Spotting Carcará Eagles in the Serra da Mantiqueira preserve – Rio de Janeiro

On the way back from an attempt to hike up the Pedra Selada in the Serra da Mantiqueira and ended up spotting a couple of Carcará eagles.

Serra da Mantiqueira preserve - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

one of the dirt roads winding through the Serra da Mantiqueira preserve

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Santa’s Sexy Little Helpers – Xmas Rio de Janeiro Style

Waiting to pick up a friend at a gas station in São Conrado to go hiking in the Tijuca forest in Rio de Janeiro, I spotted these two attractive looking girls wearing some kind of Xmas outfit, trying to draw the attention of passing motorists…

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My Most Loyal Travel Companions.

Meet my two most loyal travel companions…

Garmin ZUMO 550

On the motorcycle and in the car: my Garmin ZUMO 550

Ever since I arrived in this immense and diverse country called Brazil, I have been relying on two things to find my way to far away places and back home again. I say ‘things” because that’s what they are… I’m talking about the Global Positioning System, commonly referred to as the GPS… 

As the title of this post implies, I am using two of these babies:

  1. On the Motorcycle and in the car: A Garmin Zumo 550
  2. On hikes and mountain bike rides: A Garmin GPSmap 60C

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Easy 4×4 – the Tinguá Biological Reserve – Rio de Janeiro State

“even though it was raining most of the time during my trip, I still enjoyed every second of it.”

caminho do imperador - rio de janeiro - brazil

The trip started out dry, but then the rain started and things got a little more wet and muddy.

In my never-ending quest for new interesting places, I stumbled upon an ancient road, called “Caminho do Imperador” wich connects the municipality of Miguel Pereira and the Imperial city of Petrópolis.

Doing some research afterwards, I learned that this road had been opened in the early 17th century as one of the first links between the city of Rio de Janeiro and the gold and diamond mines in the interior of Minas Gerais.

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Pedra Branca, Rio de Janeiro – The World’s Biggest Urban Forest

Areal view of Pedra Branca forest - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Areal view of the Pedra Branca State Park, a 125km² section of Atlantic Rainforest in the west zone of Rio de Janeiro (Photo: Rede Globo)

The Pedra Branca Massive is with its 12 hectares of rain forest clad mountains currently the biggest urban forest in the world and one of the best places for experienced hikers in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Continue reading

Confronting the Hectic Rio de Janeiro Traffic – Photo Essay

Rio de Janeiro is a wonderful city, but getting there is usually a struggle, because of the hectic traffic…

Accident - Linha Vermelha - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Accidents and broken down vehicles (I counted 9 broken down cars and 2 accidents on a 30 km section) are a daily inconvenience for commuters trying to get to work in time. the lack of hard shoulders doesn’t make things any easier.

From my home town (Volta Redonda) to, say Copacabana, is about 120km. In normal circumstances I would cover that distance in – give or take – 2 hours… However, depending on the time of day, and the traffic situation, it could take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.

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Party drugs in Rio: “Boa noite Cinderela” – warning!!

Party - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

The party is on and everybody’s having fun, but some people have another reason to be there. (photo: Superwallace.net)

Imagine  this: you are having a great time in a club or other place, meet a good looking Brazilian girl or guy who is “totally into you”, and before you know it, things heat up and you think you scored big time… or did you?

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Região Serrana, Rio de Janeiro – one year after the deluge

“One can only try to imagine what people living here must have gone through when all hell broke loose in the middle of that fatal night in January 2011.”

Destruction in Nova Friburgo - Rio de Janeiro - Região Serrana - Floods and mudslides

January 2011: Entire neighborhoods wiped away and the lives of thousands of people destroyed in the city of Nova Friburgo in the Região Serrana of the state of Rio de Janeiro (Photo Folha.com)

Almost a year after I visited Nova Friburgo, a city with some distinct Swiss features in the “região serrana” of Rio de Janeiro State, I’m back in the lingerie capital of Brazil

Nobody could imagine that just a few weeks after my previous visit (in December 2010), torrential rainfall, floods and mudslides would turn this city into a war zone and kill over 900 people.

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