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From Brasilia to Iguazu, extreme contrast

Before finalizing my tour of Brazil in Iguazu, I spent 24 hours in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. Enough to hate it, though also to recommend it to everyone. The urban planning is impressive, and the architecture really cool, it’s surely a one of a kind city. But it’s also a city without a soul. There is no historical downtown, walking to places is mission impossible, locals and visitors (mostly business ones) seem bitter…

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Amazon rainforest

I arrived in Manaus after a long ride on the Nelio Correa, Manaus is an interesting city, an isolated metropolis in the middle of the rainforest, which boomed during the 19th century thanks to rubber trade, and later had to be granted status of Free Economic Zone to subsist. Before embarking in a boat tour (what everyone comes to Manaus for), it’s worth exploring the city by foot, checking out sites like the belle epoque opera house.

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Up the Amazon river on the Nelio Correa

The Nelio Correa is a merchant ship that covers the route from Belem (a beautiful city on the Amazon river’s delta to the Atlantic) to Manaus (the last large city in the Amazonian rainforest). In addition to transporting all sort of cargo, the Nelio Correa admits passengers. Brazilians use these types of ships because they’re much cheaper than the fast boats or planes. Other transportation options in the Amazon can be found on www.stmonline.com.br/lista_barcos_stm.php. On the Nelio Correa, it takes 5 days to cover the approx. 1,000 miles that separate Belem from Manaus. The basic ticket simply gives you the right to hand your hammock (a nice one can be bought in the multiple shops on the harbor, while waiting to depart) in one of the decks.

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From Jeri to Lencois Maranheses, hell and heaven

Getting to Jericoacoara (also known as simply Jeri), already felt complicated: 2 hour flight from Salvador to Fortaleza, 6 hour bus and 1 hour truck. The only positive of the painful ride was that I met an Argentinian guy who owns a pousada in Jeri; he let me stay at half price and gave me a lot of good tips. Jeri is a small fisherman’s town, with sand instead of streets. A magnet for hippies and surfers, where the main activity is to walk up a dune to see the sunset. I wouldn’t be surprised if it became the next Ko Phi Phi and got spoiled.

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Salvador de Bahia, where I got scared (mom don’t read this post)

Last night I flew from Rio de Janeiro to Salvador de Bahia, where I had responsively booked a hostel that I knew how to get to. But the flight got super delayed, so by the time we landed, buses weren’t running anymore. So I made friends with some yankies and suggested sharing a car – first tried to make friends with some Brazilians for a free ride, but no luck 😉 I walked up to the guy that was renting cars for Hertz, who wouldn’t have clients that late, and convinced him to take us for half the price of a taxi. We dropped off the yankies at their hotel by the beach; they were so lost and happy I had helped them that they gave me enough money for the full fare… woopy! But from there on, everything went wrong

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