Monday, August 27, 2007
I stepped off the path for a closer look and,
of course, a photo or two.
I said to Camillo,
isn't this interesting - look at this, is it a fruit?
A Coqueiro Anão-verde: A dwarf coconut now being grown on plantations in Brasil. Fast growing, fast fruiting, long lived and easy to harvest. Just what is needed to supply the locals with their agua d0 coco after a hot walk in the sun.
I had never seen the flower or the young fruit so close-up before.
Buds, flowers, young fruit, mature fruit and what appeared to be a dry brown seed/nut all on one tree.
Made my day!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
So what do we do now?
Wait until some Brazilian has some inspiration?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
We called our ISP (NET) in Rio and were told we needed to reconfigure our computers and to call GigaLink, our provider in Friburgo - HOW COULD IT BE GigaLink's PROBLEM?
Two weeks ago, we came to Rio with intent to make time to find a solution. Poor Camillo, I think he finally believed me that it had nothing to do with our computers, but only after I resorted to yelling at the man. You just can't believe everything they tell, it didn't make sense that it was our problem. He called NET again - and again through some type of 'pinging' they determined that there 'was nothing wrong with THEIR connection - AGAIN someone would come out on Saturday - FOUR days later.
Can you understand this? ..... Can You?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Ginger will think I have started another diet when she sees this photo. I walked past the commandant's candy wrapper in the kitchen and it suddenly occurred to me that my mind is no longer fighting against this language. It suddenly felt very normal to see Portuguese words integrated with a Hershey's logo. In fact I notice that when I walk around town everything seems familiar to me. The street signs, billboards, restaurant window postings, newspaper headlines hanging on the news stands. Slowly over the past 3 years this language has been seeping into my mind through the unguarded cracks.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Yesterday we walked about the property to see what is happening in the 'deep' of winter. The caqui trees are in hibernation but have red tips on the end of the branches ready for some warm sun and moisture. The kumquat that I started in the greenhouse last year is almost 3 feet tall this year. One of the orchid in my little greenhouse is blooming and there was a tangerine tree laden with fruit.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
In the late 70s early 80s Nova Friburgo was designated as a nature reserve of the 'Mata Atlantica'. That is more than 30 years ago. There are pages and pages of rules (laws?) about what you can do on your land, what you can build, what trees and how many you can take down and all that government (----). I know a lot about it, but understand little. For over a year I tried, through an agent, to receive the rules (laws?) that applied to a piece of land I wanted to buy. I wanted to buy the land and over several years invest some of my retirement funds in building three small houses in the forest. This would have kept upward of 10 men working through at least 3 years. I was unable to obtain a written document saying that I could buy, build, and sell houses for individual families. The men in city hall did not want to commit, with signature, that they knew and understood the rules (laws). It was finally suggested to me that I go ahead and buy, and begin to build and see "if anyone figures it out and if they do you will just be fined" that's what everyone else does. I gave up in frustration.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
It was one of those mornings. What do I blog about today?
Here it comes, the blog for the day from Rio de Janeiro. Moving day. A sofa being let down by workers from the building that blocks much of our view.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
After lunch, yesterday, we walked through Morretes to find the recommended sight of birds eating bananas left out by one of the local vendors. Then the 12 of us on the tour loaded into a small van and headed back to Curitiba via the Estrada da Graciosa. We had one more scheduled stop to make though, in the small town of Antonina to see a church built in 1715, a finely restored public square and a walk out on the pier to see the fishermen. There was a clearly written sign that said, no bicycles, cars or fishing. Actually I think it was a very old pier that we were supposed to be viewing - the fishermen were extra.
Today we took a taxi around Curitiba to four of the many famous sights in town, a museum designed by Niemeyer, the botanical gardens, the Park Tangau and the Bosque Alemão which we never found.It was cloudy but no rain. Maybe I am getting acclimated but it seemed not quite as cold today. It has been a long time since I have ever been really impressed by a building but the Museum was really fantastic. I will talk tomorrow about it and send you photos.
Tomorrow we will leave here and go on to the Iguacu falls.
Wikipedia has a pretty good page or two about Curitiba which is south of Sao Paulo in Panamá state. Today was a super day. I'll do my complaining first. The train was not heated and last night it was -1, and it had very bad windows so it was difficult to see the scenery let alone take any decent photos. After an hour or so when the sun had warmed the train, I walked up and stood behind the driver - taking pictures out his open side window and out the front beside his head. I was able to take a few nice photos. For the total day I took 329 and deleted 41 - there probably are another 20 that are marginal and will end up deleted later when I look at them closer. The train wound up a mountain of the Serra do Mar, along a track that was originally built in 1885.
Thank god it has been maintained and the bridges reinforced since then, because it pretty much hangs on the side of the mountain and down into the city of Morretes. This pretty little colonial town is two blocks wide and about 4 blocks long, with two small parks along the river. Many of the buildings have the original façades and have been painted in the yellow, blues, whites and oranges favored in the 1800s. There were some nice hand crafts and very good photos ops. We had lunch in a restaurant specializing in barreado, a goulash like meat dish mixed with farinha which tastes delicious but was like a brick on the stomach for two hours after. The desert as a banana, cinnamon, icecream and chocolate concoction that drew bees to our table. We fought them off in a valiant effort to eat the whole thing ourselves.
more tomorrow -
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Ginger and Camilo are on a trip through the south of Brazil this week. Here is her report for the first day.
"We left for the Rio airport this morning at 6 am to catch an 8 am flight. We found the flight would be 1 hour late, then 3 hours, then it was totally canceled and the airline put on an 11:35 flight. We finally left Rio at 12:20 arriving in Curitiba at 3:15. The plane went up, came down, went up, came down, on what we would call in the states a puddle jumper, but arrived safe and full of crackers. So far the town (old town) is charming and very clean. Tomorrow we take a train to a federal reserve. We will have lunch, take photos and will return here in time for dinner. On Saturday or Sunday morning I'll go back to the old center and take photos "sem" people and with better light than the late afternoon allowed me."
Kisses from Curitiba, Ginger