bate e volta (day trip). Although I could be wrong, I was told in Tupi the name means “where you will find the sea”. Over the last few months we’d heard it was a cool place to visit, and interesting enough to warrant a trip out. Turns out it’s an old British Railway company town started in the 1890’s and after it outlived its usefulness it was converted to a historic district. Continue reading “Paranapiacaba – daytrip to the old British Railway town”

Weekend meander in Rio de Janeiro

One of the greatest attractors of all time in Brazil is Rio, this is irrefutable. It’s like a black hole that conversations naturally veer towards, with locals and foreigners casually mentioning neat little places they stayed and just how fabulous the place is as a whole. This is odd in some ways, considering how much the Paulistanos mock people from Rio (Cariocas), especially the accent, but it’s pretty difficult to find anything to dislike about the people or the city itself. Continue reading “Weekend meander in Rio de Janeiro”

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