And me admiring the sunset behind the Sao Paulo mountains. I don’t remember if this was on the way to SP or on the way to Rio from SP. Not so important.
Quite a common response I get almost anywhere I have my camera. This time I took the shot anyway. He didn’t seem to happy.
The first time that I realized houses packed together on hills can be middle-upper class neighborhoods. Something that is the opposite in Rio de Janeiro where there are over 300 favelas in the center. I think something like 70% of the population lives in the slums. I read this somewhere. My friends girlfriend family is from NF. She has a niece who turned 1 y/o. I was invited to attend the special party! Another town not so frequented by tourists. I enjoyed it very much. There are many beautiful parks, it is safe, there are many waterfalls, it is situated in the mountains, and the cuisine, architecture, and other cultural elements influenced by german settlers. I went there and it felt weird thinking I was still in Brazil. For all I really knew was Rio de Janeiro.
I did a little tour from Belo Horizonte, MG to Tiradentes (and some other places) to Brasilia (the capital) and then a surprise trip with a friend to Goianesia. This was in the pool at the hotel. Unfortunately, no waves there!
This was my 3rd CS host. She is from North Eastern Brazil. Aracaju. I met her family, we had a traditional dinner at her place. Her favorite parts of town are in Zona Sul. I became well aquinted with these areas as we cycled and longboarded there a few times. Although you would never catch me at a dance club in Canada, she dragged me out to some here in Rio. I figured I might as well see “the other side”. I’ll admit it was fun. There was beer, dancing, and mostly nice people but I just can’t afford these types of things right now!
The family that I live with has roots in the Beija Flor Samba club in Nilopolis (North Zone). We went to a big party there where the official team played. This is where they chose there theme. Every year there is a big carnival. There are clubs all over Brasil that each choose a theme and compete to present their show to millions of people. After the party many of the guests took the the streets after. It went from samba to hardcore funk. We partied till 5am. Did I mention most Brasilians cant live without cold beer?
This is just one of the city scapes of the grande city of Belo Horizonte. In the state of MG, I think it only took me 5 hours on bus.
Belo Horizonte. Two of my great friends live here. They are from Colombia and work here. I met them in Rio… on the beach! I don’t think this city is frequented by to many tourists. But nevertheless, they regularly have an epic sunset, and sky scape at night. Its growth is relatively new. The city is super clean, has a safer feeling than say Rio. There are many great restaurants here as well as a few top notch micro breweries.
Taken at Macumba Beach in the west end of Rio de Janeiro. Just on the other side of Praia da Barra. He is definitely one of the youngest surfers out there with us . But he can rip!
Photo snapped at Praia Joatinga in between Praia Sao Conrado and Barra da Tijuca. This girl is my best friend here and also my “lil sis” even though she is 7 years older than I am! This beach is difficult to get to. You must access it through a private neighborhood. You can walk there, but the neighborhood is high up in a mountain. You will be able to view the beach from a huge cliff. It is possible and safe to get down to the sand though. It is a small bodyboarding local beach. The waves break here of the corner to the left and can get very hollow.
But I had to post it. A long story short, I have been introduced to many people here. And a few of them have been cops. After a few beers at a friends, I realized one of the uncles was a military cop after noticing a loaded gun on a bed. I insisted I had my picture taken with the pistol and full get up. Reason I am not so pleased about the picture is that this sort of symbol is not a joke. The issue of policing (and the whole system really) here in Rio de Janeiro is a serious problem. The face of the problem is simple. In places (South America , and Brazil in particular) where corruption is accepted as everyday routine, the Police here take advantage of this. They don’t get paid sufficiently (among other problems) so they resort to activities with traffickers dealing in weapons and drugs. There is also a huge problem with the mentality of the military left over from the recent dictatorship that ended I think in 88′. Most are untrained and act in completely violent and unintelligent ways. You can look into the details online about the issues, and manifestations occurring right now. Don’t take anything GLOBO TV says to seriously. Yet on the other hand there still seems to be a constant war going on in many of Rios surrounding slum areas. I cant count the number of times these wars have ignited within a 10km radius of my home.
* Bullet was removed from gun.
One thing is certain, I have been treated to some of the best cuisine in my life. No, not even the rice and beans are getting boring. There has been such a diversity in both on the regular. Fish is in abundance. Other types of seafood I have been eating frequently include fried and breaded sardines, shrimp, squid, and mussels!
