Sunday, March 25, 2007

Porto Seguro

21st March - 26th March

Porto Seguro is a colorful yet mild comparison to Salvador
, a major city in the north that prides itself on true Bahian culture, food and history. Therefore, I will offer you Porto Seguro by means of a visual tour. Enjoy!

Paraty & Trindade

16th March - 21st March

Paraty is an old romantic colonial town of 10,000. The streets are well preserved and offer night performers a home for their shows and stunts.

The town is surrounded by steep jungle mountains and secluded beaches, a well kept secret among Brazilian tourists. During an evening stroll, soothing sounds of bossa nova and forro are heard in many dark-lit cafes.

A well deserved introduction is due to a trio that entertained a greater part of southeast Brasil for many days and nights. This trio has been compared by many to ´The Three Amigos´, ´The Three Stooges` and ´The Three Muskateers`; they had courage, they had style and, most importantly, they did not take themselves seriously FOR A SINGLE MOMENT (even under physical force and bribery). For your pleasure and enjoyment, they are Benjamin, Zhenia and Neil.

Ladies and Gentlemen: a moment that must never be forgotten. Here, Benjamin is accosted and taken advantage of by the local loco, a woman of boundless beauty, brilliance and seduction. Later in the evening, she gave him a sweet love bite on his shoulder with her jagged teeth when he least expected it. With her leading the crowd, we all pissed in our pants from laughter.

A short bus ride south of Paraty sits Trindade, a quiet beach town of a few hundred residents and easily one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Benjamin and Neil, having visited Trindade resently, decided to take us on a sightseeing day tour. Here, we climb through thick jungle and mud paths to get to the mystical ´Rock that Swallows`.

Miscellaneous pics:

Ilha Grande

8th March - 15th March

Rio felt too big to swallow in a few days so we decided to head to the south coast
where the beaches are pristine and the island philosophy of "do less, enjoy more" rules. Upon our arrival, there was an agreed moment of silence for we had nothing more to say.

Mishka and Sergey were the ultimate comic duo during our stay. These two clowns couldn´t stop posing as they both love the spotlight.

Even mouia found a moment to pose in the new "all hangs out" bikini.

The dirt and rock tracks that twist and wind around the island provide a great way to see the different coast formations, jungles and beaches. We wasted no time (actually 6 days post arrival) to hike to Dos Rios, a 2 hour trail to the southeast of the island. At 11 a.m. there was much energy and enthusiasm. Beautiful plant life covered the whole trail. One could spend days just picking up flowers left behind by mother earth.

Hot, sweaty and bothered, we arrived to Dos Rios and sank our feet into the cool sand.

On the way back we huffed, puffed (the color of Talia´s face says it all) and struggled to catch the last beams of light before darkness set in on the jungle. Things got a little bit crazy.

This picture was taken when Sergey was leaving and we all stayed on the dock until his ferry disappeared from the horizon. Much credit is due to you, Seryoshka, for slipping a joke at awkward moments and being a true gentleman.

Ilhe Grande is a harmony of percussion, guitar and sweat left over by the heat of the day. A tiny church sits midst a white-washed plaza square, a meeting point for many and the musical center of the busy island town. The breeze is cool at night and on the weekends sun-kissed locals and tourists come out in their tropical costumes and walk over bridges and awkward cobblestone streets that trail away like sea snakes underwater. When the late night drums and hip swaying ends and my feet are tired, the sand and water lovingly invite and we wait for the kiss of the morning sun on our faces and tired flesh.

Rio de Janeiro

1st March - 7th March

Arriving into Rio from the cold fronts of the Bay Area felt like a sweaty, sticky affair filled with titilating views of Brazilian men and women in all their uninhibited glory. The general attitude here is...the less you wear the more comfortable you are. This wild city breathes rhythm and sex. Here, you are truly welcome.

Seeing Sasha after 11 months made the 30 hour flight that much worth it. The first few hours felt unreal.

Another moment to highlight: the smiles and laughter that Mishka effortlessly brought out in all of us. What a charmer!

While waiting for Sergey, our younger cousin to arrive for a brief visit, we stayed in Ipanema, known for its beautiful beaches and the famous bossa nova song "The Girl from Ipanema".

Brazil~s most famous icon, Mr. JC himself. Bless him.

A bird´s eye view of Rio from JC´s perspective.

Mountenous Rio at night. The beaches to the left of the photo are Copacabana and Ipanema.

As soon as Sergey arrived and the Nagorny´s finally reunited, all was set into motion. Let the party begin...