Whoah, I'm going to Brazil!

I finally got all my domestic travel straightened out, but still lack hotels for two cities in Brazil.

On Thursday, I’m staying with a buddy in Albuquerque. He’ll take me to the airport Friday morning, and I’ll fly to Detroit. I’ll meet some friends there, we’ll go to a Tigers game, and possibly a bachelors party. We’ll probably booze it up all weekend, and then fly to Miami on Monday. Tuesday morning, we leave for Belo Horizonte. The details get fuzzy at this point, because I haven’t really planned that far in advance yet, but we’ll be staying with his new wife’s family for a week, then flying to Salvador Bahai (sp?). A week later, we’ll fly to Rio di Janero (sp?), and then fly back to Miami, and back to Abq. I’m going to be out of Santa Fe for a whole freakin’ month, I’m so excited! :smiley:

Lucky!

I went to Brazil a few years ago, mostly in the northeast but I spent a few days in Salvador (aka Bahia).

Music. That’s all I can say. Mind-blowing, spectacular, constant music, everywhere. Yum. Oh, also: really, really hot people. Those are the two things I remember about Bahia.

The rest of the country: the beaches in the cities are only nice if they constantly clean them The nicest ones are in smaller towns.

And the breakfasts are killer. Cheese and fruit and meat. mmm. And of course the juice selection is always spectacular.

I’m so jealous.

Hey, cowgirl, figures you’d bring up something that happened several years ago. :wink:

Thanks for the tidbits, I appreciate em! :smiley:

:smack:

:smiley:

Brazil is one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit. Amazing scenery, beautiful people, lots of Esperanto-speakers…

There was a Brazilian women in my art class back in '91 who was stunningly-attractive. Unusually, I actually started to become friends with her, but then the class ended and she went back to Brazil.

I lived there almost a year. Good times. Very friendly people, good food and booze, great times for sun and fun.

My advice: Take NOTHING! Get all you want on-site, cheap! Bring it home, and enjoy living souvieneers (yeah, I spelled it wrong ON PURPOSE!), like Levi’s (Brazilian style) and shoes and whatever.

Make sure you go to an authentic (I can’t spell it in Portuguese) Bar-B-Que (phoneticly: shoo-rah-skow). Can’t beat that meat!

Drink lots of Antartica and Brahma and Skol. Try the Pinga, but don’t puke on a VW.

Take me with you. I’ll translate.

I like your “Take NOTHING!” advice, Gatopescado. I was planning on taking a small suitcase inside of my larger one for that very reason. I’m going to be in the States for four nights before I fly out, so I’ll have to take a few changes of clothes, but I dig your idea of picking up clothes while I’m there. And a wedding present I should have given 7 months ago.

I’d love to take you with us as a translator. Luckily, there’s three super sexy Brazillian gals we went to college with that’ll be hanging out with us for most of the trip. :smiley:

Bahia!!!

Ah, I misss Bahia. It’s been a few years (house and college get in the way). Bring the Lonely Planet Brazil guide. It’s totally worth it. Obviously, make sure you hit Pelourinho (the historic district, the name means whipping post), but also try to get to the lighthouse in Barra and make it to the beaches to the north of the city along the Linha Verde. Try to see NS do Bonfim and get a ribbon (offer 50 centavos or 1 real to make the kid feel good.) There’s also the isalnd of Itaparica, but it’s definitely on the low end of the list of stuff. Umm… if you have time, also look for Shopping Iguatemi for you’re a little husky as it’s one of the few places with more american sizing.

Shopping: I agree with bring nothing, but also be prepared. The Sheckstress reports that everything now is starting to cost 100 reais, which is like $30 American. Bring cash instead of travellers checks, and only change a small amount in a bank or the airport. The best place to change in Bahia is near Pelourinho in one of the money changing shops. Also, remember that in the northeast EVERYTHING is a haggle outside of the malls. It’s so important, I’ll type it again, but bigger: Also, remember that in the northeast EVERYTHING is a haggle outside of the malls. Tshirts can be had for as little as 2 bucks (5 reais) on a bad day. The Mercado Modelo has everything a tourist wants, with high prices to match. If you’re going to go, try for the morning or the very late afternoon, and make sure the German tourists have left.
PM me if you need an advice on Bahia. I’m like their ambassador abroad, giving advice and helping travelers.

You don’t need much clothing-however, i advise that you bring several pairs of shorts-Brazilian-made is expensive and not good quality. Also, shirts-Brazilian-made have armholes cut too high-stick with your stuff from home. Also, you can have your laundry done pretty cheaply-but the buttons will take a beating! Avoid the usual tourist mistakes-wear no gold/expensive jewelry-and NO socks with sandals(think you are a rich german tourist, to be robbed).
Don’t drink cheap cachaca-it will give a bad hangover.