Have visited the city of Sao Paulo a few times. I can say I have mixed feelings about it. I really cant judge it from my short time there. Besides the abundance of colors on the walls, it was a pretty boring city. I mean a great city, but the type of city I was running away from in Canada. It could of been I never went to the right parts. But I covered a lot of ground on foot, and subway, and still I noticed that the people in general seemed so depressed, cold, closed, non-social and what-not. Its straight business there, and it’s obvious that with the many subcultures existing there, some groups of people are really lashing out against this zombie like style of living. You easily find spray painted messages asking for “More Love” for us to “Smile” and also on the other hand, to get rid of corruption and lower bus fares. In my short time there, I found it VERY difficult to meet people. I only had the art on the walls to keep me company.
A little bit of an emotional time looking out over the city I had been living in only for a few weeks. Everything made a little more sense now. I had been wandering the streets, taking buses so blindly, not ever knowing what direction I was going in, or what area I would end up in next. Now I had more of an idea of where I was. Tijuca, RJ
Met through couchsurfing and stayed with her for over a week. She took me to some of my first parties in Rio. Introduced me to the Rio art scene, and introduced me to areas in which I would have never found. Especially in Tijuca which is close to the center and connected to the Subway System (which isn’t that great anyway). She helped build my confidence, through examples, about traveling alone within the city day or night. (Especially since at the time I did not speak Portuguese). She’s a tough girl who’s been through a lot. She never liked her photo taken anyway. Never understood why.
We had some special times together, and I manage to remain in contact with her.
I stopped through Brasilia in mid October 2013. I couchsurfed there but also had one other friend there. It is the capital of Brazil and was designed in the 60’s. It is a symetrical city where commerce and residential area are equally spread throughout. I don’t like it, because you can predict whats around every corner. Most of the buildings look the same. And most of the nature has been destroyed with the exception of a few parks like this one. This was one of the most natural scenes I found around the city although the lake is still artificial. We had many beers here and set up a slack line and swam in the apparently clean lake. It was warm.
He never actually kills them, he’s just playful. His owner feeds him well. Tijuca, RJ
This is my friend Mat. Also met him through CS. Although I never needed to stay at his place. He lives super close to me, and we’ve done some pretty cool things together. This is one of the most epic views here in Rio. There are a good handful of hikes that you can do, but this being the most rewarding, as it is long and very steep at the top. Leave yourself a good 5-6 hours (or more) to really enjoy.
Or he just never liked getting his photo taken.
Somewhere off the highway near the Angra Coast in RJ
A very long story, but a buddy from Canada came out to Brazil. He hops freight trains on the regular and has been for a very long time. So after doing our research we caught one out of Sao Paulo state. He will put out a 10-20 minute film on youtube about the experience. He has others with 50,000 views or more about trips in Canada. Close to Embu Guacu, SP The train literally stopped every 20-30 minutes. It was painful because some of these stops were about 1 hour long. A trip that should of taken 2 hours took about 10. We didn’t bring enough water and ran out a few hours before getting off. The lines were so busy. We saw a fresh derailment of corn that happened within the previous 2 days. Things are definitely more “sloppy” and unorganized here than in North America.
The day before the train hop we scouted the yard. With luck, and my ability to understand and speak portuguese we were rescued by a railway worker who drove us out of the train yard area after telling us that a small gang was preparing to rob all of our cameras at the other end. With fear of having my SLR stolen the next day (when we came back).. I only brought my GoPro which provided only mediocre shots compared the SLR. I also had no idea if we would be riding outside in the pouring rain. Luckily it seemed the workers knew we were there and one suggested we could surf on the train. We were able to get inside a stripped cabin behind the engineer. The 10 hour trip through the RainForest was wicked.
Maybe someone will get a kick out of seeing these little marks somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I always got a kick out of spotting graffiti on trains, especially if you repetitively see the same guy. This would always force the question: Who the f**k are they? *** Photo by: “WizeHop”
My friends very curious and energetic 8 year old daughter.
