Benoit and Robson

Ben and Robson

Benoit and Robson

We are a couple, Benoit and Robson who decided to tour the world for 1 year. This blog was to keep contact with family and friends.

Our trip started in April 2009 and we came back home in April 2010. From London we headed east with Istanbul as our first stop. Six months later, in October 2009 we ended up in Brazil where we stayed till April 2010. We mainly stayed in the state of Santa Catarina where Robson's family lives. We however mangaged to travel quite a bit as well, to the North, the Amazon, Curitiba, Rioa Grande do Sul and ... we went to Rio and participated in its carnival!

We intend to keep this blog and update it with news from other travel journeys to come.

South America » Brazil » Bahia January 8th 2015

Serinhaem is a remote fishing village on the mouth of the Santarem river. The main way to get there is getting to Itubera and then by boat (two to three hours) or by « lancha », a speedboat (45 minutes). The community is also served by an « ambulancha » (a river ambulance) in case of emergencies . The hospital in Itubera is about 800 metres from the quai, making it easily accessible by the riverain communities. Another way to get to Serinhaem is leaving Itubera by car, going to the Pratigi beach (an amazing beach for swimmers and surfers, the favourite of the locals) and wait for the low tide and drive along the beach the 18 km that separate Pratigi from Serinhaem. There is a river to cross and this access depends also on ... read more
02 Our Pousada
2 our Pousada
3 Our Room

South America » Brazil » Bahia December 29th 2014

What a journey ! At 8 o'clock a taxi picked us up at Pousada Estrela do Mar in Salvador and brought us to the ferry terminal. The queue of cars waiting to take the ferry was already in the street, out of the terminal, it was a total mess. Fortunately, there was plenty of police and people behaved correctly. A lane was left free for taxis and other priority vehicles. We joined the queue of pedestrians to get our tickets. We were lucky as a ferry was loading. We joined another queue and in no time we were sailing in the famous 'Bahia de todos os Santos', direction Itaparica. Itaparica is in fact an island on the other side of the bay (west of Salavdor) and connected by bridges to the main land. The ferry took ... read more
Inside the ferry
Ready to disembark
Leaving the ferry, hurrying to queue for the bus

South America » Brazil » Bahia » Salvador December 28th 2014

Salvador is proud to be the first capital of Brazil. In fact it was the capital of the Portuguese Empire from 1549 till 1815 when the capital was transferred to Rio de Janeiro. It was occupied by the Dutch (Piet Hein) in 1624 and 1625 when a Spanish-Portuguese fleet succeeded in recapturing the city and...the colony ! It played afterwards a key role in the Portuguese resistance against the Dutch. The Pelourinho is the historical center of Salvador, a UNESCO heritage site. It has been restored, only partially in my view. A few of the pics will tell you more. Coming from the South of Brazil, there are 2 things that struck me, the visible Portuguese heritage and the population melting pot with a strong African influence. The bay where Salvador is located (Bahia de Todos ... read more
Ordem 3a de Sao Francisco
Church od St Francisco
Portuguese azulejos (convent of Sao Fransisco

South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul December 15th 2014

Rota das Missões – Jesuit missions roots in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). After a few days at Robson's sister who lives in São Miguel d'Oeste, at the extreme west of Santa Catarina, about 10 Km from Argentina, we decided to go south again. Robson's niece, Stael, came with us and we were soon back in Rio Grande do Sul. We had to cross the river Uruguay (which, much further south gives its name to the country). As there is no bridge, we took the “barca”, I added a few pics. It took us 6 hours to arrive at São Miguel das Missões, a very special place. During the 17th and 18th century, the Society of Jesus, serving the Spanish Crown, founded 30 settlements in territories traditionally occupied by the Guarani Indians in a region that ... read more
001 balsa
002 Balsa
003 River Uruguay

South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul December 11th 2014

Rio Grande do Sul is the southern most state of Brazil. It is about 9 times bigger than Belgium for the same number of inhabitants (11 Million). It was colonized by a mix of Portuguese, Italian and German settlers. The Germans came here in 1830, when a Brazilian/Portuguese princess married a German prince. It was then decided to offer land to German people interested with the idea to develop this huge area, which they did very well. The Italian who started arriving in 1875 planted vines so that there is now a wine production in Brazil, their sparkling wines are of high standards, well... we liked it! We crossed the northern part of the state, close to its neighbour, the sate of Santa Catarina. This part is called Mata Atlantico, it is a “serra”, a high ... read more

South America » Brazil » Santa Catarina December 11th 2014

On Sunday 30 November, we moved a beach house, about 40 Km north of Floripa in a place called "Armaçao da Piedade". Located on a peninsula, it offers a variety of beaches, some with agitated waters with big waves and others with waters as calm as in a swimming pool. Different friends came to see us there and each time it was an opportunity to enjoy the culinary talents of some of us. Among others, Rita's paella was a great succes. On 8 December we then moved to Rio Grand do Sul.... read more

South America » Brazil » Santa Catarina » Florianópolis December 10th 2014

After 5 year of absence, we are back in Brazil. We arrived here on 26 November and stayed the first few days at the flat of friends. Among the places we visited I would like to mention "Santo Antonio de Lisboa". Located on the Ilha de Santa Catarina, this place is well preserved and still has some of the older houses built by the Portuguese who colonized the island. In fact they came from the Azores and brought with them the custom and technique of lace.... read more

Africa » Mauritius » Port Louis February 26th 2011

Mauritius is the biggest of the Mascarene Isles, Reunion and Rodrigues being the other ones. Although first discovered by the Portuguese, the Dutch were first to settle there. It became however French territory before becoming a British possession. As a consequence we have today a very unique and rather complex linguistic situation. I think Belgium could take some lessons here. The official language is English, it is mainly used for administrative purposes. French is mainly used for business while creole is really the 'local' language. As 70% of the population is from Indian origin, Indian languages are also spoken and so is Chinese by the 3% Chinese minority. We could speak English or French with any person we met, whatever his/her ethnic background, what a dream... Most of the places have French names such as 'Grande ... read more
Partial view of Port Louis
Partial view of Port Louis 2
vieuw of PL

Africa » Reunion » Reunion January 18th 2011

After a nice Xmas eve at Johan & Petra's we left Mauritius on 25 December for Reunion. The flight is very short, basically you take of and then land! All it takes is 25 minutes! Reunion is French territory, it is in fact France. The tiny island sends 5 MPs to Paris! We stayed in the South of the island, the first 3 days in Le Tampon at a local B&B called 'Fleur de Vanille', then at a hotel in the village of 'Entre-Deux' dominated by the Dimitile mountain range. The closest town is Saint Pierre, called the capital of the South (about 70,000 inhabitants). One of the few beaches of Reunion is there, protected from the heavy waters of the Indian Ocean by a coral reef. St Pierre is very animated, especially at night with ... read more
005 St Pierre
006 St Pierre the beach
007 St Pierre the beach

OK, this is long overdue, but given the insistence of some of you, here is an entry about Brazilian beaches. Most of the pictures (but not all) are taken in Praia dos Ingleses in Florianopolis, SC. It is a popular beach where families from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and even Paraguay come and enjoy their summer holiday. High season starts goes from Christmas to Carnival. During that period, about 20 to 25 thousand people are on the beach each day. The locals understood of course that so many people together present an unique opportunity to sell. So the beach becomes, among other things, a market. If you want to know what is sold, just have a look at our pictures. You will also see what else I did there when I was not taking pictures. Enjoy!... read more
002 Praia dos Ingleses
003 a day with waves
005 local beauties enjoy the waves

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