Seconded. And in Salvador da Bahia, expect (especially if you are white) to be approached constantly by vendors on the beach and in the Pelourinho district, many of whom can be quite persistent (if you’re not interested, it’s best to simply say “no thanks” or “não, obrigado” and keep walking, because some of them will hound you mercilessly if you stop or make eye contact.)

The Pelourinho district can get quite crowded, particularly at night— you don’t have to be paranoid, but be on guard for pickpockets and avoid the back alleys (common sense).

I had trouble in a lot of stores in Salvador paying for small purchases with larger bills, and even our hotel refused to make change. Yours might be more cooperative, but if possible you might want to change your money for smaller bills where possible.

Also seconded. One of the cheapest types of cachaça/pinga is sold in what looks like a 12-ounce soft drink can (pop top and everything). I strongly recommend against drinking the whole thing.

Be sure to try acarajé at least once— you’ll see them being cooked on the street and smell the dendê oil everywhere in Salvador. (Be warned, they’re extremely rich and pack about a million calories, so don’t overdo it.)

Have fun.

Ummmmmmm… give them my email… send me some Antartica… I’ll put you up in Tahoe for a few days next winter…

Clothing wise, Brazil isn’t that cheap right now. I was there for Christmas and New Year’s and the Dollar is pretty low right now. Food is still a pretty good bargain and you can eat well for cheap but I was shocked the first few days by how expensive things had gotten compared to previous trips.

Avoid really cheap cachaca, I think the one in the can is called Pitu but I’ve had even cheaper and they will give you a crippling hangover like nothing you’ve ever had.

Try the acaraje and if you are in Bahia, try the moqueca. It is a seafood dish. The Bahian version has dende and is yellowish.

I’ve been to Salvador and Rio both. I had a fantastic time.

Re: dende oil: stay away-that stuff can really get your intestines working overtime. Plus, it is highly saturated (worse than coconut oil)-the stuff is solif at room temperature. Also, go easy on the cachaca-there is nothing worse than a cachaca hangover-trust me! Wear haviana sandals-your feet need a few days to get used to them. And BRING SUNBLOCK-american sunblock in Brazil costs 5X the price here-and the brazilian brands are not too good. Send some pictures…I’m interested if the girls are wearing the “fio dental” swimsuits these days.

Oh, and for food in Bahia, also try vatapa (it’s not as bad on the stomach), abara (made with dende), bobo is nice in Pelourinho, and PLEASE try some of the local juices. I know it’ll be tempting to drink into oblivion, but Bahia has better juice than Rio, and Rio has a better nightlife (and alcohol quality) than Bahia.
Other stuff to look forand look out for:
-eat some cashews. Seriously. There’s a different flavor to them in Brazil, and usually come in a plastic bag.
-stay away from Lapa. It’s a dangerous area that many of the residents won’t even go to.
-on the beach, try the cheese on a stick that’s sold by the guys walking around. Also, there’s a great popcicle called Capellino brand. They’re really good, and the best value for 1 real or less.

Also, a 2nd on bringing your own sunblock. And, don’t cheap out. If you’re balding, bring spray on aloe for your head. Also, take a hat. Your female friends are Brazilian, right? If they’re significantly darker than you, they’ll often get called putas, but just ignore the people on the street. And watch your wallet.

My wife and I are really enamored of the idea of going to Brazil. Like others have said, the beaches and the beautiful people are a big draw.

We recently bought a bottle of cachaca, having read about it and after watching an episode of the Thirsty Traveller. I’m either not mixing it right or I got a bad bottle, but the stuff is damn near undrinkable. I can’t recall the brand name off the top of my head, but it has a peculiar taste that overpowers everything. I tried making the mulled lime, sugar, and ice drink, but could barely choke it down. I had no worries about getting a hangover.

Any suggestions?

Oh, and in the late 70s my gay brother went to Brazil for a holiday. I got a postcard from him that had only two words on it - “THE MEN!”

The women, too.

It’s one of those countries where “she has a nice personality” has an entirely different meaning.

That’s cachaca. It is rather potent. What color is it. I’ve had some that are clear and some that are yellow. In my experience, the clearer ones are better. For drinks, add more sugar.

My cousin likes going out in Lapa but shes lived in Rio for several years and has a sixth sense for where to go out.

I’ve never had any trouble with dende oil. I even have a small bottle of it here.

I’m going to Rio later in the year for the first time. I like trips to S.A. because you don’t have to burn a vacation day getting there and back, at least in TX. You get on the plane at night, go to sleep and wake up ready for action. Same on the way back, I can fly all night, and roll into work that day, worthless as fuck-all, but hey, I’m present.

Thanks for all the tips, everybody! I´m in Belo Horizonte now, and will be leaving for Bahia in a few days. I´ll be sure to post pictures when I get back!