Page 3 of Ali Travel Blog Posts

South America » Brazil » Distrito Federal » Brasília March 11th 2008

Terry Gilliam must have been inspired to name his 1985 movie "Brazil" - after seeing this utopian view of the future from 1960. "Fifty years of progress in five" moving the capital from Rio de Janeiro to a plateau in the undeveloped interior. President Juscelino Kubitschek, Architect Oscar Niemeyer, urban planner Lucio Costa and landscape architect Burle Marx - undertook this momentous feat - designing a city with a layout like a aeroplane - the central section containing all the governmental and civic buildings, the two wings the residential and military areas. The city was planned on a vast scale, it's unclear if this was to allow greater future development in between the blocks or if because in the future everyone would have a car. Vast numbers of lawyers, ministers and other civil servants migrated to ... read more
Brasilia - UFO
Brasilia - Big Brazilian Flag

South America » Brazil » Minas Gerais » Ouro Preto March 10th 2008

Antonio Francisco Lisboa (Alejandinho) 1738-1814 (76) Son Portuguese master architect Manuel Francisco Lisboa and an un-named slave, architect, sculptor and cripple. the hamlet sprawls on the hunchbacks of the hills, the obedient pastoral flock go to the churches: that of Camo - which is all of stone the Mother Church - which is all of gold There can be no one who doubts that Brazil today is the best and most useful conquest, both for the treasury as well as for the public god, from so many others on which the kingdom may count attending to the great amounts which leave these ports each year, which are "sure mines" and abundantly yielding... read more
Ouro Preto
Ouro Preto - angel
Ouro Preto - waiting

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Trindade March 6th 2008

An hour and a half away from Paraty the small relatively undeveloped beaches of Trindade can be found. A few beach bars and restaurants line a hundred meters of two of the main beaches - which are both about 1km long. The beaches have good surf - and are popular with surfers - obviously. There are small trails that wind through the forest which take you to waterfalls and pools. A lovely way to spend a day. ... read more

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Paraty March 4th 2008

Paraty has another tourist draw. In the bay of Paraty (ed. Possibly Ilha Grande) - there are reportedly 365 islands, one for every day of the year - it's probably 366 islands on leap years. The islands and coastline are stunning and Sao Paulistas and Cariocas (residents of Rio and Sao Paulo) flock to the schooners for a day of delights snorkelling, lounging, sun bathing and listening to music on a 6m by 15m schooner. The schooner tour is well worth the 20 R$ (~$10 US) - but watch-out for operators who haven't quite mastered the basics of counting and politeness - I had to yell and chase down a schooner which left without me before the agreed time - when snorkelling. Then the crew lied about the events to save themselves from the horrible boss ... read more
Sergent Fish
Sunlit Waters
Ali Snorkelling

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Ilha Grande March 1st 2008

During my time in Rio de Janeiro - I took two trips to the big island - Ilha Grande - it sounds so natural in Portuguese but translated "Big Island" - clumsy. It is virtually road and car free, a natural relaxed paradise just a few hours from the hustle of big city Rio. For most of it's history as part of the country of Brazil Ilha Grande was a high security prison - off limits to the public, the military personal posted there must have loved the experience, the prisoners, loathed it - tiny dark damp cells with the promise of island paradise just a few inches behind the walls. Ilha Grande continued as a prison until 1994 - and then was opened up for tourism - as a result it is pristine. The island ... read more
Rocks, Boats, Sea
Rocky Beach

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Paraty March 1st 2008

Paraty, a small colonial port town on the southern-coast of Rio de Janeiro state illustrates one small subsection of history and culture of Brazil. During the 18th century the hills and mountains of Minas Geras a few hundred kilometers to the North were plundered, the Portuguese had found their el dorado, cities of gold, even if it were all buried under hills. Massive quantities of gold and gemstones were excavated by slaves, and delivered to the ports - Rio de Janeiro and other smaller towns like Paraty. These small cities developed, churches and important structures built. Somehow - a few of these towns have remained almost perfectly preserved since these times, and have now become UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city is now a tourist hub for the residents of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro ... read more
Street Scene II

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Centro February 9th 2008

Out of the streets and into the Sambadrome! The biggest party in the world is officially in Rio, every year the carnival takes hold of the city, the streets erupt, and in the samba schools preparations are completed and tensions are high for the competition in the Sambadrome. In suburbs and favelas of the city of Rio there are many Samba Schools. Their main purpose is to research and create all the songs, dancing, floats, choreography for the samba competitions. Brazilians take their samba almost as seriously as their football (soccer) - many people have a samba school that they support, wearing the shirts and following the preparations and gossip. Like in football there are several divisions, the top division has 12 schools, the competition that the world associates with the Rio Carnival is the culmination ... read more
Portela - Eagle - Rio Carnival
Portela - The Whale - Rio Carnival
Salgueiro - Flag Carrier Queen - Rio Carnival

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Ipanema February 5th 2008

Banda de Ipanema e Bloco de Capoeira Rain stopped play on Monday, at least for me, it was so heavy that for the few brief hours that it eased to a drizzle - I didn't feel confident taking the camera out. I'm not sure if the bloco I planned on attending was cancelled... it seemed that way when I went for a quick look. Tuesday - everyone in Ipanema wanted to make up for the rained out Monday... the city was in the mood for a party - and the weather stayed dry(ish) until nightfall. Anatomy of a Bloco A bloco is a moving, marching street party - it takes maybe 6 hours to cover 6km so it isn't quick - but sometimes keeping up was impossible due to the crowds. Each bloco seemed to follow ... read more
Rio Carnival 2008
Rio Carnaval 2008
Rio Carnaval 2008

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Ipanema February 3rd 2008

Bloco - Que m... é essa? Day 2 and rain nearly stops play. It rains all night over the 2nd to 3rd - thunderstorms and the morning is grey and wet. At around 4pm the skies let a weak pale sun shine down on the streets leaving patchy puddles. I somehow miss the "Simpatia é quase amor" and wander into "Que m... é essa?" a less known smaller bloco with a theme: Hugo Chavez - ¿Por qué no te callas?... read more
Rain doesn't stop smiles :)
Most original costume
Most original costume

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Ipanema February 2nd 2008

Banda de Ipanema Out of the sambadrome and onto the streets. Blocos (street parties) are electrifying the city. Reports of 500,000 people attending "Cordao da Bola de Preta" in down-town Rio. Thousands joined the party in Ipanema and it continues on in the rain showers and the dark.... read more
Portrait from the Bloco II
Portrait from the Bloco III
Portrait from the Bloco IV

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