It will do you some good. Walking the beach alone allows you to watch others and their interactions. Taken at the corner of Praia Macumba/Recreio
And it was super soft. As i walked by this I knew it deserved my attention. I’m not sure about the exact reason the sand is so red. Because on the next beach over it’s the typical white color. Shot @ Praia Brava, Buzios.
Here is a little sample of some of the beers available in Rio de Janiero. It was hard to show the rest I drank because many of the bottles don’t have caps with designs on them, and so I never saved them. I have a collection in Canada of about 7500 different beers caps. With about 3500 different from the USA and Canada combined. Id say 90% of the time here in Brazil, I am drinking something from AmBev (Skol, Antartica, Itaipaiva) For the pure sake of availability and cost.
Pedra @ Praia Joatinga
A man looks out to some 1.5-2 meter sets rolling in at Praia da Barra.
Waking up on Copacabana beach. I lost my potential place to stay Saturday night and had nowhere else to go other than the beach. The whole story is pretty wacky but whatever.. I stayed waiting at a 24 hour coffee shop till about 3:30am when I felt all the hoodlums and crackheads had gone to bed. I joined about 6 other homeless people then and found my spot under the rays of a street lamp, w.here i felt it was safer Craziest thing that bothered me is I had both my gopro and my SLR. I burried the slr (in plastic bag) under the sand and kept the rest of the things in my jacket. Lets just say with my black hood on curled up in a ball like a drunk or drug addict it provided the illusion ( i think ) that I had nothing they wanted.
When your the first gringo a group of Brazilian children sees! Nevertheless, I got some nice shots. My friends father has close family living in the “country” of RJ state. We went to go visit his father there on Fathers Day. There were horses, pigs, and kids on bicycles riding all over the place. These kids also allowed me to battle some other kids with kites. A popular activity for many kids in Brasil, but especially those in poorer areas, like this small farming community. Vassouras, RJ
Camilla loves to be in pictures. I must have about 40 great ones of her. It was hard to choose just one. She is 17 years old and this was also her first time in Rio de Janiero. She is from Salvador, Bahia. And the neice of a friends-friend I was staying with in Barra da Tijuca. She spoke no English, and at the time I only knew a handful of Portuguese words. Not even verbs. We spent about 5 days together touring around the city. We both were experiencing these parts of the city together but couldn’t really express anything but physical gestures and smiles. Sometimes this is all you need, but after awhile It gets frustrating (as a very talkative and expressive person)
Lagoon near Park Lage and Jardim Botanico
Never thought I’d find myself driving a speed boat here. Once we got to Ilha Grande we hung out in small inlets of the island. We never actually touched land. The water super clear, many fish and a couple turtles. This was awhile back, but I think i remember seeing little dolphins. I heard from friends that the actual main city of Ilha grande is also worth visiting. I did not go there.
My first week in Rio, I was hosted and treated very well by a woman named Stella. Despite the age difference and her busy work schedule we have been able to keep in contact and hang out a good handful of times the past 6 months. This was our typical breakfast in the morning before she took off to work and I went to catch waves.
Barra da Tijuca
A friend and artist of fabrics. We worked with him on a cultural film production in Rio’s Center. This was just as we were picking him up at his house for a shoot.
I helped my friends out as a back up fotographer for a film production. The purpose was to create a teaser for a roots cultural/music event happening in January 2014.
This friendly man let me snap his photo in Sao Paulo cities north zone. The store solely for the sale of religious items. I thought it was quite interesting.
In Rio’s West zone. One of the first places outside of the Rio that I came to. Seemed very safe, people friendly and not used to tourists (which is good), but not with a nice camera and excessive attention.
I might here along with many others through a close friend that volunteers at this cultural house in Guaratiba. I believe the group does activities to educate and promote African culture. Especially from the point of view of woman.
A shot that I saved for last because I feel that the little dab of danger here is something that keeps me alive. Too much is not good of course, but in most areas, there’s just enough to keep you on your toes. This is maybe why I have fallen in love with this city. From dangerous rip tides to being forced to take a new bus route at 3am back home. There are lots of challenges here for me. It started with the language and now involves other things. I feel that I have let myself become more of who I always was but could never be. This culture has allowed me to become much more free in my everyday activities. Maybe I should have been born in a warm weather climate by the beach. Then again if I wasn’t born in Toronto but in a tropical climate, would I really appreciate this experience to the same extent?
Praia Ipanema, RJ