Arara's Blog from Rio

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We regret we're not able to offer you a cafezinho, as Brazilian hospitality demands!
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Living the life... Traipsing around... Current iPod choices...

Our idea of a perfect day in Rio: a peaceful stroll in the Botanical Garden to check up on the jackfruit (seen here), after a nice cup of coffee at their Café Botânica. On the way: the new Cactus Garden and the Sensory Garden for the Blind. If you can see, they will blindfold you and give you a tour, too. Fantastic experience!

Our Rio Guide, better known as Maria's Little Black Book, is now updated once a week. Read more on how to make the most out of your stay and where best to spend those hard-earned dollars (or euros, if you should be so lucky!) of yours...We spent a day walking around the Santa Teresa district and visiting the Chácara do Céu museum. Not-to-be missed...

If you come to Brazil this spring, don't miss the exhibitions commemorating the 50th anniversary of Bossa Nova in Rio and São Paulo. Check the bookstores and music stores for CD reissues of classic LPs, such as "Canção do Amor Demais" with Elizeth Cardoso.

Food shopping the Brazilian way! Aahh!! We just visited the municipal market in São's simply marvelous! Epicureans of the world should make a trek there! Plus, the incomparable diversity and quality of Brazilian fruit. This alone is a good reason to move to this country for a while...

Check out the absolutely divine Vale dos Vinhedos, where wine is a treat to your palate and your skin! Also, don't miss the history-laden charqueadas in Rio Grande do Sul.

It's immense and awesome and such a great city! As the Tom Zé song goes: São...São Paulo, my love!

Simply spectacular: the Jalapão in the state of Tocantins.

The most amazing place I've ever climbed up and down: Serra da Capivara in the state of Piauí. Magnificent cave paintings and other vestiges of prehistoric Brazil. Worth every drop of sweat! (And you will perspire an awful lot...)

For crafts, nothing beats the Northeast. These lovely one-inch tall dolls came from the São José market in Recife.

Picture yourself staring at this amazing rock in Fernando de Noronha...

Or walking past colonial buildings in the small coastal town of Paraty...

You know when you're itching to go somewhere and wish all the goodies and inside scoop were packed into one site? Well, if you read Portuguese, before you pick out your bikini and comfy shoes, pay a visit to Férias Brasil.

Now that we got an early Xmas present in the shape of President-elect Barack Obama, it's not too early to start thinking about stocking stuffers and such: this is a CD of Brazilian Christmas songs, a surprising selection of old sambas and more recent compositions, in the voices of such luminaries as Maria Bethânia, Marcos Sacramento, Flávio Venturini, etc. Soon to be available from Biscoito Fino in Rio.

Ah...Marcos Sacramento! We've sung his praises here before and we were never, ever, shy about it. He is, in our not-at-all modest opinion, the best singer Brazil has produced in a long time. This CD is a reissue on Biscoito Fino of a gem he recorded with Maurício Carrilho and Marcos Suzano in 1994. More about Marcos...

Pianist Cristóvão Bastos just released his "Curtindo a Gafieira." To dance or not to dance? Just put on your dancing shoes!!

Much more music...


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Revised: 11/05/08